Do I want to try and stick with a healthy routine on my vacation? If yes, read ahead…
Do I want to eat, drink, and be merry… diet be damned! If yes, cheers my friend!!
For many of us, the prospect of a beach vacation or a cruise means wearing a bathing suit almost all day long
and if we’re not in a swimsuit, we’re in sleeveless tops because it’s hot and gorgeous outside. That often means a renewed focus on diet and exercise (or an attempt to focus) a few weeks/months before the trip. Once at said vacation destination it can be very difficult to maintain a healthy routine. This is especially true at all-inclusive resorts and on a cruise ship.
Full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of anything all-inclusive. I love the idea of paying for everything ahead of time and just bringing money for excursions and tips. I also love the idea of getting dressed up for fancy dinners and eating all of the bacon at the breakfast buffet. Add that to ordering drinks at the pool and not worrying about a huge bill at checkout, sign me up!
However, as I get a little older, that extra 5 or (gasp!) 10 pounds that I pack on during a week of indulgence can take weeks and sometimes months to take off. I’m at the point now where I’m trying to strike a balance between enjoying a little #YOLO fun with the reality that I don’t have the metabolism (or the liver) of a 21 year old anymore.
What to do, what to do…
Try to do something active everyday. If you own a fitness tracker you may be pleasantly surprised with the number of steps you get in just walking around and sightseeing. You can also throw the kids around at the pool, they love it and it burns tons of calories while toning your arms. If the kids are napping or at the kids club take turns with your spouse/partner to sneak off to the gym or head out for a quick power walk or run. If you have extra down time in your room try to throw in a few sets of pushups, sit ups, and burpees while everyone else is watching TV or relaxing. Remind yourself that you’ll never say “I wish I hadn’t worked out today.”
Pack a few pieces of exercise clothing that are lightweight and easy to rinse off in your room, dry, and wear again. You don’t want to pack your whole suitcase with exercise clothes and then wear one thing… but you also don’t want to leave your running shoes at home because then you’re guaranteed not to go work out.
Also, download some good music to use on a device while you're traveling. If you have access to wifi, that's great for music streaming but sometimes wifi can be spotty in foreign countries and having backup music will help you stay motivated during your workout. You can even download other people's playlists from sources such as Spotify if you want some new tunes to jam to.
Feel free to follow my Spotify account: eforster81
At the end of the day, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make it to the resort gym for an hour everyday, it is your vacation after all and a week or two off from physical activity won’t ruin your life. I promise.
Some people say that food is 80% of a weight loss plan. I don’t know if that is true because I’m definitely not a nutritionist. But I do know that when I eat more vegetables, drink less alcohol, and eat fewer sweets, I feel better and my clothes fit better. I tend to follow the mantra of “You can’t outwork a bad diet.”* I’ve also heard people say that if I adopt a healthy lifestylethat I’ll continue this magical lifestyleon vacation with ease. If that is you, I’m proud of you and if I give you a side-eye at the buffet while I’m getting nachos and you’re getting a salad, please know that it’s because I’m proud of you for your dedication. The reality is for a lot of people that we want to kick back and have fun on vacation. Guilt should NOT be any part of your vacation. We all work too hard in our day-to-day lives to feel bad on a holiday.
If you want to try and make some adjustments on your next trip so that you can try and strike a balance, I suggest trying resist the urge to snack on you kid’s extra food and to be mindful of your sugar intake. I am the queen of finishing my son’s pizza and macaroni. It’s a tough habit to break because sometimes I finish his plate without even thinking about it. Nowadays, I try to keep his plate out of arm’s length so that I don’t mindlessly snack. Also, sugars pack on the calories, it is an addictive substance, and it often makes your body crave more and more throughout the day. Try leaning towards dishes with lots of protein and veggies and avoiding heavy sauces that are loaded with sugar such as BBQ, teriyaki, ketchup, etc. Maybe make an agreement with yourself that you’ll only get sweets or dessert after dinner or every other day. Also try and avoid, or cut down on, sugary drinks such as margaritas and pina coladas, which can have upwards of 500 calories PER DRINK. Instead opt for a vodka with soda water or my newest obsession, an Aperol Spritz (only 120 calories).
At the end of the day, it’s your holiday. It’s something you have saved for and looked forward to for a long time. If you want two margaritas, go for it. If you want to swap it out for a lower calorie drink, rock on. You do you and enjoy your beautiful vacation.
*I’m putting things in quotes that I actually have no idea who said them first… but they’re still awesome quotes, and I know I didn’t come up with them on my own.