Stop Worrying About Vacation Weight Gain

Nothing is worse than the post-vacation blues. Whether it’s the plane or car ride back home, that time often makes you think about how you’ve gotten off track over the last few days. 

By the end of it, you’re telling yourself that you need to stop eating, exercise like mad, and check the scale every few hours to see if the weight gained has gone away. 

You’ve just spent time basking in the sunlight, relaxing with family and friends, sipping cocktails, and eating delicious dishes. None of that behavior needs to be punished, my friend. 

It’s time to free yourself from the constant battle between enjoying your vacation and trying to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. 

But guess what? 

Getting rid of vacation weight gain doesn’t involve multi-day fasting and working out in a trash bag. Enjoying vacation and staying in shape doesn’t have to be complicated or painful.

Here are my top do’s and don’ts that’ll help you enjoy your vacations without feeling burdened by the thought of getting off track in your health journey.

What Often Happens During a Vacay

48 hours into your vacation, you’re already hearing little voices in your head telling you why you should just put off those weight loss goals for when you get back home. “I’ll be super strict next week,” or “I’ll hit the gym super hard to make up for this.” 

The thoughts pop up every time your spouse hands you a blended martini, the chip bag gets passed around, or the family wants to go out for pizza and ice cream. Then, working out gets put on the back burner because it sounds so nice to sleep in like the rest of the family. 

On the way home, you may already be thinking about how strict you’ll have to be on yourself to undo the damage. It’s taken so much discipline and self-denial to drop those 10 pounds, but when you step on the scale back at home, the numbers are right back up. How could that happen in just one week? How long will it take to get back to your goal weight?

The Underlying Issue That’s Destroying Your Days Off

First, let me take the weight off the weight-gain issue. 

Scales can be the saboteur of our fitness goals. If you’re too caught up with the numbers—whether that’s on the scale or on the measuring tape—you’ll find yourself falling short in your fitness goals over and over.

There’s a trick that every professional tight-rope walker knows but every newbie doesn’t—amateurs look at their feet while professionals look at the horizon. 

Take a tip from these daring athletes, and stop micromanaging every wobble in your weight. Ditch the diet, and lean into a lifestyle change—this is the way to maintain long-term health and wellness. 

What A Happy, Healthy Vacation Can Look Like

While a common vacation looks like giving in, giving up, and a lot of guilt-tripping, there’s an alternative way to take time off that won’t leave you feeling that way. Picture this…

  • Long before your vacation starts, you’re eating healthy, whole foods that you enjoy. You’re active daily, drink plenty of water, and feel vibrant and energized.
  • Your eyes are not on your feet—your goals are not to see a number on the scale, but rather to feel healthy, have energy, and reduce stress. As a result, you’ve noticed that the excess weight is dropping off along the way. 
  • You’ve found a lifestyle you love that makes you feel great. When you leave for vacation, you don’t fully abandon your lifestyle and jump ship, but make small adjustments to enjoy yourself and the fellowship of friends and family around you. 
  • You allow yourself the food, drinks, and activities that fill your vacation with great memories, without worrying about the pounds and calories associated with them.
  • You enjoy your vacation, focusing on some must-do healthy practices you’ve already formed habits around—like drinking plenty of water, being out and active, and craving healthy proteins and whole foods. 

Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is! 

This lifestyle of healthy living will keep your priorities focused on enjoying the people and places around you, and keep your body feeling healthy, lean, and vibrant. 

How do I create this fun, fit, and fulfilling vacation life?

Know Your Why and Watch Your Weight Fall in Place 

Behind most weight-loss goals are deeper motivations that have a lot more power over your decisions. Your “why” provides you with purpose and propels you in the right direction toward that health, wellness, and overall happiness. 

Uncover your deepest “why” that resides underneath your health goals, and your physique will follow. 

For example, you may realize that you want to be lean, fit, and happy because it’s important to you that you can always get down and play with your kids or grandkids. You want to be mentally and physically capable of keeping up with hobbies and activities you love. You want to feel energized, feel happy, and look great along the way. 

With that horizon in sight, eating healthy whole foods and being active for 20 minutes a day will feel so worth it. No more stepping on the scale self-consciously, staring at your feet in self-punishment. Your goals are much bigger and brighter than that.

A Few Practical Post-Vacation Pointers

Now that you’ve peeled your eyes off the scale and refocused them on your “why,” what should your days look like? What should you do when you get back from vacation and feel a little less lean and mean than you did a week ago? Follow the day-for-day method.

A wise postnatal health coach once said, “it took nine months for your body to change during pregnancy. Give your body nine months to get back to your pre-pregnancy body.” I love the realistic and practical expectation she gives, and it also applies to our bodily changes during vacation. If you enjoyed 4 days on vacation, give yourself 4 days of your normal clean eating, activity, and hydration to recover. 

On my vacations, I stay focused on hydration because it’s the easiest habit I can maintain and control throughout vacay days. It keeps me fueled, gives me energy throughout the day, and helps keep inflammation at bay. 

Then, when I get back, I flush my system of the toxins I may have consumed on the trip by upping my water to 80oz a day. I stick to wholefood nutrition that has become my lifestyle, making sure to hit my macros each day so that my body can quickly recover from the changes in diet and activity it just experienced. 

Merging back into my regular workout routine also helps me snap back. Whether you swim, run, weight train, walk, or whatever, enjoying these activities will get you back to a healthy cadence and prepare you to tackle another week full of energy.

Vacations Fit Within Your Health Voyage

It’s time to change your view of vacation. Time off isn’t time away from the diet. It’s a rest stop in the lifelong health journey. Enjoy your vacation and stop worrying about a little wobble in your weight. 

If this healthy happy lifestyle gets you excited, you’ll love the LEAN program. You can join us and make a lifestyle change that will lead you toward that horizon of your biggest health goals. 

Sign up for the LEAN program today and hop on our free weekly LEAN newsletter for more encouragement and health tips that work.

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