Since my husband John and I just got back from taking a group of student/adults to Italy, I thought it would be a good time to illustrate some of the routines I go through before traveling to maintain my weight and stay healthy on vacation.
You can see these tips at the end of this article.The article was inspired by a 30 Days to Lean member who wrote that she was going on vacation to Mexico, but was apprehensive that she would gain weight back while on her vacation. She was quite clear in her conviction that she had no plans to eliminate margaritas and or an occasional beer.Question: How do I maintain my weight loss while on vacation?Answer:
Here’s the thing, you must embrace key ideas, just like you have embraced key ideas with implementing the Phase I and Phase II phase of 30 Days to Lean.
It has been my experience that the vast majority of people know a great deal about losing weight, getting fit and making healthier choices. But they still struggle with following through- and really putting all the pieces together in a sustainable way. Hopefully the 30 Days to Lean plan has helped you put the pieces together in a way that makes sense and is sustainable.
What you need to do on vacation is to begin learning how to vacation and have the absolute best time, while feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally well; And not just while on vacation but in the aftermath of arriving home. We all want to come back from vacation feeling good and not worn out because we ate and drank poorly or didn’t exercise. I think everyone would agree with this.
If you haven’t vacationed since changing your diet/lifestyle then this will be a great time for you to practice key behavior concepts. Like the 30 Days To Lean plan, you will not be a pro at first so give yourself a break. In the meantime, know that as you vacation more with health in mind, it’s get easier to soak up feel good vacation mode, while not feeling like you are depriving yourself.
Below are key concepts to focus on before you leave and while on vacation. Note that I am not giving specifics on what to eat and what not to eat. You will figure that out in time so I will not suggest what you should and should not eat and drink.
Here are the key concepts:
1. Exercise is great for weight maintenance ( not for weight loss – but for maintenance) so enjoy movement you love to do while on vacation like walking, biking, swimming or other activities that feel good.
2. Know that it will be easier to maintain weight while on vacation because your mind, body, and soul are at ease. Take advantage of the decreased stress one experiences while on vacation. That margarita, hammock, and a good book may not be such a bad idea.
3. Know that your stress hormones are balanced more fully while on vacation, so your desire for sugar, bad fats, and carbohydrates are naturally reduced. Just make sure you eat 3 meals daily and do not let your blood sugar get too low. Ask yourself if you really need a dessert each night, or if it is just something we are trained by society to think we should do?
4. Take advantage of the great sleep often experienced on vacation. Sleep as you know helps us to lose weight. So enjoy every bit of it, and with no guilt.
5. Consider vacation as a time to get into a rhythm of deepening daily gratitude. Gratitude for what we have helps us to naturally consider taking care of our own bodies by not overindulging in food or drink.
6. Consider using vacation time as reflective time and be thankful for how far you have come in developing better eating habits. Studies show that those that capitalize on how far they have come are more apt to continue good habits.
7. If there are foods you want to try but they seem off the plan, consider that while you are on vacation the goal should be weight maintenance. So foods off limit are fine – eat smaller portions, and make some tradeoffs as you go about your days never worrying and having faith that you will come back home feeling and looking great!
8. Lastly, before you depart for vacation, consider thinking about how you want to feel when you arrive back home. Then make minor adjustments in your eating and drinking while vacationing capitalizing on the above key points.
Hope this helps Everyone.
Below you will find my personal routine prior to going to the eating capital of the world – Italy!
Two days prior to arriving in Italy – set up tennis match 2 days after I get back from Italy.
Why? If I have a scheduled match I will be less likely to overindulge in food and wine.
Mindset: There is nothing worse than getting beaten because I ate and drank poorly or too much.
Recommendation: Know yourself well and what motivates you. Use it to set the stage for success.
One Day Prior: write down how many glasses of wine I will have daily: 4 days of 2 glasses of wine daily. 4 days of 1 glass of wine daily.
Why? Getting it on paper makes it real. I am more likely to abide by it when it is in writing. My mind feels cleared of cobwebs once I have a decision on paper.
Mindset: I am in control but can still have a great time.
Recommendation: Try writing it down and be empowered.
One Day Prior – write a personal mission statement of how I want to feel when I return from vacation. It does not need to be fancy.
This is what I wrote in my journal: Part of the fun of traveling in Italy is sitting at the piazzas and soaking up the atmosphere while sipping wine, fancy water, and tasting different foods. I can eat pasta every night if I want, but Italian fare is more than pasta and I know my choices will naturally reflect lots of salads and fish as well. I can always eat less of high carbohydrate foods as well.
Why? I’ve learned that overthinking on what to eat and not eat in foreign countries causes too much stress.
Mindset: A personal mission statement is enough to empower me. Details will torment me.
Recommendation: Try writing a mission statement before travel. It may seem a little awkward initially, but if you want to come home feeling like you do not need a vacation from your vacation it is worth it!
Hope this provides valuable to you-
All my best-
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