I mentioned earlier this week I’m trading the Big Smoke for the Big Apple this weekend, and after a shaky week in the workout department (not that the workouts themselves were bad – in fact I’m kicking ass at the moment – just fewer than I’d have liked) but great eating, I’m cautiously heading in to my weekend away with some key learnings I’ve taken over the years when it comes to traveling and long-term weight loss.
First things first – life is short, man. When other humans are capable of making the cookies from Levain, Parisian croissants and macarons, Italian gelato, hell, POUTINE even, you’ve gotta dig in! There’s no reason to eat say, a dozen Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies (but I can’t say I blame you if you do), but don’t be afraid to explore, indulge and savour guilt-free. Now that that’s out of the way, my key tips for traveling without totally destroying your progress.
Walk wherever you can (or strut, if you so desire)
This is good not only for limiting weight gain, but is amazing for exploring a new place. When I went to Italy for a week I ate nothing but carbs on carbs on carbs. Pasta, pizza, bread, desserts for breakfast, lunch & dinner. However, I walked endlessly each day and probably wouldn’t have seen the Pantheon if I didn’t. And, when I came home I had LOST three pounds. Don’t underestimate just how far a little walking goes – I love seeing my steps on my FitBit at the end of a day of wandering in a new city.
Try not to eat out for every meal
Brad and I have a ritual now whenever we get away. As soon as we get settled where we’re staying, we find the nearest grocery store and stock up on basic breakfast foods and snacks – things we’d normally eat at home based on what’s available to us kitchen-wise. The list can include anything from a loaf of whole-wheat bread, natural peanut butter, fresh fruit & vegetables (think celery, cherry tomatoes, etc.), eggs if we have a stove/hot plate, raw almonds or Quest bars. We usually just pull something together in the morning before we head out for the day and take snacks with us instead of dining at a restaurant (quick or sit-down) for every meal. I find it makes a huge impact on how I feel while I’m away and it makes things a lot cheaper!
Drink lots of water
Full disclosure: I DO use holidays as an excuse to drink all the red wine and vodka I want. I am only a woman. That said, that’s usually the only non-water drink I consume. Drinking calories is mostly silly unless it’s alcohol (duh), because I’d much rather consume those bad boys in the form of food. If I’m gonna gain weight I want it to be from eating four slices of pizza, not a litre of chocolate milk, you know? Anyway – hydration is really important if you’re indulging, especially if it’s alcohol or high-sodium foods. I personally find drinking at least 2 litres of water a day helps keep me from feeling bloated and gross, and holidays are no time to forget how important it is to drink up.
Grab a green juice if you need a boost
Cold-pressed juice is pretty easy to find these days, and if I’m feeling like I’ve taken it too far on the treats I try to get my hands on a green juice or smoothie and take a break from eating for a few hours/the rest of the day. I did a juice cleanse once and while I’ll never do it again (at least not for 5 days straight), I did find it helped “reset” my system.
How do you stay on track on holidays?