5 Strategies for Vacation Weight Loss
How do you eat beans when you’re on a plane? When you’re in a taxi out of town? When you’re on a train heading cross-country? Whether you’re heading for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or three weeks overseas, you’ll be wondering if it’s at all possible to keep up with slow carb, and keep your fat loss going. Important, you want to know that you’re not going to gain weight that you’ve worked hard to get off. Here’s 5 strategies to keep everything going smoothly.
This isn’t going to one of those posts that seem to go nowhere, and then leave you hanging for more at the end. Nope.
These strategies come directly from my own experiences of personally travelling, and those of my clients, some of whom travel every single week on a regular basis.
Strategy 1: The ‘Limit the Danger’ Strategy
This one is easy to follow, but could be challenging depending on who you’re travelling with. To make this one work, you’d probably be travelling with a car, and despite your movements, you’re going to refer back to your regular schedule of meals from your regular home-life.
Sounds simple? Too simple? Think about the last time you travelled. How regular were your meals? Skip one or two? Maybe delay a couple because of where you were?
Just keeping your regular food and schedule in mind can seriously help you maintain good habits, no matter if it’s snowing, sunny or you’re hitting the highway or driving the slow road around a lake.
How to: Pre-pack food, and pre-shop before you run low. Set alarms on your phone for meal times, 30 mins before you want to eat, and you’ll have time to find a good spot to do so.
Best used: When travelling solo, in familiar territory, or at least in places with the same stores you regularly shop at.
Strategy 2: The “Put that on the list” Strategy
This one is fun, because you’re going to have an almighty cheat day after this.
For this to work, you’re going to run a notepad either on your phone or in your bag, and jot down every single thing that looks great, smells delicious or reminds you of happy summers as a kid.
Your list will probably look like the Michelin man’s daily food diary, but it’ll give you amazing inspiration to stay the course during the week, and make for a very fun cheat day, whatever day of the week that might be while you’re away.
Best used: When you’re away from home but somewhere where regular meal choices aren’t challenged too much by lack of ingredients or selection
Strategy 3: The ‘It’s not that bad” Strategy
Heads-up on this one – this is a sliding scale, and it can slide!
This strategy relies on your good judgement to make selections close to slow carb, when you just don’t have beans or lentils in front of you.
Head to the breakfast bar at the hotel, and its not likely that you’ll see black beans and steamed spinach waiting for you. More likely, you’ll see eggs, toast, muffins, fruit, cereal and the like.
Here’s the trick – stick with things that are close to slow carb! Eggs – check. More eggs – good choice! Some bacon – OK in moderation. Triple stack blueberry pancakes with syrup and ice cream – err.. no, not quite on the right track.
Be prepared to make some little compromises – but you’ll know when things have gone too far. If you use this option, drop cheat day this week in favor of preserving your hard earned fat loss.
For other meals, focus on protein on your plate first, then add vegetables, greens and a bit of dressing. Then, add a little bit of carb – a potato, a piece of bread, a piece of fruit if you’re active. But try to avoid those kind of ‘not allowed’ carbs mentioned in the book before 4pm. Best to leave them to dinner. Sound crazy? If you have these carbs at night, then hit the hay, the overnight fast you don’t think about will most likely balance out any minor fat gains, as insulin disappears and you run on your own bodyfat for energy. Just be sure not to overeat in that final meal of the day.
Best used: Anywhere really, especially if overseas with weird food. Easy to spot (usually) meats and fish, vegetables and anything carb-heavy.
Strategy 4: The ‘Pre-packed Backup Plan’ Strategy
This is a favorite used by a client of mine; he packs in some very dense (high fiber), natural protein bars as a backup. If he’s caught in a long meeting, in between flights at airports, or simply without any decent options at a restaurant, he knows he can get a serve of protein that includes some carbohydrates and lots of fiber, meaning slow digestion, and avoiding any crazy feelings of intense hunger (which undo even the best willpower around).
Can be combined with ordering a meat-only dish from a menu – for example, a steak with salad, then the protein bar before or after (within 30 minutes) to a more well-rounded ‘meal’.
Best used: When you suspect that your selections might be awfully limited. (Great for the “breakfast meeting accompanied by muffins, muffins and sugar-infused fruit salad”)
Strategy 5: The ‘Uber-Engineered Vacation Solution’
This strategy is do damned technical (engineers eh?) that it needs it’s own article. But don’t worry! You can find it right here:
Best used: When you’re heading for one of those pack-the-loud-shirt vacations to a beach.
So that’s it! Some handy tips for you to think about the next time you’re travelling. And of course, you could combine the above methods to really have a great strategy when you’re heading away from home.
Thanks to piotr bizior for the photo
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