Spring break is upon us, and if you’re traveling, this means expensive airport snacks, fast food, and sugar-loaded drinks…WRONG!
You’ve been killing it in gym for four, five, six days a week—spending hours meal prepping and fully dedicating yourself to eating clean.
You deserve a vacation. You deserve to enjoy yourself. But what you don’t deserve is throwing away all your hard work! Just because on vacation you won’t be in your normal routine doesn’t mean you should forget everything you have been working towards.
With my top tips, I make it easy for you to maintain your progress while on vacation without ruining the fun!
1. Trade “Quick and Easy” for “Prepared and Healthy”
When you arrive at the airport, get through security, and walk into a terminal filled with fast food restaurants and small grocery stores, fight the temptation to grab a quick and easy snack. Instead, arrive at the airport prepared.
Fail to prep, prep to fail is how the saying goes I believe?
Bring a bag loaded with alternate snack options to get you through your travel day. Any solid foods are allowed through the security checkpoint and can be easily carried on the plane. Pack something simple such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, protein powder, a sandwich or healthy baked goods.
Remember, you don’t need a full meal at that airport. All you need is enough to keep you satisfied until you get to your destination.
My go to is a Shaklee meal replacement bar with almond butter spread over top to help keep me satisfied.
2. Avoid the “Healthy options” and Read your Labels!
Most likely you’ll stop at a gas station or a mini-mart in search of a healthy snack. Typically, right next to all the candy—which I know you would never consider consuming!— you’ll find an endless amount of various snacks, nuts, and protein bars.
While they may seem like healthy options, the large majority are just as nutritionally void as the candy they’re sitting next to. Save your cheat meals and treats for something better!
If you’re wondering how to tell what’s nutritious and what’s not, here’s the best way to do it: Read your food labels! One very important thing to look for on the nutrition label is sugar—the root of all evils when it comes to losing sight of your goals. It also happens to hide in almost all packaged foods.
Ideally you want to find a snack that contains zero added sugar and is made from whole food ingredients, but unfortunately, this is not always an option. Personally, I search for a protein bar that has less than 10 grams of sugar, contains healthy fats (nuts and seeds), is high in protein but moderate in carbs.
Your snack may not contain the highest quality ingredients, but at least you’re aware of what you’re choosing to eat and that you made the healthiest choice possible.
3. Research Restaurants
When you finally make it to your destination, you and your family are most likely going to be starving!
If you Google the closest restaurants, you’ll likely find endless options. Rather than randomly picking one, I suggest taking five quick minutes to view their online menus. Search for a restaurant that offers a healthy protein option, a complex carbohydrate choice, and, of course, some vegetables.
This meal may not be 100% clean, but it’s better than going all out on meal that you will later regret while laying on the beach the next day!
4. Find 30 minutes in your morning to get your sweat on
No matter how crazy of a day you have planned, make time for you and your workout. Breaking a sweat first thing in the morning boosts your motivation to stay on track and helps you maintain a healthy mindset throughout your entire day.
I recommend getting it done within the first 30 minutes of your morning, allowing yourself to relax and enjoy the rest of your day guilt-free!
Whether you go for a jog along the shoreline, find a fun hike, do burpees in your hotel room, yoga on the beach or a simple strength workout in the hotel gym, just make it happen!
Keep in mind your workouts don’t need to be intense. You aren’t striving to reach your fitness goals while on vacation—you’re striving to maintain the progress you’ve already made. And remember, any movement is better than no movement!
5. 80/20 Rule
I am a certified personal trainer and to be completely honest with you, I do not eat healthy 100% of the time. I live my life by eating 80% healthy and 20% treating myself, and I advise you to do the same—especially while on vacation.
Life is too short not to enjoy a slice of cake with your children, a fun dinner out with your significant other, or a drink with your closest friends.
During the day, hold yourself accountable by choosing the healthiest options available. Then when it comes time for your fun night out, feel free to enjoy yourself! You know you have nourished your body properly for the majority of your day, so some enjoyment at night won’t ruin everything you’ve worked for.
However, be careful not to make the flip by eating 20% healthy and 80% treating yourself. This is all too easy to do and you most likely will regret it once you return home!
6. HAVE FUN!
Last but not least, relax. You deserve some YOU time. Taking time on vacation to rest and rejuvenate allows you to come back refreshed and ready to continue working hard toward your goals!
Cody Burns is the Head Trainer of Burn Boot Camp Verona in Madison, Wisconsin. His life as a trainer started four years ago once he came home from the military and wanted to impact as many lives as possible. Today he is at the helm of an amazing team, paving the way to changing lives one camp at a time in the Madison area. For mindset and exercise advice, check out his Instagram account!