*Edited on June 25, after we got back from our vacation to reflect real life scenarios 🙂
So last week I let the cat out of the bag, my hubby and I are going away on a much needed vacation to Europe! We’re very excited, even though we’ve both been before we are seeing completely new countries and getting to see North Africa!!! We’ll be traveling for almost a month so unlike a normal week or two vacation where if I’m feeling burnt out I can chose to do very little activity and healthy eating wise, when you’re gone for 4 weeks eating right and exercise will be a must.
While I wrote this article originally before I went on our vacation, I am editing it this week I’m going to reflect what I actually did on vacation to not only not gain weight, but to actually LOSE weight! Yes I came back from a 27 day vacation and lost 3 lbs.! So here are the tips I can share with you that I incorporated into my healthy eating plan for the month I was away.
5 Tips for Healthy Eating on vacation
1. Never eat past the point of fullness
I know this should go without saying but it can be really tempting when you’re in a new place and there are so many delicious foods to try! Just remember if you want to try everything that’s fine, just keep the portions small enough so you aren’t stuffed afterwards. Try splitting lots of small plates of food with your travel partner instead of ordering big meals for yourself, this way you can try lots of different delicacies without gaining lots of weight
2. Eat your fruits and vegetables first
Get the most nutritionally dense, lowest calorie foods into your system first. They fill you up and keep you feeling good (and regular!) so you have energy all day long. After the fruit and veggies are done, then eat your protein and save the starchy carbs as the last thing you eat. That way if you’re no longer hungry you can leave behind the food you least need. And make sure you have fruit or vegetables at every meal!
3. Eat a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is the easiest meal to make your best of the day. Fruit or vegetables are usually present or even abundant at most buffets and you can order a side of fruit or veggies with your omelette no problem. But if you’re not conscious of it, breakfast can also derail your best laid plans. Eating a big bowl or sugary cereal or yogurt or that lovely danish will set you on a slippery slope of craving for sugary, starchy foods all day long.
4. Limit treats to once a day
This one is pretty important but probably the hardest to do on vacation. We’ve all been there, having drinks at both lunch and dinner, and sometimes dessert at both meals too. Over the course of a week this adds up to a few extra pounds when you get home, but after a month the weight gain could be 10 or more pounds! That’s enough so the clothes you brought for the entire month don’t fit anymore! So trying to keep the amount of treat foods I eat everyday down to once a day on average will be key to keeping the weight off. Caveat to this, I did have more alcohol than this, it was Europe and I was on vacation so I did have at least one glass with most meals, but the sweet treats I kept to once a day or not at all.
5. Avoid eating late at night
I’m not usually a late night nosher, but when you’ve been out having fun, and it’s late and you’ve had a few drinks those street vendors start to look really good. I’m going to be out I’m sure a night or two (especially in Dublin and Seville) so grabbing greasy, fatty street foods is going to be really tempting with my will power lowered. But I plan on traveling with some healthy snacks like high protein bars and dried fruit so I’ll reach for one of those when the late night munchies strike.
OK this one I can’t stress enough because I feel this was the main reason I actually lost weight on vacation. We literally walked EVERYWHERE! All day, almost everyday. We averaged 18,000 steps a day and most of that was up and down very steep hills. And I did some core work and yoga on top of that when I had time. Waking is such a great way to see the sites and experience the people in any place you visit, plus it’s such a great form of exercise that almost anyone can do at anytime, I really can’t say enough good things about it.
I also took a good quality probiotic and an immune boosting supplement to prevent getting sick during my travels. I did get a short bout of travelers diarrhea and needed to take some charcoal tablets as well, but other than that we both felt good. Plus it was fantastic to come back lighter and in better shape (at least cardio wise) than when I left!
Next week I’ll be posting July’s challenge that will tie into what I was doing on vacation. It’s a Pilates and Walking challenge, it’s great for the summer because it’s easy to do anywhere, gets you outside and doesn’t get you sweating too much 😉 Until next week!
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