It’s an old story, you take a few months to lose those ten pesky pounds, you firm up those arms, and tone up those legs. You do crunches like it’s going out of style, and you hit the treadmill in the mornings, during your lunch breaks, and even in the evenings. Meanwhile, you go on a low-carb/low-calorie diet like your life depended on it all to “look” good in your hot new swimsuit.
Then, while on your trip, you drink and eat at all hours of the day, and you forget about the gym, because you’re on vacation and all you want to do is have a good time. All that hard work you’ve done for the past few months is ALL lost in a matter of days. Slipping into that swimsuit starts to feel not-so-hot anymore, but it does not have to be that way.
1. GET MOVING
You’ve been working out, toning up, and slimming down for your holiday, but you should not stop exercising once you get there. Most hotels have gyms, and although they are usually small, they are packed with cardio equipment, so make sure to use them. If you’re vacationing near beaches, you can jog/speed-walk along the beach in the early mornings or go for a swim. Not at a beach? No problem. Take in those walking tours, go on hikes, bike ride, and see the sights. The most important thing to help keep you in shape is to stay active!
2. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES PLEASE
Try to eat as much local fruit and vegetables as possible with and without meals. Usually, your vacation spots have wonderful produce that may be exotic to you, but if you try it, you may actually like it. In Mexico, the tomatillos, chiles, and coconuts are reasons enough to go there. In Thailand, rambutans and dragon fruit have various health proprieties. Other fruits found in the US, such as bananas, apples, berries, and oranges are nutritious and also aid digestion.
3. ENJOY THE CULTURE
Yogurt culture that is. Not only does it stave off hunger pangs, yogurt helps fend off invading bacteria from foods and liquids that your body may not be accustomed to in a new region. I do believe that eating yogurt is the number-one reason I do not get “sick” while on holiday. Yogurt is also a great source of protein, too. I like plain yogurt mixed with sliced fresh fruit and a touch of honey, but I can also get by with a pre-mixed low-fat variety (never get the non-fat varieties, because they usually have more sugar/calories than the regular ones). I like a small tub of yogurt along with breakfast and sometimes as an afternoon or late-night snack.
4. EAT GRILLED FOODS
You just can’t beat the taste of grilled foods, especially on vacation. Try to stay away from fried and sautéed meals as they weigh you down. Not a fan of grilled meats? Then go oven-baked or roasted instead. In Mexico, where we often vacation, grilling is a way of life. Most homes do not even have conventional ovens, and some restaurants don’t either. Meat, poultry, vegetables, and even tortillas are grilled over large pits. You can really taste the full flavor of foods that way. However, let’s not forget that you are on vacation, so eat what you want, just eat a smaller portion, and up the cardio the next day. You’ll thank yourself when you slip into your swimsuit as opposed to squeezing into it and feeling self-conscious.
5. UP YOUR WATER INTAKE
I drink more water when I’m traveling than I do when I’m at home. Keeping hydrated is very important while on vacation. And forget all I’ve said about the evils of buying water in plastic bottles, just drink plenty of it. However, be sure it is a water brand you recognize. Just like Aquafina and Dasani in the States, most bottled waters in other countries are just their (filtered) regional water. So, the tap water that you are avoiding, may very well be the same water you’re drinking, just wrapped up in some plastic at a cost. You must stay hydrated. It’ll improve your circulation, keep your inter- nal pipes working, and help with any bloating issues you may encounter.
6. WATCH THOSE COCKTAILS
I’m really not much of a social drinker, but I do drink more cocktails in one week on vacation than I would normally drink in months at home. I don’t know exactly what it is, but something about a foreign place makes me want to indulge more in
food and drink. That is not exactly a good idea when trying to look “fetching” in a swimsuit. Avoid frozen drinks, the sugar/calories found in them are enough to make your head spin and not in a good way. A frozen margarita starts at about 500 calories—yikes! Cocktails mixed with real fresh fruit juices with no added sugar are your best bets. Wines are also good choices, but be sure you get a glass of wine, not a giant glass orb filled all the way to the top. These days, wine glasses are larger and filled way past a serving. You get about 2.5 servings of wine in one sitting. You may ask yourself, “Why do I feel too sluggish to go to the gym, I only had two glasses of wine?” No, you had five servings just served in two very large glasses.
7. SEAFOOD IS YOUR FRIEND
Eat as much fish as you can! Again, at home I only eat seafood maybe two or three times a month. On vacation, it’s like every other meal. Why? Well, it’s usually light, usually grilled, and comes with great vegetables. One thing I hate is being bloated, especially on romantic getaways (wink-wink!). When traveling to oceanic regions, seafood varieties
priority list are usually great and abundant. Try something new, forgo the carbs and double-up on the veg. If you really like the seafood, ask the chef how it was prepared. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve been invited into the kitchen to see the chef in action or have been given a quick recipe just by stating I’ve enjoyed my meal. Seafood is usually lighter fare (as long as you stay away from all the butter/cream sauces) than beef, chicken, or pork.
8. MAKE PASSIONATE LOVE
There’s no better calorie burner than making passionate love, especially while on a romantic getaway. If it’s with your spouse, partner, or neighboring hot guest, there’s just no better fun way to get your heart pumping. Let’s face it, you’ve worked hard to look damn good in that hot swimsuit, so here’s where the dividends really pay off. The sensual aerobic workout of making love for an average 25 minute session (not my average, that’s an average based on a study in Montreal) burns about 100 calories. So the longer you make love, the more calories you’ll burn, and the more you’ll look sensational in your new swimsuit.