Before I went away a few weeks ago I was planning on writing a blog post about how to stay healthy and on track when on holiday but after what went on while I was away that would be insincere of me.
After 2 months of tracking every little thing I’ve eaten I fell off the nutrition wagon somewhat while on holiday. I still tracked everything I ate but I can’t even begin to explain how many carbs I ate rather than basing my meals around lean protein as I’m used to.
The 14 year-old me would have been used to the amount I ate but the 28 year-old me is a little astounded that so much food could fit into my body. As the go-to meal in Las Vegas is an all-you-can-eat buffet my willpower was tested to the maximum. I feel loathe saying that I failed because actually I made a conscious choice to indulge myself.
Throughout my whole life I’ve always ‘indulged’ myself and felt an intense guilt and self-loathing afterwards at how I couldn’t control my willpower. I always felt disappointed with myself and that contributed to a warped sense of reality around food.
Fast-forward to this trip and not one bit of guilt was felt as I munched down on ice cream, fried chicken for breakfast, fries and giant plates of pasta. I knew that although it was going to undo some of the good work that I’d been doing before I went away I would slip right back into that positive way of eating that I’d been making into a habit when I got home. My brain has slowly been retrained not to see food as a guilty secret and something to be ashamed of. It’s now something to fuel, repair and nourish my body to help me to reach my goals. It isn’t the enemy and getting back on track isn’t scary.
Also, out of the 9 days that we were away I managed to exercise on 6 of them including 3 early-morning heavy lifting sessions in the hotel gym (thank you jet lag), a spin class, a run with hill sprints over one of the New York bridges and an entire day of walking around New York. So while my nutrition wasn’t entirely on plan, my exercise certainly was which helped me to enjoy all of the food.
So here are my tips on how to enjoy your holiday based on my experience:
- Exercise will help to combat jet lag and will make you feel smug if you’re in the gym at 06:00 each morning
- Running is a brilliant way to explore a bit of where you’re staying so definitely pack your trainers
- Be realistic about your nutrition – unless you’re in prep for a bikini competition then a few days of over-indulgence isn’t going to derail your progress too badly
- Have a look at the restaurant menus in advance if you can and choose what you’re going to have whether you’re going to eat on plan or not – this helps to curb impulsive choices
- Keep some healthy snacks on hand at all times – try rice cakes with humous or peanut butter for savoury cravings or try protein bars like the Quest nutrition ones for your sweet tooth
- Stay hydrated – flying can dry you out like nothing else so drink even more water if you can and slather on the moisturizer. Air conditioning is another culprit for dehydrating which is why my skin is complaining. I mean, seriously people of Las Vegas, it’s not hot outside in November so why is everywhere full of recycled cold air?!
- Watch the booze – cocktails can contain hidden sugars so you’re better off indulging in vodka, soda & fresh lime if you’re going big. The hangovers also seem to be much easier on this concoction
- Take advantage of the fitness-scene in the place you’re going to – a fresh perspective on a class can motivate you that bit more. Research this online, ask Twitter or get in touch with some fitness bloggers from wherever you’re going
How do you like to stay on track on holiday?