While you’re reading this, I’m sitting by the pool at a rented villa in Mexico with seven of my girlfriends. Amazing, right? Of course it is…for all things except my diet. I’ve discussed losing it on the road when traveling for business before , but vacation presents a whole other set of challenges when you are trying to stay on the diet wagon.
In fact, vacation is something of a double-edged sword when it comes to losing weight. You’ve got all the time in the world to work out…but the only thing you want to do is be lazy. You can order whatever you want at the restaurant…but the thing you want is definitely not the salad with chicken. You can hydrate the hell out of yourself and pee as often as you like because you don’t have any meetings…but the free alcoholic drinks that come at this all-inclusive are liquids too, right? Much like the holidays, vacation is one of those times that we are more inclined to say “fuck it” to our attempt at a healthy lifestyle and go so far off the diet rails it could take weeks to recover. So here are some of the tricks I’m employing over the next few days to stay on track – we’ll see if next week’s weigh-in proves them to be successful.
State Your Case Up Front. At the risk of sounding like a total vacation kill-joy when we arrived, I decided to state my diet-case in the pre-trip group chat. It went a little something like this:
Hey guys! You know that I’m trying to lose the last of this weight, and as excited as I am for this trip, I really don’t want it to sidetrack me. So just a heads up that I won’t really be drinking (saving those extra calories for chips and salsa!) and if anyone wants to work out with me every day, that would be awesome!
By putting this out there before we even head south of the border, I’ve avoided my friends asking me if I’m pregnant because I’m not drinking and any one saying something like “Ugh, you’re on vacation, take a break from your diet!” Bonus: one of my friends responded that she wants to go to the gym with me every day, so I’m more likely to actually work out instead of considering lifting a marg glass to my mouth my daily cardio.
Walk. It sounds super simple, but steps really do add up. So for every hour I spend with my ass planted in a lounge chair, I’m going to try and walk for 15 minutes. Of course, this should be relatively easy since our house comes with a sick private beach that I can stroll up and down, but this is a simple enough trick that really anyone can do it. Walk to breakfast/lunch/brunch/dinner, take a night time stroll, go on a walking tour. Sure, vacation is a time to be lazy, but just make sure it’s not so lazy that you spend all your time on your ass.
Cheat. I’m not really a big one for “cheat meals” or “cheat days” in my regular diet life – my philosophy is everything in moderation as long as I stay within my daily macros. But vacations are special occasions, so I make bargains with myself. For instance: if I work out and keep my breakfast and lunch macros within a pre-set number, I can have whatever the hell I want for dinner. Like, a cheesy, rice-filled burrito version of whatever I want. That way, I don’t have to sit there feeling deprived while my friends eat delicious Mexican and I’ve got additional motivation to get that work out in and stay on track during the day. Should I have better self-control than that? Sure…but I’m aware of my faults and instead of ignoring them, I plan for them. Plus, I still employ my business travel trick of only eating half my meal, so I can’t be that bad.
Don’t Worry About it. Listen, all of the research says that stress typically makes you gain weight. So stressing about your diet on vacation – you know, when you are supposed to be relaxing – is counter-intuitive to losing weight. So while you shouldn’t take a vacation from your healthy habits, don’t let trying to adhere to them while on a trip worry you to the point that you don’t enjoy yourself. Just do your best. Or, at least, that’s what I’m going to try to do. .
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: – 1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: – 2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: – 0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 9 Results: -0.5 pounds
Week 10 Results: -0.6 pounds
Week 11 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 12 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 13 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 14 Results: No weigh in
Week 15 Results: – 2.3 pounds
Week 16 Results: +0.6 pounds
Week 17 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 18 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 19 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 20 Results: – 2.4 pounds
Week 21 Results: No weigh in
Remaining weight to lose: 20.0 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit!