On my college graduation trip I had my very first experience with outgrowing my clothes on vacation. It was my first trip as an adult at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. I was determined to *enjoy myself* and live it up.
This is what enjoyment looked like back then- French toast and bacon for breakfast, poolside daiquiris and French fries for snack, local treats while on excursions, a full lunch and dinner and of course dessert after every meal. Three days into my enjoyment and MY VACATION CLOTHES DIDN’T FIT. Sound familiar?
I was shocked, mortified, and humiliated each day that I stuffed myself into my clothes for the remainder of the trip. When I left, I didn’t quite understand where I went wrong because I thought I could *burn off* my food with my daily activity but I didn’t understand that you could TOTALLY outgrow your vacation clothes while trying to enjoy your vacation- not fun.
Over more than a decade, I tried numerous vacation strategies that ranged from vacation dieting (looking amazing but hating it all) and confused constraint (saying no to all of the wrong things and still gaining weight) and finally came to what I practice now. These are the strategies that allow me to enjoy my vacation and STILL fit my clothes.
Strategy #1: Drink water. Drink water. Drink water.
The biggest cause for weight gain, bloating, and all around post-vacation discomfort is water retention. You can prevent that by drinking as much water as you possibly can. Fluids flush fluids so drink up.
Strategy #2: Get moving and STAY moving.
I prefer early morning, short gym sessions and remaining active (walking, swimming, playing) all day. Daily movement also flushes fluids.
Strategy #3: Eat veggies.
I know. I know on vacation I want you to eat veggies. YES! Priority #1 is to keep the water retention (thus weight gain and puffy limbs) at bay and green vegetables help with this as well. Eat one #BOS (big ole salad) a day with tons of veggies and that should cover you for the day.
Strategy #4: Eat your protein- even if it is covered in sauce.
Protein keeps you satisfied longer between meals. Being satisfied from your previous meal makes it easier to taste a delicious local treat while out and about between meals without devouring the whole thing. Remember my poolside french fries and daiquiri? Better (higher protein, lower carbs) breakfast choices would have made it easier to enjoy a few bites and sips and move on.
Strategy #5: My PVE eating order.
Rather than regulate how much starch or sugar I can have at a meal, I simply eat them last when I will NATURALLY eat less. Here’s how it works. I eat protein and veggies and THEN anything else. I am typically pretty full by the time I get to everything else BUT I get a taste without feeling restricted.
Strategy #6: If you really want it… say yes…
If I see something that I REALLY want or that is totally unique to where I am visiting, I get it. I usually share it or leave it unfinished but the experience and lack of restriction is worth it to me. Again this works because at meal time, I am eating filling food.
Strategy #7: Say NO a few times each day.
Even on vacation, I don’t REALLY want everything. Some things I used to eat just because *I’m on vacation* or *everyone else is doing it* and too much of that could lead right back to needing to pack two sets of clothes. Even on vacation, it is important to remember what it feels like to practice a little restraint. Saying no daily helps me continue to cultivate self- control while enjoying vacation.
Have you ever outgrown your vacation clothes? What are your favorite strategies to stay fit on vacation?