Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, fun, and stress-free…but sometimes just planning a vacation can be the most stressful part of the whole process.
From finding out where to go, to getting the money together, to making sure you don’t have any scheduling conflicts – there are a lot of things that go into planning a vacation.
But one thing that many people stress out about the most before going on a vacation is getting their “beach body” ready.
Have you ever run yourself ragged before a vacation trying to get in as many workouts and low calorie meals as possible in a last ditch effort to get that perfect beach body?
NEWSFLASH, everyone! You only need to do two things to have a beach body.
1: Have a body, and 2: Put it on a beach.
Simple… AS… THAT!
Consider ditching that “perfect body” mentality, and switching to a different mentality: one where you accept and appreciate your body and love it for all it is!
The Body You Have Now is the Only Beach Body You Need
Inside you might be screaming, “but everyone is going to be staring at me at the beach”.
First of all, as much as we might all like to think that the world revolves around us at times, most people will probably be too worried about their own body to even care about yours.
Secondly – if they do care, well, then that’s on them.
Give yourself credit. You owe it to yourself.
You deserve to have a good time on the beach without worrying about how you look – regardless of the size of your body.
So, I have a solution for you – and it’s a simple one that won’t stress you out, won’t put you on a crash diet, and won’t make you feel bad about yourself.
Instead of scrambling to lose weight before a vacation, consider shifting your focus towards choosing foods that will make you feel good before, during and after vacation.
Keeping the focus on health, mindful eating, and feeling good versus a number on the scale will help you reach a body positive mindset that will have you loving your body every day, not just when vacation hits.
Remember: A healthy vacation starts before the vacation begins.
With that in mind, here are some pre-vacation tips to get your vacation started on a healthy foot.
- Say goodbye to diets – and deprivation.
Leave diets and deprivation alone! In other words, no crash dieting before vacation.
Strict dieting leaves your body feeling deprived and as if there is a food shortage.
Why is this bad?
Well, when you start eating normal again, your body increases its appetite, and its ability to redeposit fat. This is essentially a survival mechanism your body uses to compensate for feast and famine type environments.
But when your body does this, it typically errs on the fear that there will be more famine than feast.
By restricting food leading up to your vacation, your body will read it as a food shortage – or famine – so when your vacation comes and you start eating each meal with an “I did so good before vacation, I deserve this” mentality, well, it’s a recipe for disaster.
And a recipe for overindulgence.
It is these cycles of over restriction and overindulgence that often leave us feeling guilty and shameful that we don’t have more self-control.
But it’s nothing of the sort.
In this case the overindulgence is often just a survival response to counterbalance the dieting – also known as a famine – to your body.
- Have a loose plan in place.
Plan on keeping some healthy snacks and breakfast items in the hotel mini-fridge, and take a trip to the supermarket when you arrive if you can.
It’s better to have a plan in place – even if it’s just a small one – so that you don’t overindulge and end up going through the same toxic pattern of regret.
Do a little research ahead of time into the restaurants you most want to eat at while on vacation. Try to mix in a few restaurants here and there that have some healthy but enjoyable options.
At the same time, allow yourself to enjoy what you really enjoy eating guilt-free.
- Figure out a fitness plan.
I’m all for lounging around while on vacation. However, if I do that for a week straight I start to feel tired. I start to feel my energy levels going down, and sometimes even start feeling a little down.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever wondered why this happens when you haven’t been active for an extended period of time?
It’s because intentional movement helps to lower stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels.
Consider getting some exercise while on vacation, because who doesn’t want to be in a good mood while on vacation?
Before your vacation see if there are any fun activities you can do that will fit into your budget. It can be as simple as finding some places to walk to if the weather permits.
Even the smallest of activities can help to lift your mood. You can even check out Groupon for local deals. You can also consider joining my free online support community to learn about creative ways to live healthy and share your own experiences with others.
If you’re planning on going on vacation soon and want some more tips on how to stay healthy while away, keep on the lookout for my upcoming post on having a healthy yet enjoyable vacation. (note: subscribe below so you don’t miss it)
And if you need a little bit more guidance on how to create healthier habits, consider learning more about my nutrition coaching process!
So, the bottom line?
Try to avoid dieting to lose weight before your vacation.
Instead, focus on establishing a routine that will help you feel your best every day.
When on vacation, eat in moderation, ditch food guilt, and find activities that involve movement that you’ll also enjoy.
Your vacation should be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable – but it doesn’t have to be an excuse to completely ditch a healthy lifestyle. Your body (and your mind) will thank you later.
Want to read more popular blogs on how to live and feel your best every day? Check out these popular blog posts!