Alright, so you’ve been doing well all year, following a clean diet, getting some good workouts in, and now it’s summer and you’re ready to show off the body you’ve been working for. Yet after about 3 days of lounging lazily by the beach, sipping on sugary cocktails, munching on convenience snacks all day and summertime celebrating all night, pretty much all you’ve been working for is down the toilet. It’s extremely frustrating how you can work so long and hard for something and in only a few days you can lose it all. Like seriously who thought it would be a cool idea to make our bodies react this way. Takes months to build up muscle, tone up, get fit but takes only a few days to lose it all. It’s hard during vacation to keep up the fitlife, I know, especially if you’re on vacation with friends or family that don’t follow the same lifestyle. Now of course it’s important to have a break as well, get some rest during vacation (if anything just for mental health) but of course if you’ve gotten used to living quite a healthy lifestyle, stopping entirely and becoming a beach potato living off beer and ice cream will not only get your body confused but actually have you feeling pretty crap. So here’s some simple ways to keep your summer a little healthier and in the end allow you enjoy it even more.
1. BYOB. Nope don’t bring your own booze (although that could actually be quite a money saver) but actually bring your own bottle! Keep an empty water bottle with you at all times (preferably one in metal to avoid all that BPA stuff). When you’re feeling snacky and want to grab one of those cracker cookies someone brought along to the beach, chug a nice big gulp of water instead. Half the time you’re not actually hungry but just dehydrated. Especially when spending time in the sun and heat, we can get dehydrated super quickly without realizing it, which can cause headaches, false feelings of hunger, can make you grumpy, sleepy and then make you feel even more lazy (vicious lazy summer cycle). It’s not hard to find water fountains or taps with drinkable water in public places, and it’ll avoid you cuing for 15 minutes just to find yourself buying a 4 Euro bottle of Evian (time saver and money saver as well! Cha-chinnggg).
2. Make smart cocktail choices. So a nice fruity cocktail by the pool is pretty much a summer necessity, although it can be pretty dangerous. Drinking your calories is tricky since you can do it without realizing. “Well I haven’t really eaten anything all day so I can treat myself to a nice big dinner”, well actually sorry to break it to you girl but those 3 pina coladas you had early by the pool could have contained up to 300 calories each. What?! Yup I know, they looked cute with the little pink umbrella and everything but they’re not all that innocent. There are ways make smarter choices however which will still allow you to join in on the there-are-pretty-fruits-in-my-bright-pink-juice festivities. First of all, go for a cocktail made with actual fruit juice and and try avoid the syrups and nectars. Of course in juice there’s sugar as well, and since the fruit is stripped of it’s fiber it basically has the same effect on your body as refined sugar, but still, there is significantly less than in the other even more processed stuff. Also, make the cocktail virgin if you can; always better to avoid the extra calories that come from alcohol. Going alcohol-free can keep your skin from breaking out, avoid you getting even more dehydrated, not to mention keep you far from that feeling of regret when you’re friends show you those pictures of you’re late night ABBA cover at the karaoke bar.
3. Push for some fit daily activities. With a group of friends or family on vacation (unless you’re with some fellow #fitfam members) daily activities don’t necessarily include exercise. It takes just one person to push for switching another beach lounging day for a hike if you’re somewhere that allows it or even to rent out some bikes to tour the city and you should totally be that person. It may seem like a whole lot of effort to not only push the others to participate but to actually spend the day doing some exercise, but damn, after a day spent outside getting a move on in the sun, it feels amazing to sit down, eat a big dinner and get a good sleep.
4. Move it early. Okay so your friends or family are not down. They want to have a break this vacation and despite your best efforts you can’t get them to join you in some physical activity; no problem. Take advantage of the morning (chances are it’s the only time you’ll have to yourself) and go out on your own. A quick morning run (it can be done anywhere, no excuse!) or even some early morning yoga on the beach. Once you have yourself moving and being fit first thing in the morning it’s way easier to keep it going throughout the day and you’ll naturally find yourself making healthier choices.
5. Oats are your friend. For real this is my favourite tip because it has helped me keep up a healthy diet when on vacation enormously. I carry oats with me everywhere. Whether you’re in the train or plane mid-travel, or staying at a friend house or even in a hotel, oats are always an easy breakfast choice. When you start off the day with a healthful, filling meal full of fibre, it’s a whole lot easier to keep up healthy choices the rest of the day. All you need is some water to turn your oats into the perfect morning meal. When i’m at a friend or relative’s place I usually also ask for a fruit or just some honey or cinnamon, make myself a nice big bowl of oatmeal and BAM first meal of the day is super healthy and can keep me full for hours.