How to stay healthy on vacation and still enjoy yourself

I often get asked about how I approach eating and staying healthy on vacation, as well as getting back to a normal routine afterwards. A vacation is a time to unwind, rejuvenate and explore new places. For me, one of the best things about travelling has got to be the delicious food, from the breakfast buffet to local delicacies, I often want to try it all! 

But how do you enjoy your vacation, and all the food and drinks on offer, without undoing all your hard work?

Follow these simple tips when you’re next away in order to get the best of both worlds.

1. Enjoy yourself

Of course you’re going to have a treat, you’re on vacation and you should enjoy it! You’re certainly not there to deprive yourself. Enjoying yourself over a few days won’t erase all the progress you’ve made. Don’t stress over food or exercise whilst you’re away, the most important thing is to have fun so you come home feeling ready to hit the ground running.

2. Resist the urge to splurge

For me it’s about having an 80:20 rule, where I eat healthily 80 percent of the time. I allow myself the occasional treat but I also think about all the fruit and vegetables I enjoy and eat more of those.

Try to make conscious choices about what you decide to eat, if there’s a buffet perhaps stick to just one plate rather than going up again. It sounds simple, but a lot of us have forgotten to pay attention to when we’re truly hungry. When you’re in the ‘I’m on vacation’ mindset it’s so easy to fall into the trap of eating until you’re too full. Try only eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re comfortable.

3. Stay active

If you have a hotel gym, why not make the most of it? Even if it’s just a 20 minute session before breakfast. If you get a quick workout done in the morning (especially if you’re in a hot climate) you’ll feel so much better for the rest of the day and will be able to relax as much as you like. 

You could also take your exercise outside, try exploring the local area on foot or do a quick workout on the beach. You’ll even find active tours in a lot of major cities, they cover everything from running to biking and hiking. Active tours are a great way to see new places and learn fun facts about where you are.

If you find yourself needing to cool off by jumping in the pool every half an hour while sunbathing try doing a few lengths each time. Getting your heart rate up is not only good for your cardiovascular health it will also boost your mood and energy. Win win!

4. Drink plenty of water

It’s so easy to forget, but it’s so important to drink more water if you’re on vacation, especially if you decide to eat high sodium foods or sugary things. If you can, keep an ice cold bottle of water with you wherever you go. 

Often we mistake thirst for hunger, so you may end up eating more if you’re dehydrated. Watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries and lettuce are all over 92 percent water and are great choices for snacks to keep your water levels up.

5. Get back on track when you return home

The first thing to get back into exercise after the holidays is to set a deadline. Pick a day when you’ll get back to working out, no matter how motivated (or unmotivated!) you’re feeling. Try to set a date before returning home so that you have it in your calendar ready to go.

Read more on how to make exercise an unbreakable habit.

When you return from vacation you might need to start with smaller steps. If you need to, dial the intensity of your workouts back a few notches from where you were before you went away to account for muscle fatigue.

The first thing to get back into exercise after the holidays is to set a deadline. Pick a day when you’ll get back to working out, no matter how motivated (or unmotivated!) you’re feeling. Try to set a date before returning home so that you have it in your calendar ready to go.

Last but not least, don’t forget how good exercise makes you feel! It’s easy to focus on the effort it takes to get back on track and forget all the benefits you feel when you workout. Think about how amazing you always feel after you workout and use it to motivate you to get started.

 

As always, if you have ANY questions please email me. I love hearing from you and always answer your messages personally. Send me an email anytime at [email protected].

Alexia Clark