Summer Travel doesn’t have to mean Summer Disaster!
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Here we are- in the heart and heat of the summer! Many of my clients travel this time of year and this is the point where their hard work can become derailed if they are not careful. All the months of meal planning and dedicated exercise is now put to the test. Yes, it’s definitely a challenge but with some extra planning, you can keep to your goals and not let a vacation or business trip get in your way.
Whether you hit the road, skies or Caribbean, you don’t have to give up total control. Today I want to share with you my personal tips for staying on track and not having twice as much work to do when you get home.
NUTRITION IS KEY:
If you’ve been following a meal plan, then I doubt you’ve been eating a lot of meals outside the house. Going on vacation or business trips definitely includes more meals eaten on the go. And while you may feel you deserve a break from all that chicken and broccoli, here are some tips to help you keep it together:
- Just like you plan your vacation activities or business itinerary, spend some time planning where you will eat. Go online and look at menus to see what will be the best choices for you.
- Once you get there, don’t hesitate to ask your server how entrees are prepared. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve assumed that my dish was prepared a certain way and I was overwhelmed when it arrived in front of me covered in a foreign sauce that was not good for me. It’s hard to scoop that good stuff off to the side when your meal is already covered in it.
- Better yet, ask for all sauces, dressings, gravies and condiments to be served on the side.
- Substitute vegetables or salad for fattening side items.
- Watch your portions- restaurants will always serve more than we’re used to and if you’re like me, it’s hard to not want to eat the whole thing if it’s in front of me. I always ask the server to show me the portion size if possible. See if someone at the table is willing to split it with you or decide you will leave some behind or take it with you if possible.
FLYING OR DRIVING?
- If you’re on the road, you don’t have to go through the first drive thru you see, instead map out a local grocery store & between the produce aisle & cooked meats counter, you can whip up your own healthy meal.
- One of the best pieces of advice to pack your food. The last thing you want is to end up starving at the gas station and add 3 candy bars to your fill up or pay an exuberant amount of money for unhealthy munchies at the airport.
- Another great tip, bring an empty water bottle to the airport. Obviously you can’t take a huge bottle of water through security, and after you get through, you will have to pay a small fortune just to buy a drink. So, take your own empty bottle & fill it up at water fountains.
- And finally, call ahead to the hotel or resort to see if you can reserve a refrigerator. If so, you can fill it with your own healthy snacks. And if the mini bar key is staring you in the face, leave the key with the front desk so you won’t be tempted at midnight.
Depending on the length of your trip, factor in some time to stay active. If I’m away for less than three days ( and depending on the activity level of the trip), I usually don’t plan to visit the dumbbells or cardio equipment. For example, last summer I took my kids to NYC. With all the walking we did for 3 days, the last thing I was worried about was if I was going to visit the hotel gym.
Anything more than 3 days, I figure it out. Here are some ideas when staying at a hotel, resort or cruise ship.
- Check out the hotel fitness amenities before you arrive. Many have a gym, pools, tennis courts or walking paths. If you’re at a resort or on a cruise ship, you can find a scheduled fitness class to take. The best time to workout is first thing in the morning. Not only will you have it done, psychologically it can help you make better choices for the rest of your day.
- No gym, no problem. Use your own bodyweight for moves like body squats, lunges, push ups as well as resistance bands. Just 20 minutes can do you body good.
- Many hotels may not have a gym, but have an affiliation with local gyms in the direct area. My gym works with several hotels here in the area. Make the call to learn more.
- Or you can decide that this is your scheduled break from your routine. If my trip is short, say 2-3 days, I plan for a break. I eat accordingly and I allow myself to not worry about the weights. Anything more than 3 days, I will plan for a workout.
My last piece of advice is to STAY HYDRATED!
This is NOT the time to skimp on your water intake. In fact, I recommend that you increase your water consumption to include for an additional 30-40 oz of water. Why?
- A lot of the food we eat on the go will be higher in sodium ( especially restaurant food) and the water will help keep you flushed out.
- If you’re on vacation, you may be consuming more alcohol than normal, and the alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body. The extra water will keep your body running smoothly.
- The extra water can help trick your body into feeling full so you won’t be as tempted to overdo it .
Bear in mind that you are in control. There’s always a way to stay focused and on track. But, if you decide to use your vacation as a time to indulge, accept your decision and tell yourself that it’s only a short period of time. Tell yourself you will not let one week of more food and less exercise turn into a whole month. The key is to have more good days than bad days, and ultimately enjoying those days!