8 Tips For Weight Loss/Maintenance On Vacation (While STILL Having Fun!)

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Hello, Health Investor!

Welcome to another episode of The Health Investment Podcast!

You may have noticed that this episode is quite short. That’s because it’s another “bite-sized” one!

In addition to interviewing experts, I also do solo bite-sized episodes where I share brief—and hopefully helpful!—tips relating to nutrition, sleep, stress management, movement, and mindset.

If you wanna listen to the five previous bite-sized episodes, I’ll put links to those in the show notes!

Today, I’m gonna share 8 tips for losing weight—or maintaining your current weight!—while on vacation…and while still having fun!!

If you’re like most of my clients, a week or long weekend away can throw you completely out of whack when it comes to healthy habits. 

After that first day of nachos, cocktails, and ice cream by the pool, it can be easy to feel like you’ve already “ruined” any progress you’ve made and just spiral out of control for the rest of your time away.

If it feels like I’m reading your mind, it’s not because I’m clairvoyant—it’s because I’ve been there myself!

I used to go into vacation with a black and white mentality, thinking I needed to be ALL IN on a restrictive diet or ALL OUT, eating/drinking/doing whatever I wanted.

Every week or weekend away, I’d end up gaining weight and just feeling overall bloated and gross when it ended.

Still sound familiar?

If so, you’re in the right place!

If you’re in a safe place—aka NOT driving or operating heavy machinery—grab a pen and some paper to jot down some notes cause the tips I’m about to share are gonna help you look & feel your BEST on vacation—and beyond!

Let’s get right to ‘em to keep this episode quick ‘n bite-sized!!

TIP #1: Get crystal clear on WHY you want to lose weight in the first place.

This first tip may seem weird and NOT like one you were expecting, but stay with me…

In order to *stick* with the healthy habits that help you lose weight, keep it off, and feel your BEST, it’s important to connect to a deeper “WHY” so that you’re rooted in the reasons you’re doing all of the things when times come along that have the potential to throw you out of whack—like busy work weeks and…vacations!

So what I want you to do is to actually write/type FIVE reasons WHY you want to lose weight (or maintain any weight you’ve lost) in the first place.

Is it so you can have more stamina and energy to run around with your kids or grandkids? Is it so you can comfortably and confidently wear anything in your closet, including those shorts ‘n swimsuits? 

Write down your FIVE reasons for wanting to lose weight and keep them someplace readily accessible—like a Note in your phone or a Post-It in your wallet.

Every morning and evening of your vacation, read over your five WHYs so that it’s easier to make healthy choices each day you’re away.

TIP #2: Embrace a critical mindset shift: I can enjoy my vacation while still making choices that’ll help me achieve my goals.

Vacation is a time to focus on family and/or friends, relax + recharge, and/or explore a new place.

You will NOT be able to fully enjoy your time away if you’re stressing about your nutrition and lifestyle habits.

I’ll say that again: 

You will NOT be able to fully enjoy your time away if you’re stressing about your nutrition and lifestyle habits.

What you eat/do MOST of the time—every day of the year you’re not on vacation—matters waaaay more than what you eat/do the week or weekend you’re away.

That being said…ask yourself this: If I completely disregard allllll of the healthy habits I’ve put in place, will I be able to look & feel my BEST while I’m away and get the most out of my vacation? 

FEELING great → having the most fun!

That’s where the critical mindset shift comes in!

Instead of thinking, “I’m on vacation, so I’m just gonna eat and do whatever the heck I want and re-start my weight loss journey when it ends”…

Think:

“I can enjoy my vacation while still making choices that’ll help me achieve my goals.”

This mindset shift is an empowering game changer, and it helps you ditch the whole “diet starts tomorrow” mentality that won’t serve you when it comes to losing weight in the first place and eventually keeping it off long-term.

Instead of being ALL IN or ALL OUT on healthy habits, it’s important to embrace a happy middle ground and commit to eating and doing the things that serve you and help you reach your goals consistently, not just when it’s convenient. 

TIP #3: Stay hydrated.

Stay hydrated throughout your trip—and especially on a flight!

To make this happen, think 8×8 (eight 8-oz glasses of water each day)—but your unique hydration requirements will depend on many factors, like your activity level. So 8×8 isn’t a rule set in stone, it’s just a good starting place.

To hit your 8×8 goal, pack a reusable water container that you’ll take with you everywhere. When it’s empty, it’s a physical reminder that it’s time to fill it up again!

Also, consider bringing electrolytes with you in your carry-on. I steer clear of Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks, which is why I ADORE Pure Vitamin Club’s Ultra Salt Electrolyte tablets.

Pure Vitamin Club’s Ultra Salt tablets are a unique formulation of the purest, most absorbable, bioavailable forms of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, along with over 60 beneficial trace minerals. 

Why electrolytes?

Well, maintaining a proper balance of electrolytes is key in helping minimize heat stress, muscle cramping, and fluid loss due to heavy perspiration, such as occurs during endurance athletics, or other intense activity in hot conditions—or even while taking a long flight!

Final hydration tip: On vacation, you may be drinking more alcoholic beverages than usual, and alcohol is dehydrating! 

Be sure to alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of still or sparkling water.

Speaking of alcoholic beverages…

TIP #4: Stick to lower-calorie alcoholic beverages.

The calories you consume from beverages like soda and cocktails can be considered “empty calories” because they’re not providing your body with nutrients or helping you feel full.

That’s why it’s important to stick to low- or no-calorie beverages most of the time when trying to lose weight or just look & feel your BEST.

