So many of my clients fear the conversation about what they might have to do or give up in order to stay on track while traveling. No one wants to worry about calories and exercise when they are on vacation! Fortunately, living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and moderation, so being perfect is not on the table-never has been, never will be. So it is a relief for them, even exciting, when we discuss a game plan that is both realistic and able to enhance what they will get out of their precious vacation time. Here’s to hoping you find the same!
6 Tips to Make Your Next Vacation the Best Yet!
- Ditch the “All or Nothing” mentality
- Telling yourself that you have to be perfect in order to be healthy or get results is a major mistake. First of all, no one is perfect. And if you think you have to be, you will constantly feel like you are failing, which ultimately leads to giving up. Instead of trying to be perfect, MAKE A PLAN THAT IS REALISTIC and FOCUS WHAT YOU ARE DOING WELL.
- Take 5-10 minutes to create a wellness game plan
- Physically write down or make phone reminders of ways you can incorporate wellness into your vacation. If you have kids that are old enough, make them part of the brainstorming process. You can even get creative and think of fun non-food related rewards for those who follow through!
- Think about your intentions for the trip and how they can be incorporated into the wellness plan. Do you want to infuse fun, relaxation, adventure, trying new things, making meaningful memories, all of the above, or something else entirely? This is your trip, own it!
Follow the 80% food rules
- Eat until your belly is 80% full
- It takes about 20 minutes from the moment you start eating for the chemical message “I’m full” to form in your gut and reach your brain. Slowing down, savoring your food, and focusing on filling your stomach to about 80% fullness is a great way both to promote mindful eating and eat only as much as your body needs. You’ll find that if you stop when you feel 80% full you’ll feel 100% satisfied a few minutes later, much better than stopping when you feel 100% full and then feeling near bursting a few minutes later!
- Choose healthy foods 80% of the time
- If possible, pack healthy foods to bring with you or go grocery shopping when you first arrive at your destination. If you are staying in the city you may even be able to order groceries online and have them delivered to you your hotel when you get there! This not only saves money, but prevents snacking on junk food and going too long without eating, which can lead to craving sugar and carbohydrates and eating more than you normally would.
- Use the Google machine to find healthy eats! Whether you are at the airport, in a train station, or at your destination it never fails to Google “healthy food options at (destination).” One of my other favorite ways to find local and healthy restaurants is to Google “farm to table (destination)”.
- Eat until your belly is 80% full
- Plan at least one activity a day where you get your heart rate up
Start your day off on the right foot by taking 5 minutes to bring awareness to your body: yoga poses, stretching, deep breathing, anything you want!
Take a walk or run to explore local trails, hikes, city, or country scenes. While you’re at it, connect with your senses: feel the gentle breeze, see the new buds forming on the trees, hear the sound of birds, smell the ocean air, let your mind be in the present moment.
- Experience a new perspective by getting out on the water. Rent a stand up paddle board, go on a kayak led tour, or just start swimming!
- Stay hydrated
- It can be so easy to get derailed here! What helps you to stay on track with drinking water when you’re at home? Will that work for you on vacation? If not, what will?
- For me it’s simple: I just bring a water bottle with me wherever I go no matter what! (Empty, of course, to get through security at the airport…).
- Slow down, free your mind, laugh, and do things that make you feel the most alive!
- This vacation is for you, so resist the urge to pick up your cell phone (make boundaries if you must check it), put work out of your mind, and focus on the here and now!
- Close your eyes and think of what experiences make you feel most alive and joyful. How can you make these part of your trip?