Summer is the time of long days, warm nights, and completely sabotaging whatever healthy eating dreams you had in January. June, July, and August are the biggest travel months of the year for Americans, but planning a healthy vacation seems impossible. Staying healthy while traveling is often sabotaged by an endless supply of cold soda, sweet treats, and all our barbeque favorites that stay on your waistline well into fall.
A single bad meal or missed workout is not cause for alarm but when one day of unhealthy decisions becomes a week of bad choices, it can make it almost impossible to get back on track once we return home. Here’s some tips for using your vacation time to get in shape, unwind, relax, and enjoy life (but without the extra calories).
Vacations can be expensive, especially if you’re eating out nearly every meal. Before you leave the house, commit to share every meal with a family member. This works great if you and your spouse are on the same diet page, but if not, split with one of your kids. Regardless of where you go or what you order, always split it. Sometimes it’s not what you order but how much you’re eating. If you don’t have someone to split with, ask the waiter to box up half your meal before it’s even served.
The last thing you want to feel on vacation is deprivation. So instead, compensate by walking as you sightsee. Go on a hike rather than sit on the beach, and take a stroll while the kids swim in the pool. This will offset any extra calories you may consume while sampling local delicacies.
Don’t forget to drink:
No, not that type of drinking. Traveling and being in the sun can dehydrate you very quickly. Stock your car, backpack, or hotel room with ice-cold bottles of water and sip as you go. This will curb your appetite, and keep your body healthy.
This is a somewhat new trend in the dieting world, but it can easily help your vacation struggles. Skipping a meal, or two, helps you to not go overboard, and you’ll have plenty of other activities to keep your distracted.
Make it a game:
No one wants to be stuck in the gym while their family or friends are out having a great time on vacation. Instead, use the Vacation Workout Game. The basic rule is every “bad” action must be accompanied by a “good” reaction. Any alcoholic beverage requires 10 push-ups. Every unhealthy meal requires 50 squats, and so on. You don’t have to use the gym. Do your squats in the pool or push-ups on the boat. Add more fun exercised and get everybody that’s traveling with you on it and it can actually add to the fun of the vacation.
Above all, remember to get adequate sleep and relax. Stress is the ultimate enemy and this vacation is supposed to be a time to have fun and recharge. Don’t sabotage it by beating yourself up if you find yourself knee deep in soda pop and processed foods. Guilt isn’t going to do you any favorites. Instead, make the best choices you can and make some great memories.