7 Tips for not sabotaging health goals on vacation
Ahh vacation. Just saying the word usually evokes visions of relaxing by the pool, drinks with tiny umbrellas, an overabundance of delicious foods, castles made of sand, and a beach-ready body. While traveling is (almost) always lots of fun, trying to eat and stay healthy on vacation can be a challenge.
Staying Healthy on Vacation?
Leading up to vacation, many of us aim to lose weight or get our “beach bodies” ready ….because who doesn’t want to look and feel good while donning a little more skin? We here at Alyfe support those goals and share a lot of those same motivations; however, we also want to support and encourage long-lasting lifestyle changes that you don’t throw out the window as soon as it’s vacay time! We want you to feel and look good, year round.
I don’t know what it is about sleeping in a hotel room or condo, but somehow on vacation, it is easy to leave our well-intentioned eating selves at home and replace them with wide-eyed tourists that have no regard for what we scarf down. It can be challenging to stay focused and not get tempted by the local flavors and fare—not to mention the smorgasbords you’re exposed to if on a cruise.
Have no fear—we are here to share a few of our helpful tips with you, so you can stay on track with your health and well-being goals and create the perfect, stress free vacation.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Wherever you decide to go, be sure to research and familiarize yourself with your vacation surroundings. What types of restaurants are going to be around? Do they have some lighter or healthier options for you to order (think broiled fish instead of fried)? It’s almost inevitable that you will be dining out when on vacation—after all, some of us need a vacation from cooking. Or perhaps you opt for a house with a kitchen so you can do most of your own cooking. Whatever you end up doing for meals— healthy food options don’t have to disappear if you plan ahead.
2. Pack (Healthy) Snacks
Whether your destination is a short car ride or a 5 hour flight, having an arsenal of healthy snacks on hand can be the difference between processed airport (or gas station) food and a fresh alternative. Some easy to pack snacks include:
Trail mix with dried fruits and nuts
Granola or protein bars (you could even pre-make your own)
Peanut or almond butter
If stopping to eat somewhere, be sure to get out of the car, stretch your legs, and eat inside. Sometimes when we eat while in the car we can easily slip into mindless eating. At least stopping to eat can increase your chances of slowing down a bit and being more mindful when it comes to eating.
3. Splurge When it’s Worth it
It’s okay to enjoy some special treats while on vacation, and you should—as long as it’s not with reckless abandon. Don’t feel like you NEED to eat something you wouldn’t normally at every meal. If you are going to have a treat after a long day of sightseeing or laying on the beach, make an event out of it! Savor it and make it special. Use each morning as an opportunity to fuel your body with nutritious foods that will set a healthful tone for the rest of the day—and if it ends up not being your best day of eating, at least you will have gotten some nutrients in early on
4. Make Movement Count
The beautiful thing about vacation is that movement is usually embedded into your day. Whether it’s walking through an amusement park, swimming in the ocean, or climbing up mountains, vacation usually requires some exploration. If you find yourself beach bumming, take a walk on the beach every now and then, or even amp it up a bit and go for a quick jog. Take advantage of the fact that you aren’t strapped to a desk and get your body out into the world. Connect physically. And don’t forget to pack the appropriate shoes for your excursions!
5. Stay Hydrated
Vacation cocktails, hot and humid beach days, sightseeing, and added salt from eating out are a sure combo for dehydration. And when you’re visiting parks all day, laying on the beach, or dancing into the wee hours of the night, it’s just too easy to forget to drink water. No matter how busy you are, remember to drink plenty of water and keep the alcoholic beverages to a limit!
6. Stop Telling Yourself You’re Going to Fall Off the Wagon
There is no wagon, so there’s nothing to fall off of. Life ebbs and flows in the ways it is meant to move. Your lifestyle on vacation may be night and day from your life back at home, but that in no way shape or form means you’ve fallen off something. No matter where you go, or for how long, there are always options to help your body thrive while you are there. A lot of times, we convince ourselves that we’re on vacation, so obviously there’s nothing healthy to eat, so we might as well go all out and deal with the repercussions once we are back in our routine. How you treat yourself on your vacation is ENTIRELY in your hands. You can incorporate fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, water, sleep, and love into your vacation if you choose to. Keeping a positive mentality going into vacation will help you to keep hold of your healthy habits.
7. Don’t Stress
Vacations are paramount for escaping our stressful lives and recharging our minds. Utilize this time to focus on you and relax as much as you can. Sign off from work email notifications, turn off unnecessary alarms on your phone, shut off personal email notifications, and take a break from social media. Instead, use this valuable time to reconnect with family and friends, grab a book and escape, learn a new hobby, go for a morning hike, and just embrace the moment of being away. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t adhere to your usual fantastic regimen. Just try to make the best food choices you can and above all ENJOY YOURSELF!
Alyfe wants to support our client’s health and well-being before, during, and after vacation. Our programming options are meant to do just that.
Our Lifestyle Health Coaching Program encourages our participants to focus on their “why” and motivates each individual to keep moving forward.
Break to Educate presentations give individuals the tools to succeed, whether it’s exercise, healthy eating, or stress management.
True You: Empowering Wellbeing is a one-of-a-kind, transformational, lifestyle program that addresses the scope and severity of chronic disease and encourages participants to make the connection between their health and lifestyle choices.