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Summer Vacation Success Checklist


Essentials to Pack

After packing your clothes and toiletries, make sure you pack some items that will make your plan easier to follow.

Planning for Exercise

Myth: You cannot exercise well when you are on vacation away from home.

Fact: Your vacation may offer many opportunities to get active.

It is true that you will be out of your regular routine and will have to work in activity a little differently than at home. Excuses end here. While on vacation, you can:

  • Walk to explore the town or beach.

  • Use your hotel’s fitness center or pool.

  • Take a surfing, kayaking, or other class – many tourist destinations have them.

You do not have to work out alone, although that works, too. Ask your travel companions to join you on hikes or walks to explore, or hang out with any kids in your group – you are sure to burn quite a few calories if you swim with them or join in their games of volleyball or tag.

Hotel Breakfasts – Starting the Day off Right

Hotel breakfasts can range from the simple to the expansive and are often all-you-can-eat. Change it to, “all-you-should-eat,” and you’re already making progress towards starting the day off right. Go right past the doughnuts, muffins, waffle-making machine, and danishes. You can look for some better options and helpful modifications if your hotel has a continental breakfast.

  • Fat-free yogurt.

  • Fresh fruit.

  • Unsweetened whole-grain cereal or plain oatmeal.

  • Ham instead of bacon.

  • Hard-boiled egg whites.

If you are not sure that your hotel will have healthy breakfast options, just bring your own. You can easily pack enough Protein Bars and Protein Shakes for breakfast. Protein Oatmeal is another option since you can make it with hot water from the hotel.

Restaurants 101: Review

Eating out on vacation is not much different than eating out while at home. You probably already know the rules: the goal is to get some protein and fiber, without too many calories or grams of carbohydrates. Simple? Maybe. It can be easier in the U.S. if you are familiar with menus, but you can probably do okay in foreign countries with even a small amount of communication.

Look for:

  • Grilled or plain baked fish, shrimp, or chicken. Take the skin off yourself if necessary.

  • Cooked vegetables without sauce.

  • Salads with dressing on the side.

If the menu does not include foods you can eat, do not be shy about asking. Be clear about what you need. You can ask for a plain piece of chicken or fish with some steamed or grilled vegetables or a side salad. Or, you can point to a menu item and ask for it without sauce and with vegetables instead of the standard sides such as potatoes or rice.

No matter what the restaurant serves, you can always eat less, chew more times, and bring your own snacks.

Tracking Tools

Vacation can be an escape from technology and daily routine, but spending a few minutes of each day to track your food and activity can keep you from straying from your plan. Use your favorite app or, if you are going to be completely offline, take an old-fashioned notebook and a pen to jot notes each day.

First and foremost, enjoy your summer vacation! Recharge and recover…and if you can, stay healthy during it. You will feel even better when you get back and gain confidence that you can stick to your plan no matter where you are.

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