With the official start to summer just a few days away, we’re starting to feel that “relaxed, vacation vibe” slipping into our days. You? When we start to take time off work, travel more, and relax our “schedules” it’s definitely exciting, but for many of our clients, it can also become stressful as they tend to feel a bit off-balance from the lack of routine and common vacation temptations. Here at Real Nutrition, we believe in working hard and playing harder – traveling, eating, and fully enjoying your hard-earned break BUT no one wants to come back from vacation feeling bloated, yucky, tired, or out of control. What do we tell our clients to do so they can enjoy their summer travel and remain on point with their nutrition goals? Keep reading, we share our most effective tips below!
Enjoy the food and experience, but indulge consciously: You’re on a vacation, where you should truly give yourself the chance to enjoy local food, cultural delicacies, and experiences. In the short term, it is more about how much you eat instead of what you eat. Pay attention to your hunger – stop when you are satisfied, not when you are full. Chances are you’ll have another delicious opportunity later.
Nail Breakfast: It’s easy to be tempted by baked goods, pancakes, bacon, and bottled juices. Remember breakfast sets the tone for your day and it’s the meal you likely have the most control over. Focus on protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you full, energized and to prevent cravings later on. Skip the white carbs, sweet cereals, and pastries and choose fresh fruit, vegetables, Greek yogurt, whole grains, eggs, nuts, and cheese instead.
Pack your own snacks: Even on a trip, always remember snacks! We teach our clients to create “snack packs” full of healthy, non-perishable items that catch you when you need an energy boost between meals or to prevent excessive hunger that can lead to overeating later. Common recommendations often include: individually-packed nuts, seeds, nut butters, crunchy edamame packs, certain bars, and jerky made with cleanly-sourced proteins.
Keep your cocktails clean: Fancy cocktail menus can be tempting but…trust us those calories quickly add up thanks to the syrups, fruit juices, and liquors used in each recipe. If you are drinking more than one cocktail we recommend choosing clear liquor + club soda and a piece of fresh fruit or a glass of champagne. Added bonus, ditching the sugar leads to less of a hangover.
Stay hydrated: Whether you’re sunbathing or running around doing fun activities, by the time you feel thirsty guess what, you’re already dehydrated! Instead of trying to play catch up – get ahead of your hydration game. No matter where you are, enjoy at least 12 ounces of water first thing in the morning (yes even before coffee), and make sure to pack a reusable water bottle you can refill on the go. Enjoy a glass of water before each meal and as an added bonus – pack electrolyte packets or tabs in your snack pack so you’ll hydrate more efficiently especially if you’re in the heat or sweating on the go!
Pack your sneakers: Exercise on vacation doesn’t need to be in a hotel gym or the same as you do at home. But it should happen and packing your sneakers means you’ll walk more, be more likely to hit the gym, or at least squeeze in a quick sweat sesh in the morning before heading out for activities. In fact, we think a long walk or run outside is the best way to explore any new city or landscape (as long as it’s safe!). Fun tip: We pack our old sneakers and then toss, donate, or recycle them there leaving more room in our suitcase for souvenirs or purchases!
Most importantly, relax and have fun! Remember – vacations are short-term, simply a well-earned moment in time, and healthy diets are long-term. Enjoy and indulge wisely then come back to your routine when you get home.