This July, my family and I took a two week trip to Israel. It was my second time there and every time I go I have such an amazing experience and always come back feeling as though I gain a new perspective in my spiritual journey.
Besides the amazing spiritual experience that Israel is – it is full of some PRETTY ah-mazing food ….
Before going on this trip I had worked hard to achieve 20ish lb in weight loss and I knew that I wanted to ENJOY myself, relax but also honor the results I’ve worked hard for.
Maintaining results on vacation can be CHALLENGING, especially when you’ve been in a fat loss cycle for some time. I DEFINITELY used to be guilty of having an all/nothing mentality when it came to taking a vacation and it felt ick!!! I remember the last time we were in Israel (2008), I felt completely out of control. I felt like I was “over eating” and then I felt guilty and felt like I had to “make up” for it by running miles and miles the next day. Back then – instead of enjoying my vacation, I was hyper focused on my weight, the food I was eating and getting my workouts in.
10 years later – I’m in a MUCH different place, and when I visited Israel this time I felt like my workouts and the food was a small piece of the overall trip – not the main focal point. Instead of worrying about every little meal – I really soaked up the experience in every single way!! My mindset had a LOT to do with the fact that I was able to maintain my weight with relative ease.
Before going on the trip – I told myself that my goal was to maintain my weight and my results – BUT if I gained a lb or two in the spirit of memories, fun and delicious food – that would be ok too.
When I came home – I was surprised to find that I didn’t gain a single pound (but like I said – even if I did – I would have been OK with that). Having this mindset and deciding how I was going to approach my vacation was KEY to setting the tone for the 2 weeks to come. On one hand – restricting yourself and worrying about every little portion is NO way to be on vacation – on the other hand – saying “F IT” and eating everything in sight doesn’t feel good either.
I ALWAYS tell my clients that the goal for their vacations should be MAINTENANCE and not weight loss – at the same time this DOESN’T mean that you go overboard and undo all the work that you’ve put in.
I want to share with you the EXACT strategies that I used in order to maintain my results while I was away WITHOUT undoing all of the results that I’ve been able to experience.
1.) I decided on my goal BEFORE going on the trip (as mentioned, the goal was to maintain).
2.) I started every day with a healthy breakfast. We ate at hotels that offered breakfast buffets so I was able to pick and choose what I wanted. Every morning I had an egg OR egg white omelette with veggies. I also had some nuts, vegetables and some fruit with it. In my coffee I sometimes put some MCT oil in (this helps me personally with satiety and cognitive function).
3.) I kept up with my workouts when it felt GOOD. I did some resistance training and some HIIT circuits from my Busy Girl’s HIIT Guide.
4.) I tasted a LOT. There were times where I wanted to try so many different things that I couldn’t decide. Instead of eating ALL of the things – I tasted several of them having a couple of bites of each. I had DAILY treats – sometimes multiple things per day – but keeping portions in check was a big part of that 🙂 Which brings me to my next point….
5.) I checked in with myself using the hunger scale. The hunger scale is a tool I use personally and with my clients who are focused on intuitive eating ( I cannot take credit for this tool!! I believe it’s from the Intuitive Eating book!). Essentially it’s a way to check in with yourself and see how you are feeling , it ranges from 1 -10 . 1 being SUPER starving beyond belief where you will eat almost anything and 10 being beyond Thaknsgiving stuffed. I aimed to be around a 7-8 after my meals.
6.) We walked a TON.
Most days we hit 15,000 – 20,000 steps ! This meant that I was burning more calories than I normally do at home. If I had to estimate I would say most days I was eating around the 3,000ish calorie mark but because of the amount of movement we were doing – I was burning it off!
All in all, in my opinion, the key to maintaining your results when you are out of your normal routine is to embrace a more moderate approach. IF you end up gaining more weight than you planned – give yourself some GRACE !!! Remember that when it comes to weight loss goals – YOU get to decide. Our bodies are dynamic and are capable of doing so much – nothing is ever permanent with weight if we don’t want it to be.
Happy vacationing !!!!!