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How NOT to Gain Weight on Vacation

Yes, it is the traveling season, and that means that you can relax and eat all the junk food you want, right? Of course not. Well I guess you can, but if you take that approach you’re going to leave for vacation at one weight and come back about 10 lbs heavier! Don’t think it’s possible? Think again because I’ve personally experienced this. Yes, I was young and naive, thinking that just because I completed a round of P90X that I could head out on vacation, not work out, and eat as much pizza at 3 A.M. as I wanted and not gain any weight. Uh huh, I was that guy, and quickly got a rude awakening. 3 months of busting my rear to get into shape thrown out of the window because of one week of bad eating. And when I mean bad, I mean Cold Stone ice cream every night, 2 loaves of bread every time I went out to eat, and no, it wasn’t whole grain either, and I will even admit it, I drank quite a few Long Island Iced Teas as well. Needless to say, I came back from vacation a chubbo, 10 lbs heavier than when I left! Embarrassing, but lesson learned.

After my glorious encounter with junk food while down there in Myrtle Beach, I swore that I would never do that to myself again. It literally took me about a month to work off everything that I had gained, and I’m talking 100% clean eating and full blown commitment to the workouts. The next time I headed on vacation, which was down in Cayman Islands with a few buddies of mine, there was no way I was going to make the same mistake twice, and made some adjustments so that I didn’t gain weight this time. What were those adjustments? Here are my tips on how not to gain weight on vacation.

(1) Work out EVERY morning! The first time I went on vacation I slacked in this department, and I knew I needed to work out every day if I didn’t want to come back heavier than when I left. Every morning my buddies and I would head over to the hotel gym and get in an excellent resistance workout. I stayed away from cardio because my body seems to respond to resistance better, and my metabolism seems to remain very high for the remainder of the day afterwards.

(2) Buy your own food. Don’t rely on going out to eat for all of your meals because if you do, you’re going to regret it. Most restaurants, especially the ones in places like Myrtle Beach, are just as bad, if not worse, than fast food restaurants, and I’m not kidding either. When Melinda and I were down in Myrtle Beach last time, we had the toughest time finding anything healthy on the menu, and everything had to be pretty much custom ordered. Not fun. When my buddies and I arrived in Cayman Islands, one of the first things we did was head to the local grocery store and buy ONLY healthy food. That way whenever we would crave something bad for us, especially after having a few drinks, we were forced to eat something healthy. Plus, we saved money by not eating out as well, which is always a plus!

(3) While on the topic of drinks, it’s important to limit your alcohol consumption! I know, I know, you’re on vacation and you should be able to let loose a little bit, and I completely agree, but there is a difference between having a few drinks to relax and having a ton of drinks to get tanked. If I were you, stick with the relaxing option because it will treat you better after you get back home. If you’re going to drink, make sure you stick with the “lighter” drinks as well, such as rum and diet coke, light beer, or even a liquor on the rocks, and do your best to stay away from full flavor beers and mixed drinks! When I got back home after my bad trip and read how many calories are in a Long Island Iced Tea, I about crapped myself. Yeah, it’s something like 800 calories.

(4) Resist the temptations! Temptations will be all around you, screaming in your ear, saying “EAT ME!”, but it’s important that you stay strong and resist or else you can come back home with a little more than you hoped for. One of the great things about the Cayman Islands trip is that we really didn’t have too many temptations because we stayed mostly around the hotel. However, go somewhere like Myrtle Beach, and there is an ice cream shop at every corner, fair food at just about every outdoor shopping center, and vendors trying to sell you candy. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re contemplating whether or not to purchase it, take a second and think about how you will feel afterwards and ask yourself  “Is it really worth it?” The answer is definitely no.

(5) When you do eat out, do your best to eat healthy. This is a tough one, but it’s important that you speak up and ask for no butter on your veggies, or make sure your chicken is grilled instead of fried. Also, stay away from those dang desserts! Seriously, you can take in an entire days worth of calories with just one dessert. Not worth it.

So, those are my tips on how NOT to gain weight on vacation! Now when you go on vacation next time, you know of some things that you can do so that you don’t come back with some added weight. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at If you’d like me to be your coach (it’s free) and help you stay motivated and committed to your diet and workouts, click here!


One comment

  1. I’m having the same struggle with vacation diet Josh. Trying to make so smart substitutions, grilled fish at the restaurant instead of fried etc. It’s hard but it can be done

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