by Mike Clancy
It is quite a challenge for anyone to stay consistent with his or her health practices while away from home. Vacation, by nature, is a change in location and behaviors to stimulate rest and relaxation. Changing behaviors can be detrimental to your health goals if you lose consistency with the basics. It’s unrealistic to eat clean, whole foods and exercise every day, but there are ways to keep your hard work from quickly fading away.
Tip #1: Take a fish oil supplement every day
Supplements become very handy during vacations because they rebalance the level of healthy fats. Omega-3’s help boost the metabolism and increase the amount of fat burn (yes, good fats help reduce body fat). A few grams of fish oil will make quite the difference internally and externally.
Tip #2: Exercise for 10 minutes before breakfast
Asking someone to exercise during vacation is borderline unrealistic. However, a quick series of movements can be stimulating and invigorating, especially if you are trying to keep your energy high during vacation. Instead of going for a run or a visit to the local gym, take a few minutes (let’s say 10) and exercise to failure before breakfast. It’s quick and easy. Do a set of push-ups to failure, followed by squats and planks to failure. Repeat as many times as you can for 10 minutes. The pay-offs are far greater than the 10 minutes of effort.
Tip #3: Eat the nutrients first
Conscious eating is one of the most important habits I teach my clients. When it comes time to clean your plate, strategically choose when you eat which foods. Eat the protein and vegetables first, since these are the necessary nutrients for a strong and lean body. After you consume the important stuff, you can enjoy other foods without feeling guilty. Your satiety will increase faster because of the fiber and you won’t feel such a heavy onset of cravings. Win-Win.
Tip #4: Leave room after each meal
Full is not cool. In fact, full stinks. Everyone has fallen victim to the hard life lesson that eating until stuffed never feels good. A good way to avoid this series of consequences from overindulgence is to practice stopping early. On vacation, take comfort in knowing there’ll be an abundance of delicious foods throughout the day. It will benefit you to leave some room after each meal and taste all the delicious options, rather than splurge on a meal and miss out on other ones. Go for a taste instead of being stuffed.
Tip #5: Drink as much water as alcohol — 1:1 ratio
Let’s be realistic: when there is vacation, there are drinks. Take on the task of flushing out the liquid indulgences as quickly as possible. Match every glass or cocktail with water. Having a glass of water to accompany every cocktail/spirit is more of a European style of drinking. You can still enjoy social outings with alcohol and wake up feeling relatively hydrated and rested.
Tip #6: Move and exhaust your body right before you eat the sweets
Vacations are typically a time to splurge on sweets. Prepare for the inevitable consumptions of sugar with some sort of activity beforehand. Plan for a blood sugar surge (a burst of high energy followed by a crash in energy) by moving your body as much as you can. Something simple like dancing or leisure activities will do the trick.
Mike Clancy (B.S., RTS, Pn1) is a well-respected educator in health and fitness communities. As a native Rhode Islander, Mike became one of the most demanded trainers in New York City. His audience grew from his initial entry into the fitness industry in Tampa, FL to his hometown crowd of Providence, RI and eventually into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Mike runs his own private training service in NYC. From CEO’s to community leaders to celebrities, his clientele ranges from the affluent Upper East Side members to the edgy downtown crowd of the city.