We’ve all come back from vacation with a bulging belly, a few extra wrinkles on the backside of our thighs, unable to fit into our skinny jeans for the flight back. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can return fit, tanned, and full of life from our escapades into the great green abyss, as long as we plan activities to do, eat awesome, local food, and find a way to set aside the mountain of stress that burdens our bones
Activities are great! Whether it’s active exercise or just a way to release stress from your body. Activities will keep mindless munching at bay, give you an excuse to fit in some exercise, and significantly reduces stress.
The fabulous adventures you go on can count as forms of exercise. Whether you are hiking the backside of a glacier in the middle of the tree-dense Denali National Park with mountains of gear or diving into the forever-blue waters off the coast of Denpasar, setting out a schedule of activities will help you relax, get the most out of your vacation, and prevent you from taking your lavish evening curries home with you in the form of wombling tahini thighs. Plus it’s a great opportunity to get active and in the sun for those of us who are usually stuck inside of a windowless cubicle most days.
Mindless munching is a huge hurdle for many dieters, and by incorporating stress relief activities into your day, you can significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary eating you do. The days don’t have to be filled with exhaustive hikes up mountains, or swimming along red dotted coral reefs, you can chose activities that relax your body instead of exercise. Massages, long walks on the beach, or mediation will help your body relax, unwind, and reduce the need to stress eat. A long, leisurely walk along the beach, enjoying the sun, sand, and spray, for about 4 hours, will burn off more calories than are in an entire pineapple, and offers peace of mind that will help your diet.
Diet is the most important part of weight-loss. It might seem like there is nothing better than a never ending barrage of cold fruity drinks with tiny paper-umbrellas being carted to your hammock, but sitting on the beach in Bali is second to exploring ancient temples, trying local cuisine, and seeing all that the country has to offer. While adventuring, traditional, local grub will give you the most fuel for your system, and if the locals are skinny, eat what they eat (when in Tonga, don’t eat like the Tongans do now, eat like they did).
Traditional foods will give you the best fuel for your moving body. People have survived on the traditional diets for years without getting fat, and they can help you. The traditional rice and vegetable based diet of many Asian countries is a fat-burner, as are many South American cuisines which focus on one main starch (like potatoes or corn) combined with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, or legumes. Sticking to the local, traditional grub with help you lose weight, explore the local culture, and learn a thing or two to bring home.
The never ending shovelfuls of wet sand stress seem to slap our mind at every turn we take in our day-to-day lives, and freeing ourselves from that burden seems impossible. While diet and exercise will help you lose weight and remove some stress from your life, discarding the mountain of pressure from your shoulders, or just not adding to the tension. Prep work for your vacation will save you from worrying about work, the oven, or the eleven thousand other issues waiting for you back home, as will taking time to hone in on the source of your stress. Destressing will help you lose weight.
Diet and exercise will reduce your stress levels, but traveling can be stressful in its own way. Preparing your travel plans before you go, and putting your affairs in order back home will allow you a degree of freedom. Financial, personal, and employment choices should all be taken care of before you leave so you can get the best out of your trip. This could mean setting up a checklist when locking up your house before you go (great for the ‘is my stove on’ moments), putting items in storage if you plan on being gone for an extended trip, or just making sure all of your bills are set to auto pay while you are gone. Nothing is worse than returning home and your lights not working, or a red enveloped student loan message. Preparing your trip and your home before you leave will allow you more freedom, less stress, and give you more time to do something fun, like hiking the Australian outback.
Relax, in the sun, with a seemingly endless amount of time to be in this moment. There is a sea of options to chose when distressing, swim through that sea and pick a few. Many people like to meditate in the morning, and put a focus on their day. Others prefer mindless tasks, like coloring, while lying in the sun and enjoying the day. Allowing yourself time for each breathe of air, for each task at hand, will help your body and mind escape the pressure stacked on top of it. Find your own way, or bring one of your favorites from home.
Going on vacation can take a lot out of you, and send you home with a tummy made of cakes and wobbly bits. Fill your vacation with magnificent local food, impressive escapades, and stress relieving hobbies to return home fit, tan, and fantastic.