With one holiday weekend behind us and another on the horizon (July 4) in the States, I’ve been chatting with my clients and our private FB group about some of the struggles with staying on track, staying motivated to workout and eat health during the long weekends and summer vacations.
I mean, it’s a serious freaking struggle, right?
If nothing else, you may find yourself far away from your regular grocery store, kitchen and routine. That alone is enough the get your off your game. But when you start to add on pressures from other family members giving you crap about being difficult or picky, the tendency to celebrate with cocktails and beer, and staying up late to catch up with friends or family you haven’t seen in awhile, you’ve got yourself a perfect set-up for self-destruction.
Okay, maybe that’s a little bit extreme, but it’s definitely HARD to stay eat healthy on vacation, and when you get offtrack it seems like it takes twice as long to rebuild those healthy habits as it did to start them in the first place. 3 weeks to build a habit, but only 3 days (or less) can take you back to square one.
And because starting over repeatedly often makes us feel like we’re failures, I’m sharing my favorite strategies about how to stay healthy during the holidays – whether we’re talking long weekends over the summer, vacations, or that magical winter time of year. Because you’ve worked hard to get healthier, and I think you deserve to stay that way.
Plan Ahead. Traveling? Find a grocery store that you can hit on the way. Meeting friends or family who aren’t familiar with the way you eat? Communicate with them clearly and confidently – so you don’t have the guilt of being ‘difficult’ at family meals.
Meal Prep and Chill. Whether you’re traveling or have a staycation planned, prepping healthy meals – and perhaps more importantly, snacks – ahead of your holiday is crucial to staying on track. So much of the time, mindless snacking or hangry cravings are what get the best of us, so if you’re prepared with healthy options like veggie sticks and hummus, spaghetti squash primavera or DIY burrito bowls, it makes it that much easier to make choices that taste great and leave you feeling awesome. If you’re buying pre-made snacks, make sure to read your labels! Need some help? Send me a picture of your labels at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you decipher them!
Stick to Your Routine. Do you normally work out in the mornings? Then keep getting up early and doing your thing! Or are you more of an afternoon sweat sesh kind of person? Either way, try to keep up with your normal routine – which will help make it easier to get back into the swing of things when you’re back from vacation, too! Don’t get me wrong - it’s totally okay to modify your workouts, or to skip one or two when you’re on vacation. Instead of going for a run or hitting a spin class at your gym, you could try to get your family to go on a long sunset beach walk, or take a day trip to go hiking if you’re in the mountains. You could also organize a group game – volleyball, capture the flag, soccer… whatever sounds like fun to you and your crew.
Hydrate! Okay, this should probably be a point in every list I put together. Drink more water. Seriously guys – it’s a game changer. Helps decrease cravings, makes you less likely to binge eat and suffer from that way-too-full feeling, and decreases the likelihood or severity of a hangover. If plain old water is a struggle, grab some seltzer water or a pitcher and infuse your water with fresh herbs or fruit. I love lemon mine or orange rosemary during the summertime.
Grab Non-Boozy Beverages. I love me a beer on the beach or cocktails before dinner. But what I don’t love? Losing time and good sleep, and missing out on fun because of a hangover. Or beating myself up because I missed a workout or ate junk food after one too many drinks. I’ve been there before, and it’s just not for me anymore. So before I head out for a vacation or prep for a long weekend, I make sure to bring my water bottle with me, and to stock up on my favorite non-boozy drinks. Kombucha in a wine glass is one of my favorite tricks, or mixing seltzer water with fresh juice. Plain seltzer, bitters and a squeeze of lemon is great, too! Set yourself up to have other options, and if you still want to drink, then try alternating with one of these non-alcoholic options in between each drink.
The problem with getting off track when you’re traveling or on vacation isn’t really that you’re off your health game for a few days, it’s that the inner mean girl we all have comes out when you get home and tells you ‘oh, you already screwed up so why bother getting up to work out?’ She tells you that you might as well have that piece of cake, because you’ve already ruined your progress, and you’re just not strong enough to be healthy long term.
She’s a god damn liar.
You deserve to treat your body right, to love and nourish yourself so you feel energized and amazing every day. If you don’t believe that yet, I get it – so just trust me when I tell you that it’s true. So with the Fourth of July coming up for those of us in the US, I want to know how you’re planning to use these tips – and how they work for you. If you think you need some help, book a free chat with me and we’ll brainstorm some strategies together.