Do you have an awesome vacation coming up but are wondering how you are going to maintain your calorie deficit? Do you need to log your calories on vacation?
This might be contrary to what you might believe, but you should not count calories or track what you are eating to a tee while you are on vacation because you are not likely to gain a significant amount of body fat in a short amount of time.
I have made this mistake in the past and have regretted it once I got home because I was so focused on what I was eating that I forgot why I was on vacation in the first place.
I am here to tell you to not count calories on vacation.
Read on to learn about some better options you can try on vacation rather than counting calories.
Do You Need to Count Your Calories on Vacation?
No, you should not count calories on vacation because well, you are on vacation! This is a time to relax and enjoy yourself.
What you should be doing is enjoying your time with your family, friends, or whoever it is you are vacationing with. You did not book this trip to focus on your diet.
Stressing out over your calorie intake while on a vacation is going to only ruin your vacation that you have worked so hard to plan and spent your hard earned money on.
You are also MORE likely to make unhealthy choices when you are preoccupied with your calorie intake due to stress. This can set you back further from your weight loss goals when you return home from vacation.
There is no reason to stress over calories in and calories out on vacation because one week of you straying from your routine is not going to make much of a difference, I can promise you this.
So, if you are on vacation, do not worry about counting your calories!
What You Should Do Instead of Calorie Counting on Vacation
You do not have to count calories on vacation. Yes calories still count, but let’s get real, this is a short period of time and it is not going to matter in the long run.
No one ever ruined their entire progress on one vacation.
When you increase your caloric intake on vacation, you are likely going to be eating at, around, or slightly about your maintenance calorie amount anyway.
This means that any weight you do gain is not going to be substantial in such a short amount of time.
If you are feeling nervous about your diet when on vacation, you can choose to focus on having fun or doing some activities to take your mind off of eating.
There are so many activities to choose from. You can rent a car or go explore whatever area you choose to vacation at.
Get out there and experience all your destination has to offer and stop thinking about your food intake.
If you cannot get this worry out of your brain, here are my top 7 tips for easing the anxiety of calorie consumption while on vacation.
1. Do Not Skip Meals Ever
Never skip meals on vacation. It is still important to eat just as you would at home. There is no need to skip meals. This will only make you more likely to overeat later to be honest.
And when you are ravenously hungry, you are more likely to make poor food choices. Just eat when you want to eat and let it go.
2. Do Not Deprive Yourself and Not Eat Foods you Love
Depriving yourself of foods you love is the quickest way to sabotage your diet in general. You are on vacation! This is not the time to be eating bland, boring foods. This is the time to indulge in some of your favorite meals and snacks.
You are not on vacation to be sad and miserable. This is YOUR time to enjoy whatever foods you want to have.
3. Get Protein In
Remember, protein can help you to feel full longer as the body takes longer to digest it. You can try to get in some protein at every meal as this will help to keep you full and satisfied.
Of course, protein is also important for maintaining muscle mass. So, if you are active on vacation and working out, you will definitely want to make sure you are getting enough protein.
4. Eat More Fruit!
At most destinations including tropical islands and the beach, there are a variety of delicious fresh fruits available for you to try.
Try something new! Try new fruits you may have never had. Most fruits are actually low in calories anyway, so you can indulge guilt free.
Fruit is always a great snack to include because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
5. Bring Some Snacks with You That you Love
This might help you to feel a little bit better about all of the food you are eating on your trip, because these snacks will be familiar and you will associate them as being good for you and your weight loss plan.
Again, this is just an option! You do not have to do this.
6. Focus on Getting in Lots of Water
Water intake is important always, but when you increase your fluid intake on vacation you will feel more energetic, less sluggish, more full, and just overall healthier.
Water is essential for maintaining health at all times. Especially when in the heat.
7. Get Some Walking or Other Exercise In
They have gyms at most destinations for a reason. They are there for people who want to get some movement, lifting, or exercise in while they are on vacation.
Some people feel better about themselves when they get a little movement or exercise in, especially after having a large meal or multiple large meals.
However, this isn’t required and should only be on your list if you want to partake in it. It might be the last thing you want to do on vacation, and that’s okay!
You Won’t Gain as Much Weight as You Think on Vacation
When you go on vacation and enjoy everything you love that looks so delicious, you might think you’re going to gain 10-20 pounds in one week, but this is likely not the case.
Remember the maintenance calories we discussed above? This is the reason why people do not gain as much weight as they think they will on vacation. It is because they are not likely in a calorie surplus or in as big of a surplus as they think they are.
In one study, 122 American adults ages 18 to 65 were evaluated, who went on vacations ranging from one to three weeks between March and August.
61% percent of these participants gained weight while on vacation, with an average gain of only 0.7 pounds!
Yes, you read it correctly. Over half of these individuals studies did not even gain a full pound.
So if you are stressed about packing on the pounds while on your trip, don’t be! You are likely not going to gain as much weight as you might think.
Focus On Your Calorie Deficit When You Get Home From Vacation
Instead of counting calories and stressing over your dietary intake and your weight loss on vacation, just put it in the back of your mind and worry about it when you get back.
You will likely be more motivated to get back on track when you arrive home anyway.
When you do get home after stressing over your calorie deficit your entire trip, you will likely regret not enjoying yourself to the fullest on vacation. So the easiest solution is to just put losing weight in the back of your mind if you have to.
Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, not a time to worry about your weight! So put those calorie counting apps away, and just focus on enjoying your trip.
Logging or counting calories on vacation or holiday is not necessary, and will not ruin your fat loss goals.
If you booked a vacation to enjoy yourself and your time off, please just focus on enjoying yourself and doing all of the things you want to do during this time away. Do not spend your time focusing on your calorie deficit or logging everything you eat.
You likely will not gain as much weight as you think anyway once you get back, and even if you do put on some fat, it is not the end of the world and you will be able to get right back on track again.
So go out, enjoy yourself, and eat all of the delicious food you will stumble across! Just don’t focus on logging or counting calories while you’re doing it because you might regret not enjoying this time when you get home.