As summer quickly approaches, the kiddos are out of school and many folks are taking vacation or planning one in the near future. A lot of people have worked very hard to shave unwanted pounds since the beginning of the year and wonder how they are going to keep the momentum as they take time away to relax. Well, don’t let your self get too stressed. While it is important to keep up the routine, I know all to well the challenges of getting in that workout and trying to be disciplined enough to stay on track with healthy eating while your trying to escape your daily grind and enjoy your vacation. A couple of tips to remember, plan your workouts ahead of time and keep them short. Your not going to loose much fitness if any at all by taking a week off. In fact you probably need it if you’ve been going full force since you started your New Year resolution. So, one tactic is to plan this as your recovery period. Keep working hard up until its time to go, then tell yourself that you will use this time to let your body heal. If this doesn’t work, plan to get in just a couple of days with short workouts just to keep your mind right. Maybe do some light cardio on the treadmill or take a nice jog on the beach a couple of days if that’s available. For me this helps the most so that I can keep my head in the game. When I’m working out on my time off however, I’m not really looking for any gains. I take it easy and only plan it for a couple of days. This make sit much easier to get back to normal when you get back home.
The most important thing however is the nutrition. I know this is where I struggle the most while on vacation. I mean isn’t that one of the reasons to go on vacation is to try new foods or go to that awesome place you only get once per year. Well, while I don’t think its good to just throw proper nutrition out of the window for a week, a couple of meals that you enjoy aren’t going to hurt you either. So, if your going to go hit up your favorite restaurant and enjoy what you want, do it and don’t beat yourself up about it. I have had to remind myself so many times that the one meal didn’t take away my many months of eating right and working out.
However, if you step on that scale when you get home, it might tell you a different story. So here is a few tips to help keep you from getting the blues and feeling guilty about vacation…It takes around 3,500 calories to equal one pound of fat. So in order to gain one pound you need to take in 3,500 MORE calories than you BURN. A typical person will burn at LEAST 1,800 calories with little to no activity in a day. You will probably be swimming, walking or doing something a few days on vacation. So reaching enough calories to gain one, two or more pounds in a week would be hard to do. So where is that “extra” weight coming from? Most likely it is fluid. Maybe you ate more carbs than you have been and are retaining more fluid than normal. If you work out regularly, you lose fluids on a daily basis and if you went off of your routine while you were off, that may be affecting it as well. Just getting off of your normal routine in diet and physical activity may mean several things are different in your body including bowel movements. (yeah that too may have you weighted down)
The MOST IMPORTANT factor is to get back on track when vacation is over. Regardless of what happens on vacation this is key. It happens all to often that someone is on a great routine and doing well for months, then the time off hits and they keep procrastinating to get back in it. That first day when you get back to normal, eat clean and go work out even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t worry about time, how much you lifted, how many reps or any of that, just focus on getting back.
Bottom line, ENJOY your time off with your friends and family. Don’t feel any guilt if you slip- one week didn’t ruin you. And GET BACK on track ASAP when your vacation is over.