For many people, when it comes to eating healthy and staying active during their vacation, the struggle is all too real. Whether going away for one week, on holidays or just spending a night with family a little pre-planning goes a long way when maintaining a healthy diet and staying active.
Over the years I have found (after much trial and error) that there are some simple and effective strategies that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home.
Let’s start by creating a Game plan with a ‘To Do’ list. Stay organzied to stay fit! About one week or so before you leave for vacation, create a check list of healthier snacks and fun compact fitness tools that are easy to transport and can idealy fit in your suitcase.
Go out and purchase healthy pre-packaged foods that will easily fit into your suitcase. If you are like me, having healthy snacks on hand whenever you travel is a must. Look for snacks that are nutrient dense and full of protein, this will help to curve cravings and reduce the likelyhood of overinduldging on the sweet temptations vacations often have to offer. I like to pack half of my clothing in my carry on bag (a big back pack) and in my suitcase I pack my sealed treats such as protein bars, peanut butter, canned fish such as tuna or salmon, a container of veggie green powder (this is the easiest way to ensure I get enough greens in my diet while away), oats, whole grain crackers and small travel size packages of protein powder. Tip: Store these items in ziplock bags just in case there is a leak. Also, if any of your items are breakable (like a peanut butter jar) try placing it into a ziplock bag and then wrap your clothing around it to protect it from damage during travel.
First things first, find out if the hotel or resort where you will be staying has a gym, fitness facility or fitness classes. Believe it or not most all inclusive resorts offer: yoga, zumba and aqua fit! If the resort does not offer any recreation services then you will need to plan a workout that can be performed easily in your hotel room or outside. Planning your workouts ahead of time helps speed up the whole work out process because let’s face it, when we are on vacation we all just want to get that workout done and enjoy the day right? Note: Keep the workouts short (30 mins tops) because really, what’s 30 mins out of your day? This is a great way to help you stay motivated and get you moving. And hey, once you’ve started, if you’re feeling good and want to go longer then by all means, go for it!
Resistance Bands or Suspension Trainer if required:
If your hotel does not have a fitness facility do not panic. There are several ways to still get a great workout in without a gym.
Option 1: Body weight workout. A body weight workout is easily performed without equipment. Some examples of body weight exercises are: squats, lunges, push-ups, floor dips or chair dips, crunches and planks.
Option 2: Resistance Band. There are several exercises that can be performed by using a resistance band such as bicep curls, Tricep Kickbacks, back rows and even squats!
Option 3: Suspension Trainer (my personal favourite). A suspension trainer is a great way to get a full body workout. You can do so many things with a suspension trainer such as bicep curls, back rows, split squats, lateral raises, push ups and much much more. Simply wrap the suspension trainer around somthing high and sturdy like a tall tree branch if outside or use a door attachment and hang it over a closed door (preferably one that swings away from you) and voila, you’ve got a total body gym in the comfort of your hotel room. Pretty great right?
The great thing about resistance bands and Suspension trainers are small and compact enough to store easily in your suitcase.
Now that you’ve got your pre-planned workouts you need to decide on a daily workout time. Choose a time of day that you feel you are most motivated and stick to it. Personally, I prefer first thing in the morning because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’ve found that if I workout in the mornings I am less likely to eat poorly throughout the day as I feel eating poorly will diminish the effects of my workout.
Now that your checklist is complete, I’m going to tell you about another neat little trick that has really helped me eat healthy, especially at an “all you can eat”, oops, I meant to say “all inclusive” vacation.
Just before you hit up that buffet try drinking a protein shake (just protein powder in water, nothing else added). The reason for this? I have found it really helps nip those cravings in the bud before they even get a chance to start. By drinking a protein shake it will help make you feel somewhat full so that when you get to that buffet you will not want to eat everything in sight (especially when it comes to that desert table). Do your best to avoid fried foods and opt for healthier options such as lean protein and grilled vegetables.
Tropical mixed drinks are loaded with sugar and bursting with calories. These drinks are a belly bulge just waiting to happen! If you are determined to have a alcoholic beverage, a healthier option would be vodka and soda water with lime (I also like to add mint leaves so it tastes like a sugar free mojito). Other lower calorie options include: wine spritzers and light beer. If you are tired of drinking plain water but want to avoid alcoholic beverages, try soda water with lime or lime AND mint leaves for a refreshing nonalcoholic mojito.
When it comes to staying healthy and active it’s not always an easy task. However, You don’t need to fear going on a vacation just because you think you’re going to lose all self control and gain a ton of weight. The trick is to create a game plan, start a checklist and go with the intention of staying on track.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ~Ben Franklin
Motive 8 Fitness
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