Slow carb on vacation

With the weather getting better in a lot of the North American continent, your thoughts might be turning towards summer vacations and weekends at a lake, cabin, beach or park.

Of course, this also means a time that inevitably means wearing less clothes and perhaps having more incentive to be looking great and better than ever.

So how do you combine a vacation with slow carb fat loss?

I’ve been asking myself exactly this question lately, but it is this week that it is especially important; we’re on vacation this week on the Californian coast, and with the sun shining, the beach is calling, but so are the evening drinks and some of the tastiest meals I’ve seen offered in a long time.

So what’s the strategy?

I’m working with my ‘best version’ way of doing things. That’s where you take the current situation you’re in, and figure out what is realistically the best case scenario for what you have in front of you.

Let’s take a quick look at my usual routine:

  • Regularly sleeping in the same place
  • Shop at the same shops
  • Have a familiar routine
  • Have a fridge nearby
  • Have cooking facilities on hand

And now a look at what a vacation gives you:

  • Varied and different routine
  • Different sleep patterns day to day, in different places
  • Shopping at different shops, on the run
  • Having no routine
  • Not having cold storage
  • Not always having anything more than a microwave and coffee maker

What a difference! So I take a realistic, ‘cold light of day’ look at that list, and realize that the possibility of my following a regular slow carb eating routine is very unlikely, and most likely impossible.

So, instead of going with an ‘all or nothing’ perspective, I consider what I can do, to minimize what’s different.

So, here’s what is easy to do:


  • Buying pre-cooked hard boiled eggs
  • Using pre-made protein shakes like Muscle Milk
  • Having some prewashed spinach handy
  • Bringing and can opener, and buying some black and dark red beans


  • Using a protein bar that’s low on sugar
  • Packing some other vege snacks like baby carrots
  • Choosing salads with meat at cafes
  • Being ok with some rice or some corn


  • Working with menus to focus on protein rich meals
  • Looking for lower carb options on meals
  • Adding protein shake if opting for meat salad option
  • Limiting consumption of rice and potato, but allowing some


  • Generally necessary, unlike regular slow carb, due to travelling over Meal 3 time (around 4pm)
  • Using a high protein bar, or protein drink


  • Keeping clear of beer and milk
  • Staying away from cereals, fruit juices
  • Avoiding those fried foods
  • Enjoying a really great ‘cheat meal’ during the vacation

And that’s it. I figure a menu like this means my vacation time isn’t disrupted too much, but I am taking some simple and easy actions that can help limit the changes while away. So far so good!

Have a think about what little changes you can make to your normal vacation routine that will make it a healthier one this year, and reap the rewards and maintain the great results you’re working hard for.

Have tips? Share them with everyone and we will all have great summer vacations, without blowing out all that hard work done in spring!

You might be interested in reading these too:

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  3. Slow carb revolution: fat loss and health? While Atkins is doing its science, and goading you into eating more bacon, and South Beach is filling you with artificially produced 'meal' bars, while Weight Watchers is leaving you unsatisfied with small...

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8 Responses to Slow carb on vacation

  • Pingback: Do you work out while on vacation? | Active Couch Potato

  • Dodie Jacobi says:

    I just got back from my first vaca since slow-carbing, and yes got lots of compliments on the new me. It’s been less than a month with 15 pounds of weight loss, so several were concerned I was ill, but my energy continues to be betterthanevah! That aside, I thought about, but didn’t, pack protein shakes and bars. I had no problem passing on the snacks my friends brought along (okay, I had a few choc covered m&ms) and timing was perfect for my Splurge Night (it’s not cheating if it’s in the protocol) to enjoy the salmon, steak, and garlic mashed potatoes! I’d had the best peanut butter pie with my chicken and roasted tomato pesto for lunch. I found hotel breakfast of eggs (albeit not organic, local) and canadian bacon (also not) was at least satisfying and felt like a treat in the context of being served. I had my usual tequila/lime/soda cocktail to celebrate each night, and extra wine on Splurge Night. Allinall, I expect I continued to lose weight, I felt not one moment of remorse, and had a great time with pals. (Did I mention capping Splurge Night with a slice of homemade banana walnut cake with cream cheese icing?!” Worth the bit of gluten and dairy for certain!) Thanks for your tips – I’ll try these next time!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Dodie, sounds like a great vacation, and well done on keeping things going while you were away! This is a perfect example of how following most of the principles most of the time really is the best of both worlds – fun and good healthy food. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure people will get a lot from your comment.

      All the best,

  • Nicholas says:

    I just saw the newsletter and have quickly read up on all of the SCD vacation articles. Thanks so much for all of the tips. I’m leaving for Egypt next week for pretty much all of June, and I’ve been dreading the grain-heavy diet over there. These tips will come in handy.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Nicholas,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m really glad our article will help you out while you’re away. All the best in Egypt!! I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.


  • Kendra says:

    Anyone have any recommendations on good brands of protein drinks low in sugar? As far as low sugar is concerned, what amount should I be shooting for? Great timing of article! Really needed this!

  • Hey Luke and Kat

    What a great post! Having just returned from a holiday in the US (9lb weight gain) 3 weeks ago and started my 4HB / slowcarb journey on my return (10lb weight loss so far!) one of the key questions that has been concerning me has been how to manage slowcarb on holiday. Thankfully you have already provide me some of the answers above so thank you for that!

    I love the site by the way! Keep up the good work.



    • Luke says:

      Hey Richard, thanks for your comment!
      So glad we could give you some solutions! Taking a vacation shouldn’t be stressful, even if you’re following an eating plan. In fact, decreasing your stress levels could even see you lose more while away, as weight loss tends to have a ‘momentum’ that can last a few days to a week for some people. Just keep things as close to slow carb as you can, relax lots and you’ll probably come back happier and maybe even slimmer!


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