Eating Healthy on Vaca

I was in Italy for 2 weeks. During those two weeks I got engaged, celebrated, explored, drank lots of wine, ate yummy things, enjoyed myself…. And I came home 4 lbs lighter.  Now, a lot of people would say because I walked a lot.  But the fact is as a trainer I walk around all day anyways, if anything I walked less some days in Italy than I would working back in California. SO how did this happen?

In order to understand this we gotta take a few steps back to about 2 months before the trip.  

I knew I would be eating and drinking #allthethings while away… so I KNEW that I would NEED a FASTER metabolism…..  So I started to create one! 

I lightened up on my cardio, did maybe 1 cardio day per week (e.g., spin, plyos, jog), and I started LIFTING HEAVIER.  Why? Because in our metaplasms adapt to how we train. 

Without going too deep into the details lets put it this way….  If we train to build muscle (lifting heavy) we send a signal to our body saying ‘repair and build’.   Repairing and building muscles takes a lot of energy (calories) so the more your body repairs, build, and maintains muscle the more calories your body will burn.  While the numbers vary across studies, they have shown that on average for every pound of muscle we add to our body our body burns 20-60 calories. 

While I started lifting heavier, I also started eating more to fuel my muscle growth and aid in the development of my faster metabolism.  

This is different than the ‘typical’ approach to a pre vacation workout plan… which is usually ‘cardio cardio cardio’ and cutting calories  But what happens once you stop doing that cardio?  Your mestalism is NOT faster AND chances are, you aren’t doing the same amount of cardio while on your vaca AND you are eating more calories than before.  EEEK that sounds like a bad combo… and it is… it leads to gaining weight, particularly, gaining fat. 

Fast forward a few weeks before the trip I was strong, constantly hungry (which proves for a faster metabolism), and I was consuming around 2,200 calories per day.  SO when I went on the trip I knew if I ate somewhere in the range of 2200 calories I would be ok!  Yes, it would not be as clean as I eat at home but it would still be 2200 calories, which my body had lived on for a while now!  No shock to the system, faster metabolism, and muscle to help my body continue to burn fat during the trip! 

OK so I know that’s a lot of info to take in…. if you ever have any questions about this always feel free to shoot me a message below! 

BUT now lets get to the TRIP!! …… I’m on the trip, my metabolism is booming, my body is holding muscle, and I am ready to have some fun!  For me the key to a successful guilt free trip is the 3Bs! Balance, Breakfast, and Bread!!!  

Balance

I can’t say this enough – balance out your decisions!! The biggest issue people have when they are traveling is the ‘F* IT, I’m on vacation!’ mindset that leads them to eating absolutely anything and everything for the entire duration of the trip.  But then how often is that ‘ F* IT’ mindset followed by feelings of guilt or throwing money into some 6 week challenge once you get back home? 

I am definitely not saying to not have fun while on vacation but rather be mindful!

  • Balance high sugar/carb choices (like wine, pasta, cookies, gelato) with healthy options (like order of vegetables, a side salad). 
  • Share those ‘comfort’ or ‘treat yo self’ meals with someone you are having your meal with and balance out with a healthier order to split as well 
  • Try to keep those large meals to once per day, this will help save you money and calories, and balance them out with healthy smaller meals throughout the day. 

Breakfast

I have traveled a lot in Europe and in general I can say that they do not have the best breakfast options.  So, I bring something with me from home to have for breakfast, to help me start the day in the right way! This trip I brought 2 boxes of Perfect bars.  Another great item to bring that will help in the breakfast struggle is travel protein packets like these Arbonne vegan protein packs in chocolate or vanilla

Bread

Skip the bread!!  Is bread yummy? Yes, yes, it is.  BUT you don’t need to eat it at every meal.  Bread is high on the glycemic index which spikes your blood sugar and leads to a crash.  Resulting in cravings.  Just what you need while on vacation right… new cravings?? Nope I think the 100 gelato stands around Italy are enough temptation than to add extra cravings on thanks! 

Can you have SOME bread? Yes of course!  A piece here and there… maybe to try a yummy local olive oil!! But not the baskets and baskets of bread the give you for free while you are waiting for your BALANCED meal.  

I hope this helps you on any trips you have coming up!! Or any trip that comes up in the future I hope you remember to come back and reference this! OR BETTER YET shoot me a message and we can chat about it and get you set up for success on your travels. 🙂

Before and after photos from my 2 week trip to Italy! Definitely have a little less definition and muscle but down 4 lbs overall. How did I maintain my workouts through my trip? Details on that coming soon! 🙂