How To Get Back On Track After Vacation
Ahhh, the goold ol’ vacation – getting away from normalcy, work, daily rituals and stress – and for most of us, even the “healthy eating” routine. Have you been on a vacation where you just decide, “I’m on vacation and I’m eating whatever the heck I want?” Maybe even a staycation, when you went on an unhealthy eating streak at home?
Enjoying time with the family as your worries are left behind leaves us good reason to leave our healthy eating habits behind, too. Just because they’re habits “at home” or part of a ritual that has been interrupted by any event, doesn’t make them full-on, die-hard habits – and that’s why we go off track.
What You Can Do Immediately
1) Time Management – Luckily, time is already structured for us. There is a sunrise, a sunset, a morning, afternoon, evening, and there’s bed time. There’s even in-between structure, like work and family schedules. We’ve been blessed with this preexisting structure because it makes it EASY for us to substructure within these parts of the day. Here’s what you want to do:
Put together a plan for the week ahead – and commit to it. Most of us work the same hours Monday through Friday, so planning our meals and workout schedule is the easy part – its actually doing it to get results. Even if your work schedule changes weekly, you can still plan ahead according to your next schedule (as soon as you know it).
Commit to certain days where you’ll exercise before or after work, and commit hard to it. Hold yourself accountable (and have your spouse/partner/friend help hold you accountable) and be realistic. Don’t commit to five days if you know that three days is a more likely reality for your schedule and commitment level.
Personally, I’ve found it best to “shock” my body right back into the healthy routine – I hit the gym hard, and I feel great afterwards. That doesn’t mean hitting it hard works best for you… If you find it best to ease back into it, then do so.
It’s good to understand that momentum is key here. Like a freight train – it takes a TON of energy and effort to get it going. But once it’s rolling, very little can stop that freight train from hurling through the wind.
2) Accept The Damage, Move On, Then Track Everything – When it comes to eating, what’s done is done. Stop drowning in your disappointment and start moving! I’ve found that when I track something (whether it’s what we spend daily, what I eat daily, etc.), I find myself much more aware and accountable of whatever it is I’m tracking. It really works – and it works like a charm.
Do this: Tomorrow morning, weigh yourself and write it down on a pad of paper. For one week (seven measly days), keep a food journal of everything that you eat and drink. Doing this action alone will help get you back on track with your “diet” (I don’t like this word, but you know what I mean). There’s something powerful having to write down everything in your “consumption journal” that will keep you from eating the bad, unhealthy stuff. At the end of the day, review your journal and let it excite you about the results. Take a progress picture every seven days for extra motivation! Lastly, try not to step on the scale every day. Aim for every three to four days, making sure that the number is going in the right directi0n – down.
3) Stock Up On All Your Favorite (Healthy) Snacks – Take inventory of your kitchen and stock up on all of your favorite, healthy snacks. Things like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, peanut butter, brown rice cakes, protein bars, and a variety of fresh fruit take little to no prep time, and are full of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Don’t forget your snack bags! When I buy almonds in bulk, I like to count out seven days worth and get them right into their baggies. That way I can jut grab and go.
My Top Tips and Tricks For Getting Back on Track Quickly To Jump Start Your Weight Loss!
- Fasted cardio for the first 3 days after your vacation to jump start your metabolism and boost your mood (do cardio on an empty stomach)
- Eat a low carb dinner for 10 days, slowly introducing complex carbs back into your diet after a couple of weeks
- Lift weights 3-4 times a week to start, increasing to 5-6 days once you get back into the swing of things
- Drink a big glass of ice water with every meal and every snack. Studies have proven that it takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius. In the case of a 16-ounce glass of ice water, your body burns 17.5 calories! This adds up.
- Completely cut out sugar (except for a small amount of sugar from fresh fruits). Go cold turkey for the first 10 days. Your hips will thank you!
- Try eating every 3 hours to keep your insulin levels stable and hunger from striking hard (avoiding those crappy carb and sugar cravings)
- Drink 5 grams of BCAAs 3x day . Click the link to find 0ut the benefits of BCAAs
- For more nutritional guidance and specifically what I do in these situations, visit www.christinasfitness.com/7day <—– decrease cravings, keep hunger at bay, increase your energy naturally and
never diet again(seriously)!
What NOT to do:
- 1) Too much cardio. Not only will you be hungry all the time, but you’ll break down muscle tissue and become mentally and physically drained fast. All you really need is a good 20-40 minutes to start burning up those fat stores. Anymore and you can say “bye bye” to your heard earned muscle.
- 2) Cutting out too many carbs. When you cut back on carbs too much you’ll drag ass (excuse my French) and could become very irritable. Carbs are responsible for our energy, strength, mood and mental focus. For those of you who have cut back carbs for too long, I’m sure you can attest to being crabby and lethargic all day. It’s not fun, and you probably won’t make friends that day (lol). Stay between 75-100 grams of carbs a day, mostly from oats, grits (no butter), Ezekiel bread, brown rice, fruit, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables for the first seven to ten days. After 10 days you can bump it up as long as you’re lifting weights and putting those carbs to good use (a.k.a. building muscle).
- 3) Starving yourself, decreasing calories too much, and skipping meals. Going without a steady stream of calories for too long will do way more harm than good, especially in the long run. You’re only setting yourself up for a binge eating episode, and a slower metabolism. Initially, yes, you will lose wight, but it won’t be all fat – which is what we ultimately want. You’ll lose muscle too. Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just sitting around doing nothing.
I hope this article helps you with your success! If you have any questions or comments leave a comment below or on Facebook.
I’m always here for you!