Most of the time when people think of vacation, typically weight loss and burning off fat aren’t the first things to come to mind.
Usually we imagine the complete opposite: letting go of all our nutrition and fitness “rules” while on vacation and begrudgingly accepting what we think will be the inevitable fall out: gaining weight, usually the worst kind: fat.
And, yes, while fat/weight gain can certainly happen while we are on vacation, it doesn’t have to be that way.
I am going to show you a different way and lay out, step by step exactly what I do to continue to burn fat, even when I am on vacation.
But one thing though before we dive into the nitty-gritty:
I’m not a huge fan of clients following a bunch of “rules” regarding nutrition and exercise. Instead, I encourage all my clients to become detectives investigating their own lives to find out what works best for them.
Each person has their own unique metabolism, preferences, lifestyle factors and cultural background. Therefore, each person needs to figure out (over time because it does take time!) what works for them to feel and look their best. As a coach I guide, educate, encourage and motivate clients along the way as they investigate, but the real magic happens when they can make a discovery for themselves. That has incredible, life-changing impact!
So I encourage you to take these tips and try them on for size to see how they feel in your own, unique life. Of course you might need to tweak them a bit or swap something in or out to make it optimized for you. Go on! Be a detective and get to work! 🙂
My favorite fat burning tips for vacation (or anytime!)
Movement is a non-negotiable for me and my clients. The more we can move, the better: for our health, metabolism and to lower stress hormones leading to more optimal fat burning conditions.
Vacation is often a great time to increase our daily amount of movement since many of us tend to sit a lot in our day-to-day lives between work and commuting. Plus we can often try new activities and types of movement!
Movement includes any activities of daily living that don’t add more stress to the body, for example:
- walking, touring museums and seeing the sights
- taking the stairs
- packing and unpacking
- hauling luggage
- leisurely biking
- standing, waiting in lines
- playing on the beach or in the water
- stand up paddle boarding
- Other ideas?? Share in the comments!
2. One BAS every day
If you follow me, it’s no secret that I LOVE a good BAS (big a$s salad, or bad a$s salad- you choose). Done well, a BAS is a one-stop shop for tons of nutrients and fiber from leafy greens and veggies as well as plenty of healthy fats and protein for a super satisfying, nutritious meal.
It can be tough to get in enough nutrient-rich vegetables while on vacation so I know it isn’t reasonable to expect to get lots of vegetables (or even some!) in at each meal. But I know that if I can get in at least one BAS per day and even if all my other meals are so-so nutrition wise, I know my bases covered by getting in a ton of vegetables and fiber (and satisfaction!) from that one key meal.
3. Convenient high protein snack on hand at all times
When we are on vacation, there are a lot of things outside of our control, including access to healthy foods and the timing of our meals. To make sure that I never get to the point where I am STARVING and will grab anything and everything to snack on, or get to a meal completely ravenous, I always carry a high protein snack with me.
For me the best options while traveling are protein bars because they are easy to bring with me in my luggage and I can throw in my bag while I am out and about for the day.Two of my favorites are Onnit’s Oatmega bars and Think Thin bars. I love both of these bars for 2 reasons: they actually taste amazing (not all protein bars do!) so they are super satisfying AND they follow Metabolic Effect’s Label Rule where the total score is 10 or less when you subtract the protein and fiber grams from the total grams of carbohydrates.
4. Pick your battles and favorite indulgences
We each have a favorite indulgence and vacation can be one of the best times to really slow down and savor them. For some it is a special cocktail, beer, certain fried food or regional treat. For me it is doughnuts. What can I say?! I have a soft spot for delicious fried treats! 😉 So when I am some place new I will usually check out a specialty doughnut shop and sample a few.
Note that I said SAMPLE.
I do not stuff my face with multiple doughnuts. I try a bite or two of a few interesting flavors and then either share with friends, save the rest for later or just toss the rest. So I am consciously choosing that doughnuts will be my treat and I am also mindfully passing up on other treats that aren’t my favorites. For example: If I have the doughnuts, I will probably pass on dessert later or ordering a drink. Of course I like those things but I’m going to stick with absolute fave and maybe just have a small taste of the other things.
5. RELAX and boost those happy hormones as much as possible
One of the very best things about vacation for me is the opportunity to relax and get a break from the day to day grind. A few weeks ago I got to spend almost an entire week in Asheville all by myself (as an introvert, the aloneness is a good thing). It was the first time I’d been away from my little guy more than a night or two and as much as I missed the heck out of him, I did not miss the responsibilities of being a mom.
The much needed break gave me the chance to get a massage, go to an extra long yoga class, eat leisurely meals with friends (or by myself), go on a beautiful hike in the mountains and do little things like journal and drink my coffee in peace.
Because I was able to carve out time to do little things that I loved and made me happy, I felt so incredibly relaxed and energized all at the same time. My stress levels were super low and my veins were coursing with an abundance of feel-good happy hormones that are essential for getting and keeping our bodies in fat burning mode. It was an entire week of self care, which is often the missing piece when people are trying to design a fat-burning lifestyle. We often think about diet and exercise when it comes to weight loss but forget about the lifestyle factors and the importance of lowering stress.
So the next time you are headed on vacation and are worried about getting off track, remember these 5 tools:
- Move as much as possible
- Eat one BAS for an easy way to get in tons of veggies
- Keep high protein snacks on hand at all times
- Pick your favorite treats, indulge mindfully and don’t sweat the small stuff
- Relaxxxxxx!!! 🙂
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