June means summertime and summertime means vacationing - yay! While vacation is usually very relaxing, we all know the feeling of overindulging and how detrimental it can be to our workouts, sleep, eating behavior, and energy when we return. What if instead we enjoyed vacation by letting ourselves have a few extra treats, toning down the exercise a little, and drinking some alcohol, but focused on not overdoing it? Think about a previous vacation – did you overdo it on the food? Alcohol? Did you not get enough movement? A mixture of all the above? Before your next vacation, pick one thing you’re going to do a little bit better. I recommend choosing the thing that will be easiest for you to do. Avoid using restriction-based vacation goals because when we do that, it usually results in caving into the thing we told ourselves not to do. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
⁃ I will start each day with a large glass of water
⁃ I will start each day with a clean first meal
⁃ I will consume at least 2 servings of vegetables per day
⁃ I will move my body in some way at least twice during the week
⁃ I will eat slowly and mindfully for at least 1 meal per day
I was just recently in Florida for a trip where I dialed back my exercise and enjoyed some alcohol. But I promised myself each day that I would start my day with food my body is used to, that I would get some form of purposeful movement at least twice, and that I would focus on eating my meals slowly and mindfully. This was a personal improvement for me because in the past I have been so strict with myself all year round that when I got to vacation, I stuffed myself until I was sick every day. Now, I am not as strict with myself daily, so I don’t feel the need to overindulge. I eat whole, real foods 90% of the time and enjoy my favorite ‘not so healthy’ foods in moderation. Since I allow myself that 10% freedom regularly, my body doesn’t feel the need to take a break from my lifestyle like it used to crave in the past.
I would say the above information applies to most of us, but I know there are some people out there that need to let loose on vacation. Do what is best for you! But if you hate not feeling yourself for the weeks following your vacation, my tips above may be beneficial for you. Vacation is a part of life and is not a reason to fall off the wagon. It is meant to be enjoyed and can be without completely abandoning all of the healthy habits you worked so hard to implement into your life.
Deciding what you are going to do this coming vacation isn’t enough though. You must plan in order to be successful. For example:
Goal: Start day with clean meal
Plan: Upon arriving, go to grocery store and get ingredients necessary for clean breakfast (veggies, fruit, eggs, etc)
Goal: Exercise twice throughout the week
Plan: Bring workout outfits, shoes, headphones, etc and think about the days you will exercise and the type of exercise you will do
Goal: Drink ____ ounces of water each day
Plan: Bring your reusable water bottle and have it filled and with you all day
Those are just a few ideas! Each plan will need some sort of prep work. If you have the plan and you do the prep, actually doing it will be the easy part. What is the easiest thing for you to improve on next vacation? Start there and only there. Then get a little bit better each trip!