How many times have you gone into a vacation with the best of intentions, only to get derailed by temptation? Or maybe you give yourself a vacation from healthful living while you’re away and intend to get right back on track afterward. Did you know the average cruise passenger gains 7-10 lbs on a week long cruise? It’s so easy to bring back the habits of overindulging and under exercising, and that’s not the part of vacationing you want to linger. So arm yourself with a plan before you even go away!
- Brainstorm some of your favorite meals to make sure you have something you’ll look forward to eating when you return. Bonus points if you stock the freezer with some of those favorites! After eating out all the time, cooking may feel like more of a chore. It will be easier if you don’t have to think about what to make.
- Make a grocery list and go shopping right after you get home. Preparation is everything, so make sure you have fresh produce to work with. It will be too easy to live off cereal and beer if that’s all you have in the pantry and fridge.
- Take the time to make up batches of food for the upcoming week. Getting all your chopping done at once will make dinnertime that much smoother. Prep a delightful array of fresh veggies for salads and try to have one every day when you return. Again, having these foods at your fingertips will help you make good choices in the upcoming week, which is arguably the most crucial time.
- Consider a low calorie fruit and veggie day. Most people tend to overeat or consume some harmful things on vacation, so a detox day could really help your system wean off of the food and drinks you may have had. For an entire day, eat just fresh veggies (raw or cooked, but never in oil!), and have plenty of fresh fruit. Avoid the starches and high fat foods like nuts and seeds, just to let your system and your taste buds reboot.
- Fill your calendar with active pursuits. Reconnect with friends to go for walks or meet up at the gym.
Be prepared for a little discomfort. Regardless of how clean you normally eat, chances are good that eating while travelling will be slightly less clean (sometimes downright dirty). When you start to clean up, the toxins have to work their way out of your system, and that can bring on headaches, gastric distress, and fatigue, among other things. Like drugs and alcohol, the lack of processed foods can create withdrawal symptoms. This is your brain’s way of asking for more. If you can stick it out for just a few days, those symptoms will disappear. If, however, you indulge the cravings or misinterpret the discomfort, you are likely to just make it a longer more uncomfortable process.
Whether it’s a whole winter of hibernation, a Christmas feast that lasts through Easter, a vacation of indulgence, or even just a crazy weekend, having a plan to rededicate to healthful living can make all the difference in your success of getting back on track. We all slip up from time to time. What creates success is the next move you make afterward.
Think about your next bite and make it a good one.