Oh vacations…how wonderful you are! A chance to break free from the monotony of routine, to recharge, relax and often times, reconnect to spouses, significant others, or girlfriends. Having said that, vacations can easily wreak havoc on our healthy habits- it’s easy to kick back, relax, and forget all about exercise and clean eating. Though I’ve gotten caught in the web of bottomless tropical drinks on more than one occasion, I’ve definitely improved my ability to stay on track while R & R’ in. I thought I’d share a few tips I used last week during our all-inclusive Mexico getaway that helped me to stay guilt-free while still enjoying every moment. I remembered to snap a few photos of some of my meal choices as well, since I know navigating an all-inclusive menu can prove challenging!
- Think ahead: especially when it comes to an all-inclusive trip (where you’ll face thick Belgian waffles, French fries, and ice-cream daily). Think ahead about some healthier choices you can make: scrambled eggs, made-to-order omelets, oatmeal, fresh fruit bowls, smoothies, etc. It’s not always possible to know exactly what your resort will offer, but a quick browse on Trip Advisor might provide some insight into options you may have! When you’ve at least made a mental note of choosing healthier, you’ll be more likely to forego the pancakes with whip cream topping and stick to something a little lighter!
- Be active: and be active from day one! If you commit to doing some physical activity the first day of your trip, you’ll be more likely to stick with it throughout the trip. If you bypass day one and let your mind melt into total vacation mode, you might never come back. Though we weren’t super gun-ho to hit the gym on our first day, my husband and I both agreed we’d feel a ton better about sitting on the beach for hours if we sweat first. That decision set the tone for us and we got in 4 awesome gym sessions. The days we didn’t use the gym, we walked along the beach, swam, & took advantage of a fun excursion to Tulum that had us walking about half the day. What if there’s no gym? What if the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor activities? Pack a jump rope, have workout videos downloaded to your phone, or complete your own little body-weight circuit in your hotel room. Push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, burpees, high-knees, mountain climbers- all these moves get the heart-rate up and require little space and no equipment.
- Maintain a “normal” eating schedule: Try to stick to how you would normally space out your meals. It’s easy to lose track of time when vacationing- you’re out and about sight-seeing or you’re engrossed in an awesome novel while sprawled out on the beach and hours go by without you realizing, you haven’t eaten in 6 hours. For me, this leads to crabbiness later in the day, intense hunger, and ravenous over-eating. Keeping a somewhat normal eating schedule while on our trip really allowed me to make good choices, since I never got to that “hangry” stage. If you’re traveling somewhere that you can pack your own snack- do it! Almonds, snack bars (I love Curate bars), apples, etc. Yes, you can bring food in your carry-on (if traveling within the US). I’ve literally packed almond butter and jelly sandwiches along with fruits and other snacks so I don’t end up spending unnecessary money on “in-between” meals.
- Keep the drinks to a minimum & stay hydrated: This is particularly important at an all-inclusive where it’s easy to have the mentality of “I’m going to get my money’s worth of drinks.” I’m a pina colada gal through and through, but I kept my favorite tropical drink to a minimum and know I’m better off for it! Since I love to have wine with dinner (especially on vacation) I decided that would be my main treat. So I only sipped on a few coladas and margaritas poolside the entire week. Limiting day drinking kept that bloated, tired feeling away and I felt like I enjoyed the evenings more!
- Don’t stress: it’s vacation. You’re meant to enjoy. (**Enjoying doesn’t mean face planting into Bahama Mamas every hour). Make some good choices, don’t fret over some indulgences, and be prepared to get back on track upon your return home!
Question of the day: What’s your #1 tip for staying on track during vacations?