Fatcation: /fatˈkāSHən/ (n) While on vacation, you do more getting fat than sightseeing.
I just got back from a fatcation, I mean vacation. Vacations can be scary for dieters, but just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a fitness vacation too. You can still have a ton of fun, try new foods and “cheat” while not completely losing your mind – and your progress.
Here are 6 tips to help control your vacation eating – and help you bounce back quickly once you get back home.
1. Taste, don’t gorge. More is not always better, but when you are on vacation, it’s fun to taste foods you normally don’t eat. Key word: Taste! Grazing all day is actually better than pigging out a couple of times a day. When you are on vacation, share plates and appetizers so you can taste more, but eat less.
2. Be picky. Just because something is sitting on a plate in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I actually ordered 3 meals that were a disappointment to me. After I tasted it and discovered it wasn’t what I hoped, I just opted to skip it altogether because it wasn’t worth the calories to me. If you are trying to lose weight, it pays to be picky. If it’s not worth 1-2 hours in the gym to burn off, then it’s not worth eating.
3. Make room for more calories. When I say “make room”, I’m talking about making room for more calories. We typically consume a lot more calories on vacation than we do when we are back in our normal routine at home. However, many times people workout less. If you are watching your weight, account for the extra calories you are eating and try to stay active so you can “afford” the extra calories. Whether you hit the hotel gym, go for a jog, or you just try to walk everywhere instead of taking a cab, increasing your activity while on vacation will help you decrease your chances for vacation weight gain.
4. What happens on vacation stays on vacation. What I mean is, the overeating, drinking, laziness, etc ends when your vacation ends. It’s very easy to let your vacation habits come home with you. Instead, make a mark in the sand and decide to jump right back to your normal routine as soon as you get back. So, as soon as you get home, hit the grocery store and start planning and cooking for the week so you are ready to eat clean again.
5. Forgive yourself. I’ll be honest, I feel fat as a cow right now. That’s how I FEEL. Is that reality? No. I know good and well there is no way I can erase months of training and hard work in just a few days. Can it set me back? Sure, but if I hit it hard (with both diet and training), I’ll be right back where I want to be in no time. That’s the reality. No matter how bad you feel, forgive yourself. Realize, it’s just a vacation. You deserved the break and, often times, you will even hit it HARDER when you get back. Ironically, it’s those kind of cheat days that can make you double your intensity and the drive you need to take your routine to a new level.
6. Set new goals and guidelines. In order to reach a goal, you need to have a goal to strive for. Once you’ve set a goal, you need to plan to get there and that requires setting some rules. Often times people set some pretty stiff rules but they have just as many exceptions as they do rules. For instance, they diet and train hard all the time except for special occasions or weekends. The problem is, many people have a lot of special occasions. Between dinner dates, birthdays, Holidays, events, etc – someone can easily have something that interrupts their routine every week if they are ont careful. My suggestion is to not allow for any cheating for 3-4 weeks so you get a really good powerful start. Then schedule one cheat day. Then go right back at it. Once you get closer to your goal, your cheat meals can be closer together. Setting rules like this keeps you accountable and on schedule to reach your goal.
This weekend Steve and I went to Disney for a mini-vaca. Epcot had their Wine and Food Festival, and Steve wanted to go to Texas de Brazil for his birthday dinner. So, since we didn’t want to feel bad for the extra calories, we hit the hotel gym every day.
With every holiday and special occasion, there’s always food – lots and lots of unhealthy high-calorie food you normally don’t even look at, much less eat. This month it’s all about stuffing, pumpkin pies, turkey and high-cal gravy, casseroles dripping in cheese with french fried onions on top. Needless to say, dieters should be worried. Thanksgiving IS coming – and so are the extra pounds unless you prepare for it.
How Bad Do You Want It?
If you really want to eat all the Holiday fare, then you better get to work, because you either have to work FOR the STUFFing or work the STUFFing OFF if you don’t want to gain weight this year.
1. Work More. Have you seen homeless people holding up “will work for food” signs? Well, that’s you! You can afford to eat a little more than you normally do, or eat things you wouldn’t normally eat, if you make room in your caloric budget for them. This means, if you know you are going to eat an extra 1,000 calories over the weekend, plan on doing 2-3 more cardios that week to make room. You will literally be working for food. The problem is, most people actually workout LESS during the Holidays – not more. This is why so many of us gain weight during this time of year.
