With the weather warming up and the kids finishing school, we all know what’s around the corner: vacation season. For many of us, that also means time for meets, pool parties and other prompts to show off the figure we’ve worked so hard all winter to perfect - but that six pack could get derailed if you fail to plan your eating on your way there, especially if you’re going to a different state, taking a road trip, or have booked a cruise.
Now, we’re not saying you should bring pre-packaged meals for all of your vacation days, avoid restaurants and stay sober the entire time. While this may be the case if you’re headed to a physique meet, if you’re going on vacation, that would likely take out half the fun of going. One of the best parts of travelling is eating new food and sleeping in, so enjoy it!
At BlackMarket, we’re all about finding the smart and successful way around all of our biochemistry problems, but that can also sometimes include psychological hacks. Here are our top tips for staying fit on vacation - without feeling like you’re restricting yourself:
Before you hit the road, check out what the general options are that will be available to you. Will your hotel have a gym? If not, is there one nearby? Also factor in how active your vacation will be. Your food will be different if you’re planning on sitting pool side and catching some rays than if you’re doing an adventure trip that involves riding a zipline, hiking and kayaking.
Possibly more importantly, understand what food you’re likely to encounter. This is especially important if you’re going abroad, even if you aren’t planning on sticking to a particular diet, as there may be allergens you wouldn’t normally encounter, or issues with water sources that you should be aware of.
Know what proteins you’re going to be offered, and what the names of them are. This is obviously easier if you know the language of where you’re going, but it’s not impossible if you don’t.
One of our favorite ideas for holiday fitness comes from NerdFitness - it’s the idea that for every “bad” decision you make, you must do an exercise. The examples that the author gives include “for every adult beverage consumed, do 10 push-ups,” and “elevators don’t exist.” This is a great way to incorporate movement without having to ditch your travel companions or sticking to a regimented schedule.
It’s also important to note that as far as working out goes, it’s physiologically fine to take a week off - it’s our brain that we have to worry about. It will take you about two to three weeks of inactivity to start losing your muscle mass, but we all know that it’s easy to take a week off and have it snowball into two weeks, a month, and more. Working out on vacation is more to help you get back into your healthy lifestyle when you return, and keep you feeling like yourself when you’re away, than it is for actual fitness. But your mental state is just as important as your physical one; we all know that an object at rest will stay at rest, so get moving!
This won’t work for every trip, but if you’re doing something like a cruise or tour where breakfast and lunch are pretty uneventful, consider skipping them. While your trip companions may balk a little bit at you deciding to go without, if you’re not excited about a meal, save those calories for one you are salivating over. If you skip that breakfast sandwich (that’s identical to the one you can get at the coffee shop near your house), you won’t feel as bad about getting the indulgent pasta or dessert that night.