When you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, traveling can often throw everything into disarray. I can't tell you how many clients have said to me that "we will start when I get back from my holiday" or "I can't begin X because I am going to Y for a week".
Look, I get it, we all want to let loose and eat/drink whatever we want and not worry about finding time/facilities to exercise BUT, what if I gave you a few pointers to help you have the fun you want to have whilst limiting the damage invariably done to any health-related progress?
Here we go!
* Be as on-point with your exercise and nutrition plan the week before your holiday as possible.
* Prep some snacks to take on the plane/car journey - unsalted nuts, dried fruits, herbal teas etc.
* Find out if where you will be staying has any facilities for exercise and then pack accordingly - jogging/walking trails, gyms, hiking etc.
* While traveling, stay as hydrated as possible - drink more water than you normally would to aid in circulation, digestion, clarity and to avoid fatigue. I bloat and swell from long-distance air travel like you would not believe so I am very conscious of eating well and drinking enough water during the journey.
* If you do suffer from swelling (I'm talking I look like a 'before' picture of myself with gargantuan pregnant-lady ankles), take some magnesium tablets with you and supplement your magnesium intake for a few days to help you body release the fluid it's holding onto and allow everything to flush through (if you know what I mean). This is a great tip given to me by a good friend and it's a game-changer!
* Eat smart. That doesn't mean you can't have all the foods/drinks that you desire, it just means be smart about where and when to indulge. Try and keep the reigns on your self-discipline for the most part so that you can give yourself a couple of days to do whatever the hell you feel like without guilt! How amazing would it feel to not return from holiday with that dreaded feeling of the work you now need to do in order to reverse the damage done?!
* 'Is it worth it"? This is a question I ask myself when tempted by foods that do not support my goals. If the answer is 'yes', you can be sure that I am going to eat every scrap and crumb on that plate! If the answer is 'no', I may have a taste but then leave it be. This has really worked well for me to mindfully listen to my body and cultivate my self-control (which can be non-existent in the presence of certain types of food)!
* Be as active as you can. That doesn't necessarily mean going to the hotel gym every day or doing a workout in your room (although I do LOVE the ability to do that with access to my On Demand platform of workout programs). You can incorporate exercise into your every day holiday activities by going on hikes, sight-seeing, bicycling, water sports etc. There are so many ways that movement can be fun - find what works for you and roll with it. You'll be surprised about how much of a difference this will make.
* Get back to your regular exercise and nutrition routine as quickly as possible. It takes twice as long to reverse the 'damage' as it did to happen in the first place; if you gained weight from being away for 1 week, it's going to take you 2 weeks to get back to your pre-holiday condition.
* Drink ALL the water!! Hydration is key to help your body flush the toxins and get your equilibrium back in place. Drink more than you usually would.
* Sleep! You need the rest in order to reduce cortisol levels which actually work to hold onto excess body fat and so stall weight loss.
* Be kind to yourself! If you have followed the 'during' tips, you gave yourself the space to indulge in the things that were really worth it to you, so don't come back and start flagellating yourself on what needs to happen now to get back on track. It's not fair and it won't get you anywhere any quicker so what's the point?
This life is for living and I am a huge advocate for living it fully. If that means that for a few weeks out of the year you eat terribly, drink far too much and sloth it up like the best of them, so be it! Indulge and then get back to your goal-directed behaviors as soon as possible.
Do what you enjoy guys - life is too short to not eat the cake ;o)