8 tips for staying fit on vacation
Editor’s note: This is the first column in “The Fit Life,” a new series from Mike Over, the owner of Over-Achieve Fitness, 1320 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, in the Franklin Shopping Center. In this column, he will share tips on staying fit and healthy, no gym required.
Vacations are among us, and the countless hours that we have spent in the gym in the spring have come to surface. All the diets, skipped meals, slashing of calories, detoxes, and protein shakes are proving their worth as you tan up, pack up, and get ready to head to your favorite party spot.
The only thing that lingers is the thought of ruining the past three months’ hard work.
It’s a common thought among many of your minds, and as a role model for fitness in the community and well-known diet expert, I feel it is indeed something you should worry about.
I’ve witnessed it before: The 12 weeks of dieting that turns around into a 15-pound weight gain three days after their “big day.” Sure, much of it is careless eating, but nine times out of 10, the person behind the wheel is either thinking one of two things:
- I’ve worked my butt off, so I deserve a couple days of mindless eating and drinking.
- I reached my goal, now I get to celebrate.
Now, don’t get me wrong…every diet and fitness goal that is reached successfully should get a reward. But always turning to food and drinks can quickly add the pounds right back on. I, myself, have been victim of this game.
I dieted down to below 5% body fat and weighed in at about 170 two years ago before a summer beach trip, only to watch my weight skyrocket to 192 in two weeks of poor eating and lack of exercise. The whole “it takes months of NOTHING to lose muscle” may be true if you are eating three meals of chicken and broccoli a day, but not so much for the average American in the peanut-butter-cup-french-toast-and-fried-donut-burgers world.
Which is why I am here to help.
I’ve come up with my eight top rules and stipulations on how not to gain weight while on vacation, and I thought now would be a perfect time to share them with you all.
So let’s get to it:
1. Workout first.
Upon waking, get up and get your gym clothes on immediately. Head for the coffee and then get your workout in! Before anyone else is up or even out of bed, preferably. Doing this will set the tone for the day and make you less likely to overindulge, be lazy, and make poor food choices.
2. Make the first meal healthy
Not only will this make those around you order carefully and pick their meal, but it will also set the tone for the day. If you start your day off with a stack of cakes and sausage with eggs and home fries, not only will you be in a food coma for four hours, but you will feel so sluggish and lethargic and more than likely more certain to do the same thing for lunch and dinner.
3. Walk everywhere and play active games
Get up! Walk to breakfast, walk on the beach, buy a beach game! Spike ball is big nowadays. Find some room and get off your butt! Everyone deserves some ZZZZ’s on the beach and on vacation, but there is no need to be sitting more than 10 hours a day and sleeping nine! Take a walk after every meal, stop getting shuttle buses and golf cart rides to places, and start using those legs! Ever wonder how those across other countries stay lean? They walk!
4. Research restaurant menus
If you are eating out, research the menu beforehand! Figure out what you are going to eat, and how you are going to have it prepared! Remember, small changes can lead to BIG saving. For example, that Chicken Oscar comes served in a creamy butter sauce for 900 calories. Instead, ask for the sauce on the side or nix it all together and you just saved 500 calories! Easy!
5. Bring bands and a dumbbell
You don’t need your full-size fitness center and full set of weights to keep up with your fitness on vacation. Those of you who think you need a full-size fitness center and weights to get believe me. All I bring with me is a set of Dumbells and a Band, sometimes a TRX.
6. Don’t sweat mistakes
If you fall off the wagon, don’t sweat it! You are on vacation! Enjoy yourself, have fun, cut your losses, and remember it is only ONE week out of the year of training you are doing. One meal is not going to set you back, but pigging out the rest of the day and week will. Just forgive yourself and move on!
7. Skip a snack or small meal a day
Easy tip to stay lean! Just focus on skipping one meal or snack each day and you will save a few hundred calories and keep yourself in a slight deficit for extra drinking calories. Just don’t try to do this if you are still working out and being more active on your trips like I usually am.
8. 20-30 HIIT
For all those who think you need to isolate muscle groups and spend countless hours in the gym, I’ve got some news for you…..
LIVE LIFE! You are on vacation to have some fun and get out of the normal grind.
Recent studies have found that short, effective training workouts can be just as effective as any of the other types of training workouts that can be done in a full-size gym. All you need is your body, mind and a stopwatch to make a quick workout happen with full body movements, and you will be set and getting better results than those who are stuck making sure they get two-minute rest intervals for their chest day straight sets.
If you want to see my full video you can check it out on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/lF1buOYZ-sw
Mike Over, owner and founder of Over-Achieve Fitness in Chambersburg and NASM master trainer who specializes in weight loss and athlete performance. Mike also helps busy families get and stay fit at home with minimal equipment and time. Follow him on Instagram, @mjo_oaf.
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