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Tips for Staying Lean on Vacation

When you go on vacation, things are going to be harder when it comes to your health and fitness. Your goals and attitude are going to have to change- there’s no way around it.

Unless you have a deadline (such as a competition) or you need to make dietary changes due to medical reasons, your goal should be to maintain your progress while on vacation- not advance it.
If you gain a pound or two or even three, it’s not a big deal. When you get back from vacation, you’ll go right back onto your plan and that weight will come off just as quickly as it came on. There’s even evidence that shows when people go off their “diet” for vacation, they won’t put on much body fat if they know they’ll get started again when they return home. Here are a few strategies to keep things in check while still giving you freedom to enjoy yourself:

1) Exercise

Do plenty of walking- at least a half hour each day. This should even be an enjoyable part of your vacation if you are sight-seeing or in a warm-weather climate. You should also do body weight workouts. You don’t need to go to the gym- this should still feel like a vacation, you shouldn’t have to spend much time exercising each day. Do basic movements like squats, push-up, planks, and a conditioning movement like burpees or mountain climbers. Keep the workout to 20-30 minutes with short rest periods so that they are quick, yet challenging. Repeat the workout every other day. You’ll work your muscles and burning calories without wasting much time.

2) Have At Least 5 Servings of Vegetables Each Day
Have at least 5 fistfuls of vegetables every day. This can include any greens, salad- even beans will do. This will ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need and still allow you to try other foods. If you’re having enough vegetables, you won’t be as hungry to eat other food. If you’re on vacation, you’ll want to try different foods that you might not have the opportunity to eat again. Don’t deprive yourself, just take this precaution to make sure you don’t overdo it. If you’re trying a delicious new dish, the vegetables may keep you full enough that you’ll only need a few tastes.

3) Drink At Least 80oz of Water for Women, 100oz for Men
Water will accomplish the same goal as the vegetables. You can try tasty new dishes but feel full enough to avoid going overboard.

4) Stick to Low-Calorie Options for Alcohol
If you’re going to enjoy some alcohol, stick to these guidelines as often as you can: Have clear liquor, and only mix it with a calorie-free drink. Common examples are a gin and club, a vodka and club, or a Jack and diet coke (dark liquor is similar to clear ones as long as they aren’t flavored). Drink them slowly, responsibly, and enjoy them.

You might read this and think to yourself, “This is the advice? Isn’t this pretty basic?”. Yes, it is basic, and it’s all you really need. When you’re on vacation you should enjoy yourself, relax, and take a break from the stresses of your normal life. You can do that while sticking to these basic principles.

Most importantly: Have a great time! Whatever weight you put on, you can take it off in a week or two when you get home. Unless you’re going away for months at a time, you’re not going to have a significant set-back. If your goal gets pushed back a week or two, it’s not such a big deal. Always keep the big picture in mind and you’ll still reach your destination.

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