If you’re on a weight loss journey, use this 3-step system to stay on track with your goals while traveling.
Now that it’s summer, many people are using their vacation time to travel. However, I know that traveling while losing weight can be a source of stress. Many people feel like taking a vacation is going to “ruin their progress”.
When you’re travelling, you’re out of your usual routines with exercise and nutrition, and there is usually a LOT of good food around that you want to try.
I’m going to explain how to use our 3P System to travel for work or vacation without worrying about weight gain!
Travel DOES NOT have to be a reason to “throw everything out the window” in terms of fitness and health.
Many people see vacations as a chance to eat and drink as much as possible before “going back to reality”. When they do this, they usually come back feeling unwell and not truly rejuvenated. A vacation is an opportunity to get some much needed rest, disconnect from stress, and make some amazing memories.
A vacation shouldn’t mean a vacation from taking care of your body! When you see vacation as a way of taking care of yourself (physically, mentally, and socially), it is less tempting to make nutrition choices that don’t support your health.
Preparing for success with your nutrition prior to traveling is key to following through.
Packing some food from home can help you stick to your nutrition goals, particularly when it comes to snacks. Packing your own snacks also allows you to save money at the airport.
Here are a few easy snacks to take on the go:
There are a few elements of your health and well-being that you should try to prioritize while on vacation to ensure that you come back home feeling relaxed, energized, and on track with your fat loss goals.
It’s easy to feel like we need to do and see everything when we are away, but remember, rest is important, too, and can affect our energy levels and food choices. Minimize use of electronics and social media while away to maximize your sight-seeing and sleeping time.
Plan fun walks or hikes for your trip! Many people worry too much about gaining weight on vacation and underestimate how many calories you can burn by walking. You don’t have to work out on vacation unless you enjoy it, but doing as much sight-seeing as possible on foot is an amazing way to stay active.
While this is not essential at ALL meals, try to aim for this structure at about 80% of your meals (whether you’re on vacation or at home!):
Filling: Start with a protein and/or fiber source
Fruit or vegetable: To add color, more fiber, and micronutrients
Fun: Something you are really excited to eat, to check off the satisfaction factor!
Many of our clients have lost weight on vacation. While preparing, packing, and prioritizing were important for helping them do this, it was their mindset going into the vacation that was the biggest factor in determining whether they stayed on track with their goals.
Do not set hard-and-fast rules about foods you “can” and “can’t” have, as this just makes you crave these foods more. Instead, give yourself permission to have all foods, and focus on what you can add to your plate (fiber, protein) rather than what you can remove.
Not every meal has to be the most decadent meal of your life. But when you do indulge in less nutritious options, pick the ones that are REALLY satisfying. For example, maybe restaurants serving local cuisine will be higher calorie meals, but you may choose to avoid the cookies and chips from the grocery store that you can just as easily have when you’re back at home.
When you’re on vacation, there are often many opportunities for alcohol, but alcohol can be a huge source of excess calories. If you enjoy having a drink, rather than drinking every time alcohol is available, drink when it’s part of an experience that will be a memorable vacation moment (and you can decide what this means to you).
Many people see vacations as a chance to eat and drink as much as possible before “going back to reality”. When they do this, they usually come back feeling unwell and not truly rejuvenated. A vacation is an opportunity to get some much needed rest, disconnect from stress, and make some amazing memories. When you see vacation as a way of taking care of yourself (physically, mentally, and socially), it is less tempting to make nutrition choices that don’t support your health.
As mentioned previously, you do NOT need to workout on vacation to stay on track with your goals (although it’s also completely okay if you do, just because you love fitness!). Choosing to move more comes back to seeing vacation as a way to care for yourself. Getting some exercise can help you feel great, and it doesn’t need to look like finding the nearest gym. Walking or even going for a run to explore parts of a new city is a perfect way to stay active. If I were to choose one factor on vacation that is most important for weight loss, it would be planning plenty of walking and/or hiking into your schedule.
Just because you have weight loss goals doesn’t mean you need to avoid vacations or other life experiences until you reach them. You don’t have to try and stay in a calorie deficit while on vacation, but just ditching the all-or-nothing mindset can go a long way to getting you closer to your goals.
Maintaining weight loss on vacation is completely achievable, and as I mentioned, a lot of our clients actually LOSE weight on vacation.
They do this by:
Follow these tips, and you can go from dreading to step on the scale when you come back, to actually feeling confident and excited about the choices you made!
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