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Nutrition Tip of the Week: Summer Vacation Strategies

I have quite a few vacations planned for this summer so the impacts of taking a break from my healthy habits can start to add up. For instance, I am about to take a 10-day vacation involving two food & drink packed events that bookend a week in a city known for its fabulous, eclectic cuisine. How do I enjoy my trip with all of its culinary delights without adding 5lbs on the scale and losing a hole on my lifting belt?

6/11/21 – Nutrition Tip of the Week

How to avoid packing on the pounds on your summer vacation

It’s a fact, when we think of vacation, most of us think of some kind of food or activity that centers around eating. This can be anything from visiting an acclaimed restaurant to enjoying a cook-out with friends or evening ice cream sundaes with the kiddos. In addition to taking a vacation from work, we often take a vacation from our good nutritional habits that we worked so hard to create.

I have quite a few vacations planned for this summer, so the impacts of taking a break from my healthy habits can start to add up. For instance, I am about to take a 10-day vacation involving two food- and drink-packed events that bookend a week in a city known for its fabulous, eclectic cuisine. How do I enjoy my trip with all of its culinary delights without adding five pounds on the scale and losing a hole on my lifting belt?

Easy, I plan to employ the following methods:

  1. The week before leaving, I commit to keeping my diet tight and prepare all of my meals at home. I reduce or eliminate alcohol and added sugars, make sure I eat tons and tons of veggies and drink my water. In addition to feeling better and possibly losing a pound or two on the scale, I save money that can be put toward the vacation!
  2. I have a discussion with my traveling partner, my husband Scott, about how we are going to eat on vacation. We always establish a set of predetermined and mutually agreeable rules together so there are no surprises. We are staying in an Airbnb on this trip, so we will be able to cook some of our own meals. We will make our own breakfast and stick to the same basic foods and quantities that we eat at home. (For example, the BLOC breakfast of champions.)
  3. Our agreement was to have a maximum of one semi-indulgent restaurant meal per day, which is likely going to be dinner. We make reservations and review the menus at those restaurants in advance so we can plan around it.
  4. Lunch can be either prepared at the Airbnb or enjoyed at a restaurant, but it should mimic the quantity and quality of food that we have at home. We will err on the light side if we know that we’re going to indulge at dinner. We’ll also be sure to eat our veggies in case we miss them later in the day. I like to prepare this recipe and can make it just about anywhere.
  5. We plan to either bring or buy healthy snacks such as fruits, veggies, and nuts. There is nothing new here, as these are the usual snacks we eat at home.
  6. We commit to staying hydrated and making sure that we bring plenty of water if we have a long day planned out and about the city.
  7. We never eat to the point of being so stuffed that we are uncomfortable and can’t take a long walk after dinner. When trying something new, we tend to order on the light side, and if we are still “hungry,” we order another dish.
  8. We avoid unnecessary liquid calories like sodas and sugary vacationey
  9. We plan some kind of physical activity every day for at least 60 minutes.
  10. I have a plan in place for when I get home from vacation, which usually means having some basic ingredients on hand. I also cook and freeze at least one dinner meal ahead of time.

Coach Gillian Ward is Barbell Logic’s Director of Nutrition. She has spent a lifetime as a high-performing athlete, coach, and fitness and nutrition educator. If you have a question for Coach Gillian that you’d like to see answered in future issues of the Friday Five Newsletter, please fill out the form below.

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