While going on vacation is one of my favorite things, it can be the worst for staying on track with my fitness and nutrition goals. All the new restaurants (or old favorites when visiting a place you know), the general lack of a rigid structure that allows you to graze all day, etc. make it hard to stick to commitments around food and exercise. Getting your diet back on track after vacation, is critical to ensure you meet your goals.
When I travel I am a little more laxed on my daily regimen, but I do my best to keep my workouts and nutrition in check. I prefer to rent an Airbnb or VRBO property, as it allows me to be able to do some sort of meal prep and eat a few meals at the house to help me stay on track with my nutrition goals (and, you can save a little bit of money by not eating out for every meal).
On our latest trip to Naples, Florida we took full advantage of hitting up our favorite spots.
We ate the world’s best tacos at Taqueria San Julian, donuts from Trackside, lights out Cuban food from Fernandez the Bull (Their coconut flan?! It’s probably a good thing I live on the other side of the country!), jalapeño wagyu burgers at Jimmy P’s, barbecue brisket and pulled pork from Mission BBQ, and the beloved ice cream & chocolate covered key lime pie from Sweet Melissa’s (which I may or may not dream about).
We also had some really good meals at the house. We did steak and vegetables one night, I made my favorite egg white bake for multiple breakfast’s, and had some healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and protein bars on hand. While we did an “ok” job of eating-in while on vacation, my body was definitely feeling the extra sugars, oils and sodium that it isn’t used to from all that processed food.
As we are coming into the vacation months and things are starting to open up more and more, I decided that I would share 5 tips to get back on track after vacation as many of you will probably be taking vacations soon too. These tips don’t apply to just vacations either, you can use these tips to get back on track at any time!
5 Tips to Get Your Diet Back on Track After Vacation
1. Whatever You Do, DO NOT Weigh Yourself!
Look, if you are feeling gross, bloated and sluggish, you don’t need a scale to confirm it. Getting on that scale will more than likely put you in a bad mood and can trigger your behavior spiral out of control and send you into a binge (raise your hand if you have been here?! I know I have, which is why I’m choosing not to post my next weekly weigh in until this next Thursday, a whole week after we’ve been home from our trip). And, most of the “weight” you gain will be in the form of water weight anyway (unless it was like a five year vacation…) so why beat yourself up over it? Which leads us to our next tip…
2. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
You DO NOT need to shock your body out of vacation mode or “work off” those maple donuts you ate. You DO NOT need to do five hour workout sessions all week to get back on track, or mentally abuse yourself with negative thoughts about how you should have done things differently. There is absolutely nothing positive that will come of this behavior. It happened, own it, accept it, even allow yourself love that you were able to have the experience and eat such tasty food and then move forward focusing on what is in front of you, not looking back at the “would have, could have, should have.”
3. Increase Your Water Consumption
Increasing the amount of water you drink when you return from your trip helps get your body back on track. There are soooo many benefits to increasing your water intake, starting with getting those kidney’s working and flushing out anything leftover from your vacay. This can help remove a lot of that sodium you are holding onto, as you replace it with better, healthier food and beverage choices.
Water also helps you work off that “vacation fog” by increasing your energy and relieving fatigue. This allows you to get back into the swing of things faster. You can also work in some apple cider vinegar drinks (I love the Kevita Sparkling pro-biotic drinks! Meyer Lemon is my favorite!) to mix things up if you want.
4. Start/Continue Your Workout Plan
The best time to restart your fitness plan was yesterday. The second best time is today. So whether you are looking to engage in a new workout plan or pick up where you left off on your previous plan, getting back to the gym (or your home workout space) with a clear direction will help you get back into the habit and reach your goals much faster. Check out this stair workout plan, this abs/core workout plan, or this “back day” workout plan to give you an idea of where to start.
5. Eat Real Food
I do not believe in extreme dieting, juice cleanses or crazy restrictive detoxes. Sure you can see immediate results from these, but they don’t last, and give you a false sense of what to expect as you stick to your nutrition strategy. When you get back, start eating real, whole unprocessed foods as quickly as possible. Don’t continue the “vacation eating” for weeks (Yes, I know, easier said than done).
While spending a day doing food prep might be the last thing you want to do after sitting poolside all week, your body will thank you! If you find yourself dreading getting back into food prep, look for things that you can use that are already prepared for you that you can work into your eating (like those cooked rotisserie chickens at the store) until you get back into the swing of things.
I know that transition away from vacation mentality can feel like climbing a major mountain. But you can do it! Take a moment to remind yourself why you want to be living your healthiest strategy, and nurturing the habits that go along with that. Then, to borrow from a popular brand of our day, “Just do it”. Don’t overthink things. Don’t look back. Just sprint forward with your plan, take action. Then you will find that your vacation inflammation will correct itself in no time!
Anyway, that’s it for today! Talk to you soon.
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