You've worked hard all year and it's time for a break! Finally, a chance to get away from your boss, cooking dinner, whiny kids, or whatever else raises your blood pressure. You deserve it. But, you've been working out 6 times a week and eating so healthy. You want to go on vacation without a care in the world, including physical exercise and healthy eating habits. Once you get back to reality though, you're going to feel so guilty! Don't worry, we've got 5 tips to have your cake and eat it too.
1. Plan your workouts ahead of time.
Let's face it. Once we get off the plane and enter paradise, our intentions to stay on our 'A' game with workouts fade quickly. While you are still home and in packing mode, jot down what exercises you're doing each day and when. If it's easier to bang it out in the morning before the daily activities begin, then make sure you get up with your alarm. No snoozing! Or, you could always plan physical group activities with your friends, family, loved one, whoever you're traveling with. Hiking, wakeboarding, running on the beach, or beach volleyball are all great options. As long as you're getting your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes a day, you won't feel guilty or come back to reality feeling out of whack.
2. Pack healthy snacks.
What happens more often than not is we make sure to eat breakfast when we're on vacation but we get so preoccupied with the festivities that we realize further into the day that it's been 6 hours since our last meal and we're starving! Also while in packing mode, pack high-fiber and/or high-protein snacks that don't require refrigeration. They're simple and they will keep you full in between meals. Some good examples are nuts, pretzel chips, or pumpkin seeds.
3. Pick 1 meal a day to splurge on.
You are on vacation. Spoil yourself a little! If you don't "cheat" on vacation, when will you ever? Unless vacation is for a month, you will not ruin all of your hard work by splurging at 1 meal per day. Once you decide where you're going for your meals each day, go online to check out their menus and pick which one makes you salivate the most. Now, this doesn't mean get a 4-course meal and then a slice of cheesecake on the side of a bowl of ice cream. Let's have some self-control. If you really do want that cheesecake though, maybe you can see if someone else will split it with you.
4. Stay away from the pretty-colored drinks.
Margaritas, Blue Hawaiians, Mai Tais, oh my! Don't do it. The typical margarita has about 700 calories. Resort to the clear liquor if you're looking for a mixed drink. Otherwise, choose a light beer. Drill it into your head that colorful probably equals lots of sugar which equals bad. A few calorie-conscious mixed drink choices are vodka with club soda and a lime, a mojito and ask for 1/2 of the sugar or syrup, or rum and diet coke. Colorful or clear, they'll all give you the same effect and you'll avoid the guilt the next morning when you're counting your calories.
5. Fill up on fruit and veggies.
Remember how I said to splurge on 1 meal? Well, the fruits and veggies are what you should be filling up on at the other feeding times. Fruits and veggies are high in fiber so you won't feel deprived 15 minutes after you leave the restaurant. If possible, ask the server to either steam them for you or to cook them in as little oil as humanly possible. Going to a buffet and you didn't choose it as your "cheat meal"? Bee line it straight to the salad bar or the fruit and veggie platter and fill your bowl. Go sit down and eat. Give yourself about 10 minutes to digest before getting up for more food. You'll realize your belly is too full to stuff yourself with buffalo wings or the fried flounder.