How to Make Sure Your Vacation Doesn't Derail Your Health Goals

You’ve been working hard on your health goals for weeks, months, or even longer. You feel great, you’re seeing progress, and you’re moving towards what you want to achieve. 

But it’s now summer, and your annual vacation is approaching. Whether you’re enjoying a staycation or jetting off somewhere exotic, you may be concerned about how your vacation could derail your health journey. 

It doesn’t have to, though! In today’s post, we will share some strategies to help you enjoy your trip while staying on track so that you can come home feeling even better. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Making a game-plan before your vacation will help you to stay on track while you’re there. Being prepared is half the battle, so take some time before you go to strategize, plan, and decide how you will handle your vacation. 

Some things you might want to consider, depending on your goals:

  • Where will you stay? Self-catering accommodation gives you more freedom to choose your own meals and stay within your healthy eating plan. 
  • What do you need to pack? Think about things like healthy snacks for the journey, a reusable water bottle, your gym gear if you intend to work out while you’re away, and your swimsuit. 
  • What treats do you really want to indulge in during your vacation, and which ones can you happily skip?
  • If you currently track any metrics (such as steps or calories), will you continue to do so while you’re away? 
  • If something unexpected happens and you make a choice you regret, how will you get back on track quickly?

Write down your plan, and talk to the people you’re traveling with about it so that they can help support you. 

Make Movement Part of the Fun

Part of the joy of taking a vacation is getting away from the routine of daily life and trying new things. So why not make trying different types of exercise and movement a part of your trip?

For example, you could explore the local area on foot rather than driving or using public transport. If you’re in a more rural location, look for some of the area’s best hiking routes. If you’re near the ocean or your hotel has a swimming pool, go for a swim each day. If you’re staying on a resort or similar location with activities or classes available, find something you think you’d enjoy and sign up. 

Fitness is best when it’s fun, and one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is just to keep moving. 

Be Realistic 

Will you really run five miles every day or stick to a large caloric deficit while you’re on vacation? Probably not. If you make unrealistic goals, you will come home feeling as though you failed. This can lead to a sense of defeat, which makes it even harder to get back on track. 

Therefore, set realistic goals. Rather than getting in a hard workout every day, how about aiming for a minimum step goal of 10,000 (or whatever number makes sense for you?) Instead of trying to lose weight on vacation, why not up your daily calories to a maintenance range and aim to simply not gain weight instead? 

Enjoy Healthy Local Foods

Enjoying the local cuisine is one of the major joys of travel. But this doesn’t have to mean going completely wild and binge-eating every night. Instead, try to find some delicious and healthy local foods to try. 

Look for dishes based around fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, lean meat, complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. You’ll often find the best restaurants by going off the beaten path or asking locals. 

You can enjoy the delicious and less-healthy options too, of course. Order dessert, get that calorie-laden local delicacy, have a glass of wine or a cocktail. Just enjoy it mindfully and do it in moderation. 

Make a Plan for Returning Home

Healthy habits and healthy lifestyles are not made and broken in a week or two. Ideally, you’ll follow the tips in this article to keep up with your health goals while on vacation. But even if you have a complete blowout for a week or two, what matters most is what you do when you get home. 

Therefore, make a plan for when you return. Have some easy, healthy meals in the freezer so you don’t resort to ordering takeout. Plan to go grocery shopping the day after you return. And book a fitness class, running date with a friend, or other physical activity for the first few days back to help you get moving again.

Now go and enjoy every moment of your hard-earned vacation.

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