Summer means family vacations and BBQ’s and with all of that fun can come a few not-so-healthy choices. Excess sugar, processed food, and maybe a few too many adult beverages, can lead to a bloated belly and sugar cravings – but it’s OK, don’t beat yourself up. In fact, I encourage these little indulgences. What’s the point if we don’t live and enjoy our lives? Just like eating one salad won’t make you healthy, the occasional junk food won’t make you unhealthy. It’s just important to not lose all self-control and get back on track. So what are some things we can do to get back into our routine once the fun times are over? I’m glad you asked…
Eat Healthy, Don’t Starve Yourself
Don’t avoid food all together. Some of us try to compensate for the extra calories by skipping meals. Honestly, that’s just going to make things worse. Starving yourself wreaks havoc on our bodies, including glucose and insulin levels, which can do a number on metabolism. This leaves energy levels low, and can lead to brain fog, irritability, and even headaches.
Make healthy choices. Eat mindfully and focus on whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens.
We probably don’t drink as much water as we should when on vacation, and traveling in general can be dehydrating. The low humidity on airplanes can leave our throat, nose and skin feeling dry. It’s a great idea to increase our water intake the few days after returning from a trip, not only to clear out some of the excess sugar and salt, but also to help reset your digestive system and get you feeling back to normal. Extra sipping doesn’t only include H20, you can also incorporate hydrating foods such as cucumbers and watermelon.
For most of us, travel plans don’t include hitting the gym (at least for me they don’t!). That doesn’t mean you need to “work off” what you ate on vacation by jumping on the treadmill for hours at a time. Pick up where you left off on your workout plan and get back to your regular routine. Try not to get drug into the “one more day” mentality. As soon as you get back, jump right in.
There are ways to stay active during vacation including walks around the resort, swimming in the pool, and hiking excursions, as a few examples.
Hide the Scale
Excess sugar, salt, processed foods and alcohol can lead to bloat, which can cause the scale to be a few pounds higher. Stepping on the scale the day after vacation and seeing it read 5 pounds heavier will just put you in a bad mood and make you feel like you did something “wrong” (remember, you didn’t). If you are someone who weighs yourself regularly, allow a few days for your body to expend the excess salt and water weight.
Prioritize sleep. Late nights, early mornings and activity-filled days can leave us feeling drained. Have you ever heard the phrase “Need a vacation from your vacation”? The struggle is real. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Put away phones and devices a least an hour before bedtime. Have you ever listened to an adult sleep story? I discovered them recently and they are amazing – I’m out like a light in 5 minutes. Maybe less.
Remember, it’s ok to enjoy yourself during that well-deserved vacation or family time. What matters is that you had fun!