Travel - Most of us can't get enough of it! Whether it's a 1 week vacation or a year long, worldwide trip it just keeps calling us back for more. Most of us work our butts off in the gym all year round for that one holiday we've got booked in the summer. We finally get into decent shape and are ready to show off our newly acquired abs on the beach, when disaster strikes! There's an all you can eat buffet and an open bar! Within hours of arriving we've found ourselves a permanent sun bed and have the waiter bringing us cocktail after cocktail until lunch is served when we finally shuffle over to the buffet to gorge ourselves silly. This unexpected cycle continues for the entire week, and as our bellies get fuller, all of our hard work seems to be slipping away hour by hour!
This obviously is an extreme example of what might happen when going on holiday, and not representative of everyone, but let's be realistic, most of us let ourselves go a little bit more than we initially plan to when on holiday............and that's OK, but if you want to avoid the main pitfalls we've written our 5 Top Tips to keep that hard earned body when travelling.
1. Always Plan ahead:
Chances are you probably know where you're going to be staying, and you know how long you're going to be staying there. Spend a few extra minutes of your planning to search the local area for any nearby gyms, parks or even local running/hiking routes. Doing this enables you to work out a realistic training regime for the week ahead.
When I travel, I know the chances of being able to maintain my exact routine are VERY slim. So I always plan a slightly more manageable routine based around whole body workouts and that will usually require less equipment. This also tends to burn a few extra Calories as well which is a bonus when you're eating buffet food every day.
2. Put the pastries down!
Now don't get me wrong, we're only human, and we're all partial to a decent hotel breakfast buffet! That being said, keep in mind that your usual breakfast is (probably) a far cry from the 2 Danish pastries, 3 croissants, large bowl of granola and triple stack of pancakes that you're about to shovel down your throat. As a one time thing it won't really make much of a difference to your health/physique, but consume that amount of additional Calories every day for your entire trip, and you might find yourself taking a few more Kilos home with you (and i'm not talking about Duty Free shopping!). Try not to go too crazy, and maintain as close to normal eating habits as possible. If you really can't resist the pastries, at least try to balance out the Calories later in the day through your training, and opting for lighter options for lunch and dinner.
3. Sharing is caring:
You're on holiday right? So when you've finished your dinner and the waiter asks if you'd like to see the dessert menu, of course you say a big fat YES! Desserts are a big ol' bomb of sugar, and therefore are a very easy way to add the Caloric equivalent of another meal to your day without even realising. By all means go ahead and order that gooey chocolate lava cake, but maybe get it with two spoons and share it with your partner.
4. Always pack some snacks:
You've got a long journey ahead of you, and you know 100% the snack options are going to be very limited, but time and time again we do this and pray for a miracle that over night McDonalds, KFC and 7/11 have chucked out the bad food and changed their business models toward healthy food.
Try to pack a few snacks for the road. A few of pieces of fruit and a bag of nuts will at least keep you satisfied for part of the journey, and save you from those nasty processed options.
5. Results you will lose, if you don't moderate the booze:
Firstly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a few drinks on holiday, but spread out over a whole day it's very easy to unknowingly consume thousands (yes thousands) of extra Calories. Do this every day for a couple of weeks and you could be asking for trouble.
If you're going to drink, try to pick a time window (perhaps from dinner until bed time). That way you're less likely to consume quite as many drinks, and therefore as many Calories. The same goes for soft drinks as well. Usually you probably don't drink sugary drinks every single day, but all of a sudden you're on holiday and the free flow Cola is calling you. At the end of the day it just comes down to moderation.
The best way to give yourself a fighting chance of staying in shape while you're travelling is to keep as close to your normal eating and training regime as possible. That's easier said than done though, and there will always be that holiday urge to over indulge and it can sometimes be overwhelming, so my advice is to just try to be generally mindful. Be mindful of your food and be mindful of your activity levels.
Laying on a sunbed for the whole day and eating twice as much food than you usually would is a guaranteed way to have you going for an extra belt notch when you get home, but that being said, it's also very important to understand that a week of over-eating and under training is not a life sentence that you can't come back from. You WILL get yourself back on track when you get home, and those extra few pounds won't be with you for long, so if you do let yourself go a bit, don't beat yourself up about it, and most importantly....................enjoy your holiday!