Video: How To Stay Fit And Eat Healthy On Your Vacation

How to stay fit and eat healthy on your vacation.

Here's a question I get asked a lot: 

"I've been working hard in the gym these last couple of months but I have a vacation coming up. I want to enjoy myself but I don't want to slide back too far... What can I do?"

How To Stay Fit And Eat Healthy On Your Vacation: Understanding The Two Possible Extremes

  1. You COULD totally go off the rails to the max. Drink your face off. Eat everything. Don't move your body. Basically do everything in your power to move as far backward as possible relative to whatever progress you've made so far.
  2. You COULD look at your vacation as an opportunity to continue moving toward the goals you believe are important. I.e. if you're trying to lose fat/be healthier/improve fitness, you could figure out ways to both enjoy your vacation and also align with those objectives. 

If you've read my blog before, you won't be surprised that my short answer is to suggest you intentionally place yourself somewhere in the middle of these two extreme propositions on your next vacation. Have fun! Enjoy some treats and true down time. But do enough towards your fitness and nutrition so at least you're not behind the eight ball when you return.

The thing is, a lot of people who ask about how to stay fit and healthy on vacation assume that in order to be really, really fun, a holiday has to feature a debaucherous decent into sloth and gluttony. 

I enjoy a little sloth and gluttony as much as the next person, but your entire vacation doesn't have to be akin to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, replacing psychotropic drugs with bonbons and alcohol.  



The Truth Is, It's Actually EASIER To Be Healthy On Vacation. 

You have no stress or responsibility. You can sleep as much as you want. You probably don't have to prepare most of your meals. You have time. You can easily be moderately active or get a quick 5-10min workout/run in.

Call yourself out if you're using this as a justification for behaviour that doesn't get you where you want. A vacation isn't an excuse. It's part of your life and you're in control.



There's always time for a nap. Always. 

There's always time for a nap. Always. 

If health, fitness and feeling better are high values for you, I challenge you to try to come back feeling healthier and more vibrant after your vacation than you when left.

This doesn't mean sweating your nuts off and doing insane workouts twice a day, or avoiding all local delicacies. It does mean owning your decisions and paying attention. There's nothing wrong with slowing down and recuperating. But that doesn't have to mean gaining 5-10lbs of fat.

Sometimes I enjoy working out or going on a run on vacation, but for me my base requirements to truly feel great after my trip are:

  • spending 10-15mins in the morning doing some mobility and movement drills to stay limber
  • generally staying active by swimming, surfing, hiking, walking/exploring, and doing a workout when I feel like it/when it fits into my schedule
  • getting lots of quality sleep and taking advantage of afternoon naps
  • having fun!

That doesn't sound so hard or restrictive, does it?


My second piece of advice is this: Aim to keep about 75% of your meals on the healthy side of the spectrum... Then make your treats/deviations from your normal nutrition and fitness routine both memorable and intentional.

If you eat KFC five times on your vacation because it was really close to the hotel, you can do better. Don't let your vacation be an excuse to slip into the same bad habits you've been working on changing.

Believe me, I enjoy food. That's an understatement. It's a huge passion. If you come to my semi-annual Foodgees events, you know this to be true.

So, have a treat if it's really going to be incredible. It's there to be enjoyed.

But if that indulgence isn't an obvious "oh helllls ya!", then skip it until you find something that's really worth it. Own these decisions. Make a treat special.

It's lame to just shrug your shoulders and eat shitty/unhealthy food (especially that's not even very tasty) because it was a bit more convenient, or because it's what everyone else you were with ate.