You have been eating healthier and exercising regularly the past six weeks. It took a while to get started, but you did and you’re feeling comfortable, in a routine, and reaping the rewards. You feel better than you have in a long time when….BOOM!  It’s time to go on vacation and you are worried about getting off track.  Does this sound familiar?  If so, worry no more and consider these tips for success.

Change your Mindset

  • Realize you can have fun and enjoy your vacation without overindulging. After all, vacation isn’t just about the food and drinks.  Don’t you also enjoy being somewhere different, seeing new sights, trying new activities, and/or spending time with loved ones?
  • Remind yourself why your recent lifestyle changes are important to you, the success you are having, and where you want to be in the next three months.
  • Empower yourself by positive self-talk and relate it to a desired behavior. Come up with at least one positive message and say it daily to yourself and others. Recite it and write it down every day for a week before your vacation. Say something like, “I know I can monitor my portions and still have a great vacation”. Say it even if you don’t believe it! Words are powerful. Experiment with this and you will be surprised with the outcome.

Make a Chart and Plan a Strategy

On one side of your chart, list all of the potential obstacles that may get you off track. On the other side list some possible strategies for overcoming the obstacles.  We’ve outlined a chart below to get you started. You can use this one to help with your planning or alter it to better suit your lifestyle.

Potential Obstacles

Possible Strategy for Improvement
Eating fast food while getting to your destination Pack a cooler or insulated bag with ice or freezer packs and bring your own healthier options such as lean sandwiches on whole grain bread, carrot sticks, hummus, hard boiled eggs, protein shakes,  low calorie popcorn, cut up fruit, unsalted nuts, salad in a cup, or bottled water.
Eating too many high calorie meals Reserve a hotel room with a small fridge and microwave. Limit eating out to twice per day.  Reserve half of one of those meals from your cooler to eat later for one meal in the hotel room.
Not eating healthy choices Google restaurants in the area and preview their menus. Look up nutrition information and decide on some good options ahead of time and stick with those choices. If you’re going on a cruise, ask if special meals are available.
Pressure from others to overeat or overdrink Practice how you will politely resist or communicate your intentions with others ahead of time.
Drinking too much alcohol Choose lower calorie options such as light beer, Bloody Mary, or distilled spirits with a lime and club soda. Also, consider drinking a water or sugar free beverage between each drink.
Splurging on too many sweets Limit yourself to ½ a dessert once per day or three times during your vacation. Save for the desserts you really want and don’t get them often.
Lack of activity Plan time for car breaks at rest areas to take a quick walk. If you’re flying, check in your luggage and wear comfortable shoes so you can walk the airport between flights or during delays. Plan ways to have fun and be active during your vacation such as walking tours, snorkeling, biking tours, golfing, hiking, riding horses, or zip-lining.

Be Realistic

  • Instead of setting the goal to lose two pounds while on your week long vacation, consider making it a goal to maintain your current weight loss while on vacation.
  • Instead of trying to exercise 60 minutes every day while on vacation consider a 30 minute session each day.
  • Instead of saying no to all fried foods, limit fried foods to one meal while on vacation.
  • Balance higher calorie foods with lower calorie foods. For example eat ½ a piece of lasagna balanced with a salad and light Italian dressing. 

Keeping up with your health progress while on vacation is possible with the right attitude. With a little planning, and portion control you can stay on track while enjoying your vacation!  Bon Voyage!

In good health,