I know, I’d guess your first response to that statement is that you are too busy during the Holidays to workout. However, that excuse really doesn’t really work. You’ll likely have enough time to watch TV, stalk people on facebook, or read this blog, among other things. You just need to prioritize.
If you are too busy, then be more purposeful with your workouts. Put cardio and/or full-body fat-burning workouts as top priority, and only do weight training if you have time. The key to a successful healthy holiday season is burning calories. It only takes 30 minutes to get a good sweat on. Are you really going to try to make up a good excuse of why you won’t invest 30 minutes of your day on your health and happiness?
2. Eat Less. If you truly don’t have the time to workout, treat eating like your bank account. You can either afford it or not. If you haven’t been working out to make room for the extra calories, then don’t eat the extra calories. If you can’t workout, you’ll have to be more strict with your diet – IF you don’t want your weight to slip. You can still sample some of your favorite foods, but just like you manage your bank account, you have to manage your calories and make sure you can afford each bite. (TIP: Track calories at www.LoseIt.com)
3. Balance. Of course, balance is key. The best situation is to maintain your workouts and eating patterns as best as you can, and apply the above to the few days you are out of your routine. Remember, what you allow to hit your lips during the Holidays will last you weeks on your hips if you aren’t careful.
What’s the other alternative? Weight gain. If you aren’t willing to workout and watch your calories, then expect to gain weight. If that’s OK with you, and you don’t mind joining the millions who make weight loss their New Year’s Resolutsion come January, than go for it. OR you can be a step ahead of the rest of America and stay fit and trim (and feel GREAT) this Holiday!
45 Seconds Air Squats
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Push Up & Knee to Elbow
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Burpees
15 Seconds of Rest
45 Seconds of Bicycle (Oblique) Sit-Ups
15 Seconds of Rest
1 Full Minute of Rest
REPEAT 4 TIMES
TIP: Take the workout up a notch by counting reps for each round to encourage a faster pace. Try to beat your time each time you do the workout.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Some of the best experiences take a little work. Whether you are hiking through challenging terrain to see a beautiful waterfall or zipling across a mountain top to get a breathtaking view, it takes a certain level of physical activity, strength, stamina and balance to have fun sometimes.
We were reminded of this when Steve and the guys went white water rafting. Before the group hit the water, we noticed one group was very overweight. We were concerned they weren’t physically fit enough to do the grueling Class 5 trip. Then, while the group was in orientation, the head guide said “We encourage aggressive self-rescue”. That’s when we really got nervous!
Being Out of Shape Can be Dangerous
All of the wives drove down to a couple lookout points to shoot photos of our men going by, we noticed the guides in the other boat were struggling to get their heavier passengers safely around the falls. We were right! These people were really struggling.
One woman was completely laid out in the boat, while the others were so exhausted they weren’t even paddling. Since thy weren’t able to paddle, the raft wasn’t always going where the guides needed it to avoid trees and rock – resulting in the boat going over the falls backwards and sideways, spilling people out of the boat and putting everyone in danger.
Being Out of Shape Isn’t Fun
Not only did it make it scary for them, it spoiled the fun for others around them. The guides were working overtime to make up for their lack of paddling and other boaters had to stop and help save them every time they went off course or fell into the rushing water.
Being Out of Shape is Risky
Not only does being fit allow you to be more active and do more things, but it also helps you do them safely. Hiking through difficult terrain is challenging enough for the physically fit, but can be downright dangerous for someone who isn’t strong enough to save themselves if need be.
Being Out of Shape Puts Others at Risk
Not only do you risk injury if you aren’t able to perform certain tasks safely, but think of the others who will attempt to come to your rescue. Can they save you if you are too heavy for them or not strong enough to hold on? They may risk their own life trying to make up for your weaknesses.
Being Out of Shape Can Make You Miss Out
You don’t have to be an extreme vacationer to benefit from being fit. Even something as simple as sightseeing can be a complete bomb if you get tired easily from the endless walking. That’s when cardio pays off big time. The more fit your heart and lungs are, the longer you can last on excursions.
Being Fit is Just More Fun!
