Yesterday my parents headed back to California after an extended stay in Colorado. You know we spent a few days exploring Granby last weekend, then my mom and dad came down to my house for the rest of the week. Yet even with a few evenings out, plus my Dad’s gourmet cooking, and a looser schedule than usual (meaning I didn’t stick to my typical get to the gym every day routine), I didn’t gain any weight.
With a few easy adjustments, you can keep your weight in check while on vacation or hosting guests.
- Plan ahead: I’m generally a big fan of getting weekly workouts on the calendar, and vacation is no different. I know, I know, summer vacation is supposed to be about unwinding and giving yourself a break from to-do lists and over-scheduling, but I bet you still plan some sight-seeing excursions, and have at least a general outline of your days. So, before you even leave for your trip (or guests arrive), look for small chunks of time when you can sneak in a workout.
- Let your location inspire you: don’t sweat it out at your hotel gym if you are on a beach somewhere! Walk or run on the beach. Or in the mountains. Or through the city streets. Use your workout as another (fun!) opportunity to explore your destination, and experience things a little more like a local. If you’re hosting out of town guests, take them places that involve walking: the zoo, an aquarium, a botanic garden or a museum.
- Think about your meals: rather than eating each meal with reckless abandon, think about what splurges really matter to you. In Italy? Of course you’ll want to indulge in wine, pasta, and gelato. But do it every day, all day, and you’re in trouble. If I were going to Italy (oh, how I wish), I’d keep my meals light all day, and then enjoy my dinner with gusto! Decide what foods/drinks you can’t miss, and then make smart choices the rest of the time.
- Relax: it is vacation after all! Don’t worry about sticking to the same strict workout schedule you keep during “real life” (unless you enjoy that sort of thing). Look for creative ways to stay active, stay moving, and practice some moderation, and it should all balance out in the end.
Here’s what I did while my parents were visiting: I kept to some of my regular workouts and classes, added in a couple early morning walk/run workouts in the nearby open space, stayed moving by visiting the town of Boulder, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Botanic Gardens, and cut back on meals throughout the day so I could enjoy some rich dinners.