Smutty Fitness: Holiday meals and weight gain
I get asked a lot how to stay in shape while traveling and since spring break is here and I am heading off to London and then Ireland to visit and travel with my best friend, I thought it was the perfect time to share how I prevent those pesky vacation pounds from piling on.
My first piece of advice is I do not change who I am or how I live simply because I am on vacation. This means that yes, I allow myself to indulge in the food and culture of the country I am travelling in but it does not mean I allow myself overdo it. Just like when I am at home, I do allow myself to have whatever I like, I just do not let myself have whatever I like all the time. If I know I am having an exquisite meal that evening I will start my day out with a light breakfast, or if we are hitting up a fantastic pub or restaurant for lunch then it is a light breakfast and a small, healthy dinner. I also keep healthy snacks on me for when I find myself hungry in a pinch. Fruit, bars and individually wrapped cheeses are great quick and healthy snacks.
My second piece of advice is stay away from airport and airplane food. Not only is it terrible tasting, it is terrible for you. If you can, have a healthy meal before heading out from home to help you get through the long lineups at the ticket counter and security. If you are taking a short flight somewhere then most likely a meal will not be served, but rather than opting for buying a sandwich on board, pack your own. If you do not have time to do so, packing healthy bars, dried fruit and nuts are great alternatives and should curb any hunger or cravings on the flight. If it is a longer flight, it is absolutely a must that you pack something. Quinoa, or other grain salads, are my favourite as they are easy to make and eat well cold. Pick a grain of choice, add in a few of your favourite diced veggies, some feta cheese and a dash of olive oil and balsamic. I am on an overnight flight so I have prepared some homemade banana pancakes (which have been frozen in my freezer since the weekend) with some peanut butter to snack on when the flight lands in the morning. This will keep me away from the sugary, fatty muffins that the airline provides.
And drink water! Flying dehydrates you and we all know what can happen when we are dehydrated and how easy it is to reach for sugary pick-me ups when we are dehydrated.
While you are traveling in your destination do not stress too much about your workouts. Most likely you will be spending your days walking and sightseeing, which is more than enough of a calorie burn. I always love to throw on running shoes and hit the streets of the cities I am in for a sightseeing running tour as it makes me feel like a local but I never stress about missing a workout. You are on vacation, there is plenty of time to stress about working out when you are at home.
If you prepare properly and make healthy choices as much as you can, weight gain is almost impossible while abroad. Bon Voyage!