Like really enjoy it. Enjoy the shit out of it. Check your worries and to-do lists at your front door when you leave. In fact, lock them in the house, leave them there for when you return.
Get rid of your mentality that vacation will always leave you feeling a little guilty. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t fear the vacation.
Your vacation is meant to be enjoyed. It isn’t meant to be about counting every calorie to ‘stay on track’. It’s not about feeling bad for having that local burger, or that craft beer, or for not getting one single workout in the whole time.
Yes, I write a blog about health and fitness. I have an Instagram dedicated to that. I run a business on it.
But I also understand the glory of flexible dieting and flexible mindsets. I believe that if you plan vacations and fear them for the potential to throw you off track then you will never enjoy another vacation in your life. But it’s good that I believe in the 80/20 rule, in flexible dieting, in giving yourself a break.
BUT there are ways to enjoy your vacation AND feel darn proud for the decisions you make while there. I’m not saying your vacation is either a total fail (health & fitness wise) nor is it a seamless & perfect trip of nothing but salads and water.
There are ways to enjoy your vacation and not drive yourself crazy while doing it.
Last weekend I went to Myrtle Beach with some family and friends. We’re all adults with full time jobs, bills to pay, and too little hours in the day. So a vacation was so needed. And you know what? We didn’t hold back. We had pizza, and fried food, and beer, and rum, and tequila, we stayed up late, and were outside ALL. FREAKING. DAY. (My body is still burnt). It was great.
And you know what? We may have gotten to the end of our vacation thinking “holy shit I didn’t do one healthy thing that whole time”. But we did, we just had to take a step back to see it.
We got our exercise in unusual ways. We played a friendly game of sand football, we went for a 2 mile walk just to wake up one morning, we walked more steps than my FitBit could even count for. We drank some water in between the booze, we had some fruit, we made homemade guac, and we got some pretty decent sleep.
The reason we were able to do those healthy things is because it was part of our routine. For months and years now most of us have lived in the healthy lifestyle. We workout consistently and cook healthy meals for ourselves. It has become routine- and a good routine at that.
So when it comes time to vacation we aren’t the ones crash dieting for the beach, no we go about our normal lives. And because of that we are able to spill over some of those naturally healthy choices in between all the fun of vacationing.
I believe that crash diets set you up for failure in more ways than one. You gain more weight back than what you lost (but that’s a story for a different time) and you lose all control when it comes to events that are outside of your routine. Because of the crash diet, your mind breaks down and you don’t even know which way is up, let alone choosing a healthy option.
So when it comes to enjoying your vacation, my number 1 tip?
Don’t treat it as a one time ordeal. Lead up to it with good intentions, get in a good routine. And you won’t even feel like you are failing yourself by choosing that burger for dinner because guess what? Been there done that. It’s called the 80/20 lifestyle that you live.
Beyond that, I asked my friend Kristen (co-founder of The WHEYSTED Girls Project) to help me make a list of how to enjoy your vacation.
Treat it as just another one of your “cheat meals”. You’ve worked hard for this, why not enjoy it?
Pack water. If you pack it, you will drink it
Pack fruits and veggies. Again, if you pack it you will eat it.
Choose one meal for the day that will be your “go out” meal. For us? It’s usually dinner. This helps save you calorie wise and saves your wallet. For the other meals, pack your own food. We packed oatmeal, toast and peanut butter, eggs, deli sandwiches, chips and salsa and guac, and fruit- all for us to eat at home (or on the beach!)
Go for walks. Not only does it get you moving, but if you’re in the business of drinking all weekend it will give you a little break in between the alcohol consumption- and that break can save you from a super nasty hangover the next day. OR if you wake up with a hangover – go for a walk! The fresh air will do you good.
If you want to eat healthy- then do it!! Just make sure you want to
Piggy-backing off of that, if you choose a salad at dinner at the people you are with make fun of you for it- F*ck em, don’t listen to them. You do you boo boo.
There ARE *healthier* beverage choices—Michelob Ultra’s/Corona Premier, Truly’s (or other spiked waters). If you want to avoid beer altogether, opt for a frozen concoction using REAL fruit, low calorie/no sugar mixers, and do some research about lower calorie liquors (shout out Blue Chair Rum!!!)
Replenish your electrolytes. Sitting in the sun and having some drinks dehydrates you quickly. Grab some Powerade/Gatorade—Kristen’s go to is Rehydrate from AdvoCare.
Avoid the vacation hangover—get back to your normal routine as soon as you get home. Yes, you had a blast and ate/drank more than normal; but, once you get back from vacation start fueling your body with the right stuff again.
Be active—sitting in my beach chair, staring at the waves and zoning out is my favorite. I not a napper, but have been known to doze off on the beach every once now and then. Get up and move every 30 mins—play in the sand…there are sooo many beach games out there (heck, we even made some up), take a dip in the water, toss a football.
Enjoy yourself, damnit. Vacation is YOUR time. You work hard every single day to earn vacation. Give your mind and body some time to relax and slow down for a few days.
Wear sunscreen 🙂
Healthier drink options: Corona Premier: 90 calories / 2.6g carb Michelob Ultra: 95 calories / 2.6g carb Blue Chair Bay Rum: Ranges from 75-96 calories *Banana Rum Cream: 75 calories / 8g carb. White Rum: 95 calories/ 0g carb* Mix with low calorie mixers like 5 calorie Ocean Spray juice mixes, Diet Soda, Club Soda, Seltzer water Homemade margarita: 102 calories / 7g carb *2 oz Sauza Gold Tequila + 2 ounces Trop 50 Orange Juice + 2 ounces Roses Lime Juice*