How to stay fit on vacation

stay fit on vacation

You want to stay fit on vacation? Don’t let your upcoming trip screw your diet and training goals. It is absolutely possible to go on vacation, enjoy yourself and stick to your diet as much as you can. 

If you’re usually going on vacation to completely lose it and you don’t care about your diet and training, this article isn’t for you. Do I run while I’m on vacation? Yes! To me running on vacation should feel like a treat, not a chore. You feel the same? Then continue reading!

Here are a few simple tips how to stay fit on vacation and how to stay on track with your nutrition while still having tons of fun on vacation

Start before leaving on vacation

Your vacation and your possible chance to start screwing up your diet starts at the airport. I always make sure to bring my own food. Even on my 8 hours flights to Germany I have my meals prepped so that I won’t even get tempted to eat all the poor choices you can make at the airport. It’s a myth that the TSA will take the food away from you. As long as it’s not liquid you’ll be fine. I brought meat, yogurt and fruits – all good.

Also bring everything you may need that you won’t get at your destination:

My most recent vacation was a 5 days cruise to the Caribbean. Most people go on a cruise to drink and have fun. I didn’t drink much, but I had tons of fun and laughter. If you want to stay fit on vacation, there are a few tips you should follow:

#1 Make smart choices

No matter if you’re eating in a restaurant or from a buffet, you are able to eat healthy. Skip the lines for the pizza, burgers and fried food and get a plate with greens, salad and fresh grilled white meat or fish. Most likely there will be rice as well. Vacation shouldn’t be torture. If you feel like having a dessert, or even a slice of pizza, go for it. Everything should be in moderation and with the awareness to save some calories with another meal.

Also when you order at a restaurant, skip the sauces, the dressings and everything that comes out on your plate fried. Substituting steamed vegetables for the usual sides like mashed potatoes are more great ways to reduce the caloric composition of your meal. 

#2 Don’t skip meals

We’ve all been there: We miss the breakfast because we slept too long. Then we had a huge lunch, started drinking and ended up having pizza late at night, because we also missed the dinner due to high alcohol intake earlier that day.

Oh well, this happened to me in my early 20’s and is nothing I would ever do on vacation anymore, but this leads to missing out meals. If you’re having 4-6 meals per day at home and on vacation you’re getting 2-3 big meals this can easily lead to consuming too many calories at your next meal. Your body will be confused because it’s not used to having huge amounts of food at one time. 

Me especially due to running and bodybuilding I have to make sure to eat enough throughout the day. So for me to stay fit on vacation also means not missing out any meals. To me this most likely happens when I’m out exploring or just away from food (mountains, beaches). If you’re staying at an airbnb on your trip, great! You can meal prep and take the food in a cooler with you.

We went on an excursion in Mexico and I brought my own food that I had packed into my containers earlier, so that there won’t be any cravings or even poor food choices along the way. If you’re in a resort or on a cruise take advantage of the buffet. Most restaurants are open from AM to PM so there will be food all the time. Pack it and take it with you if needed. 

#3 Load up on water

Just like at home, make sure you’re always hydrated. Especially with alcohol in the system it is even more necessary to drink as much water as possible. I follow the 2 for 1 rule. Meaning for every drink I’ll have 2 glasses of water. 

#4 Exercise and fitness on vacation

Leading to this article I asked my followers on Instagram who works out on vacation. 40% of them said “Hell no”, a good amount of 60% hits the gym during their vacation. That’s awesome, isn’t it? 

Staying fit on vacation also means to exercise. For me as a runner who is in race prep most of the time I have to run even when I’m on vacation. If I can, I run on the beach or I work out outside, which is absolutely beautiful. My workouts are a little different and shorter while I’m on vacation though. Just because I want to spend more time relaxing instead of lifting weight or running crazy miles.

My breaks between my reps are shorter, I perform more super-sets (to get the max out of my workout time) and my treadmill workouts include more speed work such as intervals and sprints. This is also beneficial for your fat burn and after burn effect. I also feel less bloated after working out on vacation and I’m grateful for every water that I’m losing. I have to admit that I pay a lot of attention to the gym while booking a hotel. But if there’s no gym in sight, bring it with you. You can get a full body workout with resistance bands, or simply utilize hotel room furniture.

#5 Cross training to stay fit on vacation

Vacations should be a break from routine, so it’s a good time to try other activities and use different muscles. Cross training such as cycling or swimming can easily be implemented into your vacation. If you want to stay fit on vacation, you have to be active and not sit on your backside all day. Try new things, get out of your comfort zone. 

Again staying fit on vacation is a mindset and a lifestyle someone follows or not. I’ve gotten a lot of laughter for working out on vacation and I know a lot of people who are in pretty good shape at home, but don’t work out on vacation and that’s okay. I actually enjoy it, believe it or not.

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