This is pretty much the worst time of year for sticking to meal plans and diets.
Not only are there are multitude of holidays over the next few months, but it is also
a time when a lot of families plan a vacation. Whether you are on your way to enjoy a ski trip or headed to a beach somewhere, chances are you are not going to be operating under the same conditions as you do at home.
Honestly, isn’t that what vacation is supposed to be about?
Sure! But not when you have worked so hard to implement and maintain a weight
loss program. But what if I told you that it is possible to lose weight when you’re on vacation? Yep, seriously. There are a few simple things you can do while enjoying your
downtime. They shouldn’t be too difficult to work into even the busiest vacation
schedule. And they shouldn’t interfere with your family fun either.
This is the number one thing you can do to lose weight when you’re on vacation. If
you expect to maintain your usual regimen, you may be putting pressure on
yourself to “be good.” This could lead to missing out on some family fun food tasting opportunities, or special meals for a special time. In turn, this could cause stress for you and the family. And what happens when you get stressed? You probably want to eat comfort food. Am I right? So, skip all of that. It is unrealistic to put those limitations on yourself. And it’s not fair to your family either. Once you make up your mind that it is okay to slip on vacation, you can address the other steps you can take.
Just because you have accepted that your routine may be blown doesn’t mean you
have to go completely wild. It doesn’t matter if you are at a tropical buffet or a feast
at a lodge in the mountains, you can still maintain your portion control.
If you want to sample foods, go for it! But do it mindfully. Don’t deprive yourself of
trying something new. Take small portions of your “bad” foods and bigger portions
of your “good” foods. Give yourself permission to indulge in trying those foods you would normally discount. Vacations are about making memories, and nobody wants to remember a hangry parent. And don’t worry too much if you have one too many tropical drinks by the pool. You can always reset when you get back home.
If you have kids, this pretty much solves itself, because there’s no way you’re going
to get a lot of downtime to do nothing. But even if you have teens or no kids at all,
you can still keep your activity level high. Obviously, if you are on a ski vacation this takes care of itself – but it is easy to stay active during even the laziest of vacations.
Use some of the principles you might follow at home and walk as much as you can.
Take stairs instead of elevators. Wander through the local artisan market. Look for
nature trails or guided walking tours of local attractions. Take a stroll on the beach.
If you can walk it, do so.
Popular vacation areas often have more to offer than just a main attraction. Find a
mini-golf course and go a few rounds. If you are in a safe area, rent bikes and go for
a bike ride through the town. Resorts and specialized vacations like cruises often have several activities planned throughout the day. All-inclusive resorts are especially good at this. And the best part is that they are usually free! Attend a dance class. Go paddle-boarding or try snowboarding instead of skiing. Find something you would never even think about at home (archery? Shuffleboard?) and have fun with it. Whatever you do, just keep moving.
That is truly a major point of a vacation…to get away from the usual and embrace
the calm moments in life. And yes, you still can have those even during an
amusement park vacation. If you are not as worried about schedules or meal plans or just the general chaos of regular life, you may find that you actually eat less on vacation. If you are relaxing by a pool or on the beach, you aren’t burning the calories that you usually do in your day-to-day activities. Use a less-frenzied schedule to your advantage.
Now, with all of that being said, if you choose to stick to your usual meal plan, diet,
and exercise schedules while you’re on vacation, that’s fine too. Just be sure that
you also cherish the time with your family or friends. Remember, that’s what vacations are supposed to be about.
If you want to talk with me about what I do and how you can join in, CLICK HERE!