Ah…you have just started your first day of vacation. Maybe you’re sitting on a beach with the sand beneath your toes, or maybe you’re on a mountain somewhere about to hit the slopes. There is a level of anticipation, excitement, and a lightness where you truly want to just let loose and indulge! Burger, fries and beers for lunch? Topped off with an ice cream, you say? Hell yea. This happens to the best of us. Especially if you are just coming off of a pre-vaca cleanse you are so ready to throw those healthy habits out the window. Like everything though, there are consequences to this “f*** it” mentality. If you throw in the towel completely the first day back from vacation is going to leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and irritable. Who wants to feel that way when your vacation is supposed to leave you relaxed, refreshed and ready to attack life? Not me.
Like many situations in life, balance is the key! You still can enjoy the burger, fries and the beer(s). After all vacations are for indulging. If you overdo it though you’re going to feel like complete crap. Below are a few guidelines that help me ‘have my cake and eat it too’ on holiday.
Stay Active: Try to do some type of activity every day. If you are going to be sitting on the beach the majority of the day, then make sure you get some steps in that morning. I always try to do some type of workout to start the day. Running is my thing, so that’s usually my go-to. It doesn’t have to be a gym! I personally look forward to a break from the gym. It could be as simple as a nice long walk.
Pick your cheat meals: Every meal does not have to be a cheat. For instance, if you are planning on having pasta & dessert for dinner, then eat healthier low carb meals for breakfast and lunch. Don’t have candy at lunch and then do dessert at dinner. That is what we call an overload.
Morning Fast: When I first wake up, I will have coffee then go out and exercise. Usually by the time I was finished it would be around 10:30/11AM. So what I did was combine breakfast and lunch, had a lite snack in the afternoon, and then was ready for dinner. It really comes down to calories in/calories out in the end. This method has worked well for me!
Choose your alcoholic beverage wisely: It is no secret I like to imbibe in my fair share of alcoholic beverages. So naturally when I am away, I definitely enjoy more than my average intake. This is why it is important to be strategic about what your alcohol of choice, especially if you are day drinking. If you want to drink beers during the day, make them lite and go with something different for happy hour. Beer truly is the enemy of your waistline. Hello, bloat! When I day drink, I have a few of those hard seltzers or prosecco. If I choose to have a cocktail later, I have two then switch to wine or prosecco. I am a marg & sangria girl which are heavy on the sugar. Thus, I try and not overdo it for a couple reasons; one being that all the sugar would inevitably lead to bad hangover, and secondly I don’t want to waste my cals on solely drinks all evening!
Pedialyte!: I swear this stuff is genius. Gone are the days where pedialyte is just for babies. Meet the best hangover prevention I have seen so far. As long as you don’t completely go nuts with booze, you will be golden. Here’s what to do: if you are going to day drink, take one packet mid-morning. Then take another in the afternoon or before you go to bed. Dehydration is one of the main causes for hangovers. This ensures your body is well hydrated which keeps you feeling great while you indulge! I truly detest being hungover on vaca so this was life changing!
Eat when you’re hungry: Do not “eat to eat”. If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat it! Listen to your body. Don’t ignore your body’s cues just because you want to stuff your face with more sugar. For real.
This is what works for me. I never feel deprived or like I missed out. We recently just got back from a 10 day vacation. We were in the Cape for a week and then came back to Florida for my brother in law’s wedding on Labor Day. I stayed active, chose my cheat meals wisely, and drank A LOT of pedialyte 😉
Follow those few tips above and I guarantee you will feel content and thoroughly enjoy your vacation without that “vacation hangover”.