Summer 2019 is here! After a bitter cold winter and soggy spring in Upstate New York I skipped town and am kicking off summer in Europe. Italy to be exact. I’ve been here for over a week now and while I’ve allowed myself to take some liberties with my nutrition and exercise because, well #YOLO, I’ve been able to maintain a proper balance of quality training for Ironman Mont Tremblant and eating well enough without meticulously counting calories because, let’s be honest, that’s a major drag!
If you’re like me and will be traveling this summer, whether it’s for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday (USA! USA! USA!), a long weekend getaway, or weeks long vacation there are a few things you can do to ensure you won’t be wasting time stressing over what to eat or how many calories you’re consuming. Don’t worry! You can successfully navigate a summer getaway without worrying about how to stay on track.
Stay in control
I’d venture a guess that no one is holding you down and forcing you to eat heavily processed junk. So that means you’re in control of your food choices. Rather than dining out at the gas station or convenience store, take a few extra minutes to seek out high quality meal options. Visit the local grocery store and stock up on your favorites. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the same foods on vacation that you do at home.
Focus on protein
Once you find those whole food sources, build your meals around protein. To keep things simple and avoid overeating, have a Palm size portion of protein with each meal. This will help keep you feeling full longer. Carbs (one cupped handful) and fats (one thumb size portion) are easy to track down, they’re everywhere. Protein that’s cost effective can be a bit harder to find so I always make sure to have my protein supplements in my bag, whether that’s protein powder or protein bars.
Stick to your schedule
Much like trying to eat the same foods on vacation that you do at home, try to stick to the same eating schedule. We’ve been out sightseeing and logging thousands of steps which can lead to prolonged periods without eating. At home I’m eating fairly frequently (not because of any weight loss science, just because it’s convenient for me and I need to eat a fair bit more than the average person), so my stomach has adapted to that. It starts to grumble after a few hours so I try my best to stick to a similar eating schedule as I do at home. This helps prevent overeating when I finally sit down for an actual meal. This is where snacks some in super handy!
Expect the unexpected
Being flexible and keeping your goals in focus is essential. For example, last night we visited Positano. I had us hop off the bus a bit early and we were forced to walk down steps for 15 minutes straight carrying a toddler and a stroller. Not fun! Once we got where we were going we were told it’d be another 90 minutes before we ate dinner. We could have went next door and stuffed ourselves silly out of frustration and exhaustion, but we sat patiently, slowly enjoyed a refreshing cocktail, and took the time to relax rather than fuel our frustration, which for many people can lend itself to eating too much.
Water helps control your hunger. Next time your stomach is rumbling think back to when the last time you had a drink of cold water. You may just be dehydrated. Staying hydrated helps keep those cravings for sugar and processed foods at bay. Having plenty of water to drink also helps you arrive at your destination feeling alert and energized rather than run down and fatigued due to a lack of water.
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