Vacation season is fast approaching and many of you will be heading to your home country or to a holiday location. Your usual routines will be forgotten temporarily, so what should you do to keep you on track to maintain the benefits of all your hard work throughout the year?
There are so many things going on during vacations that can easily derail your progress. However, the last thing we want to do is stress about working out or staying on a diet. We want to enjoy and have fun but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a balance.
Vacations are not the time to follow a super strict program or have super long and intense workouts, but that there are some things you can do to stay on track!
1. First things first – Plan
As we are travelling a lot this time of the year visiting family and friends, there is likely going to be a lot more eating and drinking. Why don’t we decide when we should indulge and when we shouldn’t? Why don’t we PLAN to eat well around the vacations so we can indulge more when we have less choices over what is served. Why don’t we PLAN to workout hard on days we don’t have to be travelling around and be prepared with short home/hotel workouts on days when we can’t hit the gym?
It isn’t bad to indulge during vacations. By indulging we can actually make it easier for us to stay on track for the majority of the time we are away. It isn’t the occasional indulgence or the occasional missed workout that matters as consistency is key. Sometimes indulging actually helps keep you on track, especially if you PLAN FOR IT! So look at your schedule of events and see when you can be more in control and when you can’t.2. Balance is king, eat well, work out, indulge a little
Coming up with a plan of action can help you stay on track and help you balance eating well with indulging. Staying on track on vacation doesn’t have to mean perfection – it doesn’t mean eating only chicken and broccoli or doing hour-long workouts every day. It doesn’t mean avoiding social events and forcing yourself to hit the gym. It just means you have to strike a balance.
You can eat a bit cleaner around going away to your holiday locations or visiting family. You can cut out cheat days on weekends. You can still workout on the same schedule but doing 30-minute workouts instead of your usual hour just so you stay consistent. Then, using that plan, you can prep some meals (if you have the facilities). If you have healthy meals prepared, you are more likely to stick to your convictions.
3. It’s ok to say “no”
It is very easy to give in to peer pressure when you are around people that you don’t see all the time. But if you want to stay on track, you need to learn how to say “no”.
It is good to have goals. Wanting to eat well and workout isn’t something you should need to apologise for. It isn’t something you should be embarrassed about. Saying, “no” to a treat if it isn’t something you want or will only hold you back from accomplishing your goals isn’t a bad thing.4. Don’t be deprived
So even though you have to learn how to say “no” and not indulge in every treat that comes your way, you also can’t completely deprive yourself. Learning to say, “no” also means learning that it is okay to sometimes say “yes”. You have to strike a balance because balance leads to consistency and consistency leads to your goals.
If you don’t find a balance between indulging and being dedicated, you will probably end up feeling deprived, which will lead to binging. Binging leads to guilt, and guilt may lead to more binging.
When we are unprepared and hungry, we are way more likely to make bad decisions and be tempted by unhealthy treats. If you are in an environment where you will have access to cooking facilities, meal prepping can make a big difference to your consistency while on vacation.
Planning out your meals ahead of time and even prepping the food ahead of time can reduce your stress during the week and make it way easier to eat well. If you don’t have cooking facilities, planning where you will eat and what you will order there can take away the temptations when in restaurants .
And don’t forget to prepare snacks. You can take things from home when you go out sight-seeing to avoid the temptation of the many vendors around these sites.
In terms of a healthy lifestyle and developing healthy habits around a vacation, everything needs to be simple. Simple keeps us on track. And simple, when it comes to workouts, means quick home workouts that require no or little equipment and not much time. Look out for UFIT workouts over the summer to help you keep on track such as this.
These short workouts may not be what you would do if you had unlimited time, but they will keep you on track and consistent.
You can also look at some of the simple items you can pack to help you stay active during your vacation here.7. Move as much as possible during the day
Walk as much as possible, get in the pool when you can or simply just dance! Just keep moving. You don’t have to hit the gym or go for an hour-long run for it to count as exercise. Constant movement throughout the day will also be effective. So get off the bus one-stop earlier and take the stairs when you can, it all helps!8. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Consistency is key. Balance is necessary. But perfection isn’t important. Sometimes we slip up and that is okay! We don’t let it define us, and we don’t use it as an excuse to keep slipping up. We chalk it up to experience and we get back on track.
No matter what time of year it is, it is good to make sure you have some small, simple daily and weekly goals to hit especially when you are on vacation. This helps make your long-term goals seem more manageable and gives you things to focus on every day so that you don’t become overwhelmed with achieving your goals
The simpler you can make these daily and weekly goals, the better off you will be and the easier it will be to stay on track. Small changes add up to big results so use your daily goals as a "way to help instil healthy habits. These goals should be simple, such as “I’ll drink more water”, “today I will work out for 15minutes”, “today I will hit 10,000 steps”. The smaller and more realistic the better, you will feel good when you hit these goals.10. Enjoy your vacation!
Most importantly, enjoy your time away, rest and recovery is as important to our progress as the good food and the workouts. We don’t go on vacation all the time so enjoy every moment while you can!
Look out for more nutrition and training tips that we have in store for you while preparing for your summer holidays!
About the author
Originally from Scotland, Wendy has lived in 8 different countries over the past 17 years. Aside from being the Director of UFIT Bootcamps, Wendy is also a degree-qualified nutritionist with 18 years of experience.
Wendy’s wellness philosophy is to stay healthy instead of fighting disease, with nutrition and exercise playing a key part.
Wendy is also a regular Cross-Fitter, and has competed in multiple obstacle races, half-marathons and cycling races in Singapore and in the UK.