I’ve been on vacation in New York City for the past week, so I’ve been pretty out of my element when it comes to what I eat. However, I’ve done a pretty good job of staying on track.
I’m not tracking my macros, but I have a pretty good idea of how much I should be eating in a day. I’m eating some sort of eggs for breakfast, maybe some fruit and yogurt mid-day, and then eating steak and potatoes for dinner most nights. This is pretty much what I eat at home, except I’m throwing in some extra desserts (because why not? I’m on vacation!).
I’ve gone to the gym a few times a week while I’ve been in New York. There are Life Time Fitness locations throughout the city. I expected to have to pay a drop-in fee, but the manager was super nice and gave me access to the club for my entire trip for free! So I’ve gone to that Life Time, just like I would have if I were at home.
6 Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation
Here are a few tips I have for keeping it together while traveling:
1. Choose High-Protein Dishes
It can be hard to hit your daily protein needs in a restaurant setting, just because so many dishes rely on carbs like potatoes, rice, and breads. Choose a meat dish to get a protein rich meal. High carb dishes like pasta or rice are high in calories, less filling, and often covered in sauces that are loaded with butter and oil.
Another tip is to opt for sides like cottage cheese or beans that contain some protein. This will help you feel full longer and will help you preserve lean muscle mass even if you’re taking time off from training.
2. Skip the veggies.
I’m not a vegetable-hater, but in restaurants they can be hidden calorie bombs. Restaurants will cook vegetables with oil and butter, or add sauces/dressings to make them taste better. This leads to the “healthy” side being one of the more calorie-dense parts of your meal. Focus on the parts of the meal that you’re excited about (like the steak and French fries).
3. Keep moving!
I’m in NYC right now and one of my favorite things is walking all around the city. It’s easy to turn into a couch potato on vacation, especially if you aren’t in a very walkable place. You can offset some of the extra caloric intake of eating out by simply walking more and staying active. Go to a gym and see if they allow drop-ins, you could get a workout in on vacation — which has helped me feel much better.
Even if you can’t get your lifting session in, you can still get moving by going for a walk, taking a bike ride, going for a hike, or going for a swim in your hotel pool.
4. Find a Gym and Drop-In
I think people often assume that just because they are on vacation they can’t go to a gym and workout. If your training is a priority, you don’t have to skip it just because you’re in a new place. Most gyms allow people to drop in for a small fee. If you prefer group training or a certain type of fitness class, you can probably find one of those too — just Google it, or DM a local fitness ‘influencer’ on Instagram.
5. Master The Hotel Gym Workout
If you travel regularly for work, or you stay in hotels often, you might have already figured out how to get the most out of a hotel gym. However, if you haven’t take some time to figure out what a good workout looks like with lighter dumbbells or a simple weight machine.
Most hotel gyms are going to have dumbbells up to about 40 or 50 pounds, so you won’t be getting any crazy strength gains in these gyms. However, you can still get a good hypertrophy-focused workout in with most hotel gyms’ equipment.
Rather than doing barbell squats, bench press, or dead lifts, you can opt for more difficult variations of the movements with lighter weight. For example, rather than squats you can do Bulgarian split squats or goblet pistol squats. Instead of bench press, you can opt for Arnold press or hand stand push ups. Rather than barbell dead lifts you can do single left Romanian dead lifts.
6. Don’t Let Your Vacation Derail Your Progress
This one is important. Just because you’ve changed your routine for a couple weeks, that doesn’t mean you need to fall off track completely. Once you’re back home just get back into your fitness and diet routine. This will get you right back on track and allow you to build momentum towards achieving your goals.