I should start by saying that no vacation is exactly the same. How I approach my “diet” and workouts is usually dependent on where I’m going, who I’m going with and what we’re doing. It also depends on my personal fitness goals at the time. In the last 6-8 months for the most part I haven’t had any specific fitness goals, so my diet and workouts haven’t been as regimented. Meaning, since I’m not being super strict on a daily basis, I’m not carrying that mentality with me on vacation.
However, even when I do have more specific goals, at this point in life my vacations are still pretty relaxed. For example, in January I wasn’t drinking, I was working out 5-6x a week, and I was counting macros. The first few years of my “fitness journey” I would have carried this with me on vacation and been focused on getting in my workouts, counting macros, etc. even if it wasn’t enjoyable for me. Over the years, I’ve learned that overall I’m just not someone who enjoys being “that” strict 24/7. When I’m home and in a routine, I like to workout regularly and and eat healthy because it makes me feel good on a daily basis. But when I’m on vacation, I don’t need those same “rules.” Vacation is time for me to relax, sleep in, try new restaurants, etc. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about what I’m eating or never workout but it’s definitely not my top priority.
That being said, I would say that usually when I’m on vacation I try to workout at least a few times because I know that it will make me feel better (it’s a good stress reliever for me), but I’m more open to what those workouts look like. If we’re somewhere that has good hiking, I’d rather do that then find a gym. So for example, when we were in Napa–I went to the gym once, we walked around a ton one day and the last day we did a 1.5 mile hike. Having the gym at the hotel was great and I would have probably taken advantage of it more had we stayed there longer, but otherwise I was fine with just walking and doing the hike. I’m not usually the type of person that is going to make up my own workout and use a chair to do tricep dips LOL (while on vacation). If something is available I’ll do it, and if not then I usually just take the time to relax.
As far as food goes, it really just depends! I usually try to have at least one meal be somewhat “nutritious” during the day, but otherwise I really don’t care–I definitely indulge on vacations because trying new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling (IMO)! That said, I’ll usually opt for a healthier breakfast (aim to get in some protein) and then for lunch and/or dinner I’ll enjoy myself more.
All in all, I really don’t stress when I’m on vacations and I do whatever feels good. If I feel like working out and it’s convenient I will, but if a gym is a pain in the ass to get to, or I feel like my body just wants to rest then I won’t. And with food, I overall just enjoy myself and don’t really think one way or the other about it. I was talking with my trainer about this the other day and he was like, what makes a difference isn’t if you indulge when you’re on vacation, it’s if you keep indulging when you get a back. Meaning, don’t stress too much when you go on vacation–enjoy it in whatever way works for you. I am someone that enjoys taking some time off when I’m on vacation, but when I’m home I’m ready to get back into my routine. As much as I enjoy indulging during vacations, I equally enjoy getting back to my routine because I know it makes me feel good and healthy on a daily basis. But for me, taking that break from my routine is part of what makes vacations so enjoyable anyway.
Over the years I’ve learned a couple things. One, consistency is what makes real changes. Indulging during the few vacations you take isn’t going to change anything except let you enjoy your trip and make wonderful memories! What matters is being able to jump back into your normal routine when you’re home. The other thing I’ve learned is that the stress you may feel surrounding food and workouts while on vacation IS NOT worth it. I remember so many vacations where I’d go into the bathroom and check my abs because I wanted to see if I had “lost progress.” It honestly makes me so sad to think about that–that I was spending time and energy on something so insignificant. And I can assure you, feeling stressed and being overly concerned about workouts and my diet didn’t do anything for my physique in the long run.
Would love to hear how you approach your workouts and diet when on vacation, and if that’s changed at all over the years!