I recently got back from a week in Cabo, at an all inclusive resort…temptation and calories were everywhere. With the help of a few small changes, a little planning ahead and some creativity I was able to enjoy plenty of local food, fruity drinks and delicious desserts without adding vacation weight. So, how can you enjoy your getaway and not get too far off your health path? Let’s start with a few tips to help plan a successful, fun, happyslimhealthy approved vacation.
HappySlimHealthy Vacation Survival Tips:
Wherever you are going, whether it be the beach, lake, mountains or sightseeing, your hotel, motel, hostel, state or country of destination will have some sort of space for you to sneak a workout in. I am not saying you should do your regular 60 minute cardio routine or full body toning circuit, but find the time to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of your trip.
Before you leave, find a YouTube or any internet site that you like that posts weekly or daily exercise routines. Either write down what some of their at home circuits are or bring one of your iProducts with you on vacation and set up a little camp on your balcony or floor for your morning workout. Some mixture of squats, jumping jacks, planks, lunges and push ups will get your heart rate up and help you maintain your fitness level and condition. Now, I love the sun so I set up my camp right on our balcony and did a routine from The Tone It Up girls each morning (toneitup.com - check out some of their beach body workouts you can do anywhere). Just that little bit helps to not allow your body to forget all it is capable of.
Now, if you happen to be going to the beach, there is truly no better work out than running on the sand. Take advantage of it. If safety poses an issue for a long run on the beach, set up a little course in front of your hotel and try to run some sprints in the sand. This will leave your legs and booty feeling amazing.
Do you have a jump rope, exercise bands or any other light weight (heavy baggage fees are not cheap!) exercise equipment at home? Bring it.
You have the whole day to rest, relax and do whatever your heart desires. Start your day with 30 minutes of some sort of exercise to stay in shape and keep yourself feeling good your whole trip.
Does vacation make you think of fun drinks with umbrellas in them? No matter your destination, alcohol tends to be a factor on a vacation. If a pina colada on vacation is what you are craving, have one. Enjoy each sip of it and then afterwards, switch to vodka and soda or water with lemon or lime. This way you can stop thinking about how delicious that blended, umbrella’d drink is, and prevent yourself from overindulging in more than one. Pace yourself, drinking in the sun, when you have no concept of time can be dangerous. Try and have one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you have. Hydration is always key.
Same goes for non-alcoholic beverages, just like when at home, don’t waste your calories on sugar sweetened beverages.
Ok, so you probably won’t be cooking, which means you will probably be eating all of your meals in restaurants or at buffets. This can pose lots of threats to your usual diet. What I suggest, pick one meal that you know is going to be your most indulgent, or biggest, and keep the other two meals as similar as you can to meals you have at home. If you know you are likely going to splurge at the famous dinner place you are eating at, monitor you day time meals a little closer. Keep a caloric balance.
There will likely always be yogurts or oatmeal on your breakfast menu. Will your yogurt choices be Activia Light, Fat-free or sugar free yogurts or weight control single serving oatmeal? Probably not, so if you are served a portion that looks too big from what you normally eat, it probably is. Eat half, or add extra fruit to it. Taste all the local fruits and fill up on their fibrous goodness. You will also likely be able to order eggs, which means you can always ask for egg whites and add veggies to an omlette for another healthy breakfast option. If you decide you need to have the pancakes or stuffed waffles one morning, eat half and eat more sensibly for lunch and dinner.
With dinner, same rules as when you are home. If you are going to share an appetizer, maybe skip the dessert, or vice-versa. Look for words like boiled or baked or grilled on your menu, order your cream sauces or dressings on the side and swap your creamed spinach side dishes for some mixed vegetables.
If you are lucky enough to be staying in a place with a little kitchenette, find the local grocery store or local fresh food market and replace at least one of your meals with something that is similar to home.
Pack some snacks from home. Have a favorite fiber bar that helps keep you regular? Buy a box and bring it with you. If you had a big breakfast and aren’t going to be stopping for lunch, having a fiber or granola bar can be a great mid day snack so you are not ravenous by dinner.
Favorite cereal or cereal mixture? Pack a few servings of it and throw it into your checked bag. Maybe you’re just worried about going a week without your flax or chia seeds on your foods, pack some and add them to whatever you normally do. Having some of your normal, daily food items can help keep you on track.
Be happy, smile every day and enjoy every moment. Don’t get too caught up counting calories or forget to enjoy yourself. But do remember that small changes throughout the day can help make a big difference and keep your clothes fitting the right way your whole trip.
Check out InstaGram @JennaAriel for #happyslimhealthy recipes!
- Jenna A. Stock, RDN