If there’s a specialty cocktail on the menu that looks fantastic, consider having just one of those and then switching to lower calorie options, like:

  • Spirit + seltzer + citrus (tequila + seltzer + lime juice in a glass with a salted rim is my personal favorite!)
  • Any *specialty* cocktail (like a mojito), minus the simple syrup, sugar, agave, or honey
  • Light beer
  • Dry wine
  • Diet gin & tonic
  • Dirty martini (with vodka or gin)

TIP #5: Become a “protein sleuth” and prioritize protein at most (if not every) meals and snacks.

WHY protein?

Well…

Protein can boost your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories).

It also requires your body to use more energy for digestion, which is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). If you eat 100 calories from protein, your body uses 15-30 of those calories simply to digest and absorb the protein. (Do you see how that can be HUGELY beneficial for weight loss?!)

Protein also stimulates the release of leptin (your “I’m full!” hormone), which means it helps you stay full longer (and can prevent overeating).

And it does a lot of other cool stuff, but the final point I want to make today is that it doesn’t cause sharp spikes in blood sugar and has favorable effects on insulin response.

For all of those reasons, protein is a superstar macronutrient that can help you feel full and satisfied for longer—and less “snacky.”

When you get enough protein throughout any day—including the days you’re on vacation!—it’s easier to ward off cravings for things like donuts, crackers, and candy. Since you’ll feel physically full, it’s also easier to enjoy those treats in moderation.

TIP #6: Enjoy bites of *shared* desserts.

It’s fun to have tasty treats like cheesecake, cookies, and ice cream on vacation, especially if you’re at a restaurant that has the BEST of something.

But the dessert calories can add up VERY quickly, which is why it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes when it comes to sweet treats.

One tip is to order a couple desserts for the table and indulge in a couple of bites.

Studies suggest that we’re usually satisfied after 3 or so bites of things anyway, so if you eat a couple bites of dessert—slowly—and really allow yourself to taste and relish in the flavors, I think you’ll realize you don’t end up craving or wanting the entire piece or scoop. 

You’ll also avoid that dreaded *overly full* feeling, which is one I can think we can agree is best avoided. No one wants to feel uncomfortably stuffed—especially on vacation!

TIP #7: Move/exercise.

For this one, I’m coming in hot with another powerful mindset shift for ya!

Instead of thinking, “Ugh, I’m on vacation so I should exercise” or “I have to exercise”…

Try this:

“How cool that I have extra time on my hands to exercise without feeling rushed!”

The more positive your mindset is about anything—weight loss, healthy foods, exercise, etc.—the easier it’ll be to actually make the best choices and stick with them.

Since you’re on vacation, try to find some novelty exercise that you wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. Maybe you can take a run on the beach. Maybe your hotel has an awesome gym with a Peloton. Maybe there’s a yoga studio down the street from your AirBnb. Maybe you can plan a family hike!

Just because you’re on vacation, it doesn’t mean throwing your weekly movement/exercise goals out the window. Again, come from the mindset of, “How cool that I have extra time on my hands to exercise without feeling rushed!”

TIP #8: Practice the “Rule of Two”

Finally, one tip that helps a lot of my clients is the “Rule of Two,” which essentially means not to go two meals in a row without prioritizing the nutrients your body craves: protein, produce, and healthy fats. 

Let’s say you have a plate of pancakes for breakfast. Yum! I’m sure they were delicious!! Even though they tasted great, you probably don’t feel your BEST after eating them…but that doesn’t mean it’s time to spiral into “I just ruined my diet!” mode!!

Instead, plan to eat nutrient-dense foods at your next meal. If you’re going to a burger joint, that could mean skipping the bun (cause you already had a lot of bread for breakfast!) and opting for a side salad instead of fries.

The “Rule of Two” is a good checks-and-balances system that helps you stay on track with healthy habits and plan ahead.

Alright, so those are the 8 tips!

To summarize, they are:

  1. Get crystal clear on WHY you want to lose weight in the first place.
  2. Embrace a critical mindset shift: I can enjoy my vacation while still making choices that’ll help me achieve my goals.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Stick to lower-calorie alcoholic beverages.
  5. Become a “protein sleuth” and prioritize protein at most (if not every) meals and snacks.
  6. Enjoy bites of *shared* desserts.
  7. Move/exercise.
  8. Practice the “Rule of Two”

My final thought for you is this:

Change requires change.

If you have some type of goal for lasting change in your body composition, strength, or overall health, you’re gonna have to change the way you approach all aspects of life—like vacation!

After years of vacationing this *new* way—sticking with my typical healthy habits throughout my time away—I can assure you that vacations are MUCH more enjoyable when you continue to do the things that help you look & feel your BEST rather than throwing those habits out the window and just going completely off the rails. 

I hope these tips help you work towards your weight loss goal—AND have fun—on your next vacation!

One more quick note:If you’ve been on a weight loss rollercoaster for years, trying everything from cutting out carbs + sugar to counting points, macros, and calories to buying expensive gym equipment to having stronger willpower + self control—but nothing has worked—I have some great news for you! Outside of hosting this podcast, I work with clients one-on-one and also through my monthly membership to you lose weight for the LAST time without dieting. When you work with me, you’ll finally learn how to lose those pesky pounds for good, feel completely in control around ALL types of food (even carbs!), and develop effortless habits that work for YOUR unique lifestyle. To learn more, visit thehealthinvestment.com or connect with me on Instagram: @thehealthinvestment. And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you!


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