How to not gain fat while on vacation

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[This is a follow up to a previous post.]

2 weeks in Italy and not a pound gained, or any strength lost

We got back home earlier this week and have been getting back into the swing of normal life. When I got home, I was curious after not having weighing myself for two weeks to see where I was considering I ate a lot of good food and wasn’t exercising beyond 5 to 10 minutes of calisthenics in the morning.

I was shocked to see that my weight was the same as it was the day that I left.

My first workout back from Italy I was a little rusty for not having lifted weights for two weeks. With my second workout, I was hitting the same numbers I was before I left.

The reason I want to share this with you is not to brag about how I didn’t gain weight or lose strength but to show you that with just a little planning and forethought that you too can have the same results as me on your vacations. 

Consistency works both ways

When you are consistent with your workouts and diet, each workout is like a deposit in a bank account. The longer you’re consistent, the more money accumulates into your account. 

The bigger the balance, the more flexibility you have in your life for life to happen. 

The benefit of having this large balance is when you go on vacation, although you do lose some, what you do lose, is a small fraction of the total amount. Which means there’s only a small effect that it has on you.

Sightseeing vs beach

There are different types of vacations. Sometimes you just sit on the beach and relax, sometimes you hike mountains and are more active than you are in your normal life. 

The way to plan your diet and exercise around these is very different. 

If you’re at a resort and lounging, chances are you will have very little NEAT unless you’re doing some sort of excursion hike each day. If you’re on a trip hiking the alps in summer, you’re going to have a very high amount of NEAT each day.

Knowing what you’re activity levels will be during your trip is critical in planning how and what to eat.

Low stress and having fun

With a big bank account from your consistent workouts, it’d be a shame to have the opportunity to relax, try some new food, and connect with loved ones and spend the whole time worrying about getting your steps in or getting your macros right.

Vacations are meant to be low stress, don’t inflict unnecessary stress on yourself with worrying about the little things.

How can you have fun and relax at dinner when you’re just worried that there won’t be enough protein and too many carbs? You can’t.

So what should I do to not gain fat while on vacation?

To not lose the strength and fat loss gains you have already made, make sure to:

  • Do your best to match your energy expenditure to the amount of calories you eat.
  • Do some light calisthenics and mobility work sometime during the day.
  • Make sure you’re relaxed and enjoying your time away.
  • Don’t stress or worry beyond these three points.

That’s it. 

Make sure you follow those and don’t sweat the rest. You’ll be able to get back into the swing of things when you return home.