It’s easy to think of working out as actual work, but think of it as an investment on a more fun future. You don’t have to go kneeboarding or take adventurous excursions to put your fitness to the test, but I guarantee your vacations will be the most fun vacations you’ve ever had when you are fit enough to enjoy every second of them.
Being fit is not just about looking better, or living longer. Being fit is about living better.
Thank you Steve for such a GREAT anniversary weekend in the mountains! Thank you for holding me accountable and helping me stay fit enough to experience life to the fullest! What a FUN vacation! What a FUN 18 years!!!
When Steve and I were in the mountains with our friends, we wanted to burn off some of the extra calories we were consuming. While our friends scouted out the terrain, Steve started looking for heavy objects to use as fitness tools.
They grabbed medium-size rocks for shoulder raises and propane tanks for squat presses. They used heavy lumber to put on their shoulders for walking lunges and used rope for climbing and repelling. Before we knew it, we had a whole outdoor gym ready to make everyone sweat.
This is one advantage to functional training, like our BCx boot camp program. Since we don’t rely on weight machines to sculpt physiques in boot camp, our clients learn plenty of exercises they can do at home – or, like our friends, their home away from home.
The more functional exercises you learn, the more creative you can get with your workouts, no matter where you are. Even the smallest hotel gym can give you the space you need to create an effective workout if you have a good exercise library in your head.
Here are 5 tips to staying fit on your vaca:
1. Get a lay of the land. Look for surrounding paths, streets and trails. If you can drive on them, clock miles and create a route.
2. Make some fitness tools. Turn two one-gallon containers of water into 8lb dumbbells. Rocks, firewood, large containers of laundry detergent and even luggage can be used as used as weights.
3. Invest in small fitness tools. It’s great to have some portable fitness equipment, like jump rope and Bodylastics bands, that travel well and work great too.
4. Pack your tennies. There is one thing you need if you want to work up a sweat no matter what you do – a good pair of tennis shoes. I brought my Spira stability shoes, which are versatile and great for running too.
5. Plan ahead. If you want to have a good workout while on vacation, do some research before you hit the road. Google area gyms and look for cool tourist activities that keep you moving. Pick out a few workouts you can take with you, like the ones we create online for FitStudio.com or DesignerWhey.com.
Even if you go on vacation, that doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your workouts too!
Here is the workout Steve, and his friend Brian, did in the mountains.
- Sprint Uphill
- 10 Burpees
- Climb Rope up 20 foot cliff
- Sprint Uphill
- Carry 20-40lb Objects
- Jump the Ranger
- Race Downhill
- Lumber Lunges
- Climb Rope
As many of you know, we had the privilege to lead Mexico Body Camp, a luxury wellness retreat at El Dorado Royale.WOW!! What a FUN trip to Mexico with the Sears FitStudio & My Destination Wellness team! Below is Scott Herman, Me, Steve Pfiester, Alfonso Moretti (AKA: The Angry Trainer) and Andrea Metcalf.
Every day was filled with fitness activities – boot camp on the beach, sunrise yoga, pilates, MMA kickboxing and trainer workshops. The resort was simply amazing, making pretty much any exercise there dreamy! I’ll be posting photos on my facebook throughout the week so be sure to check them out and writing more recaps and sharing Mexico fit tips.
If you are looking for a wellness retreat, stay tuned because this won’t be the last. Not only do we lead retreats at Gloria Estefan’s beach resort, we will be planning another dreamy fitness vaca with the FitStudio trainers – and likely another chance to WIN! Stay tuned!
Keith, from Visible Air, was on location the entire time shooting video for FiStudio, which you will be seeing soon. He captured all the sweat and plenty of fun! Thanks Keith!! You ROCK!
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders
Steve had a hard time concentrating on his lines with the Dallas cowboy cheerleaders watching. That’s OK, because he returned the favor and had a perfect view during pilates to watch them during THEIR swimsuit shoot! …but somehow I don’t think they were as distracted as he was. ha!!
Back in Action!
Now that I’m back in the states, I’ll be get back to blogging and motivating my peeps! Tell me what YOU would like to hear. Diet? Workouts? Motivation? My inquiring mind wants to know! …as soon as I get your feedback I’ll get back to work!
Hope you all have a fantabulous week!!!