How to lose weight on vacation and still enjoy it | Case study
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So we just got back from a lovely 2-week vacation in the center of Holland.
We’ve stayed in my parent mobile home on a quiet campsite. Since we had a lot of time for ourselves, we’ve exercised a lot, but we also enjoyed every bit of it by eating ice cream and going to a restaurant to celebrate our first anniversary.
In the end, I reduced my fat percentage and increased my muscle mass. It doesn’t show on the scale, but my body got healthier and the weight of my fat reduced.
In this blog, we’ll show you exactly how we did it.
Before our vacation
The last time I weight myself was about six weeks before the start of my vacation after I did a lot of training. These were my stats at that time:
- Weight: 191.4 lbs
- BMI: 22,4
- Fat percentage: 19.1%
- Muscle mass: 147.5 lbs
- Visceral fat: 5%
Between this last weighing and the start of our vacation, I think I gained a little bit, so I assume that my weight was a little higher at the start of our vacation.
After the vacation my stats were:
- Weight: 192.9 lbs
- BMI: 22,5
- Fat percentage: 18.3%
- Muscle mass: 149.7 lbs
- Visceral fat: 5%
As you can see, my total weight increased a little bit, but that’s due to the increase in muscle mass.
My fat percentage decreased by almost 1%, which is a significant difference. Overall It shows that I got healthier during our vacation despite enjoying every bit of it.
So let’s show you how we did it:
Our eating routine during our vacation
The most important thing you have to do if you want to lose weight on vacation is to keep the eating routine you have at home. You can’t decide to eat completely different now that you’re on vacation. Don’t make it a reason for you to go overboard with your diet.
Here’s what we did.
Our breakfast was exactly the same as it would be at home. The only time we ate something different was on our first anniversary. That day we got fresh whole wheat buns from the bakery.
A good breakfast was especially important because we often decide to go on a biking trip after breakfast. So to have enough fuel for our body to go for a four-hour bike ride, a healthy breakfast was essential.
Our lunch also consists of eating whole wheat sandwiches. Whole wheat bread contains a lot of fiber, which keeps you full for a long time and prevents hunger.
That way, we prevented stopping for a snack during our biking tour.
We prepared our sandwiches before we took off and put them in a plastic bag. When you eat lunch in a restaurant, you’ll end up eating too many calories and thus gain weight. That’s because its more tempting to eat something unhealthy and also, you can’t control the calories of the lunch.
That’s why prepare your lunch in advance is an excellent way to control your energy intake and reduce binge episodes.
For dinner, we cooked our meals in our mobile home. It has a stove that you can perfectly use. By preparing your food, you can 100% control what’s in your food and how much you’re having.
Most people make the mistake of eating at a restaurant every day because they’re too tired to cook themselves. That’s often where it goes wrong.
Dinner in a restaurant often contains to much sugar and fat, which adds up very quickly calorie-wise. The 1000 calories you’ve burned during the day with exercising might be added with a single restaurant dinner easily. That kills your efforts.
Unfortunate, sometimes you don’t have a choice to eat at a restaurant during your vacation. Maybe because you’re in an all-inclusive resort or because your hotel room doesn’t have a stove. In that case, you should ask the waiter to bring your salad without dressing. Also, for drinks, you can order sparkling water instead of cola or beer. Try to eat lean meat and stay away from the fries. And finally don’t order an appetizer, dinner, and dessert. I always choose between an appetizer or dessert; I usually don’t have both.
For snacks, we often bring fruits with us. We take apples and bananas to fight cravings in between meals. We also took some energy bars for quick energy. They contain sugar which you can use right away during your exercise.
That way, eating sugar is not a bad thing. It’s the energy you can use right away, and it won’t convert into fat.
However, don’t make the mistake to stop at McDonald’s for a hamburger as a snack. That’s not how it works, unfortunately.
How we still enjoyed our vacation
Despite following these rules we still enjoyed our vacation very much.
That’s because we didn’t follow these rules to the letter.
For example, on our first anniversary, we did go out for dinner to celebrate this great day. I even broke my rule of not ordering an appetizer, dinner, and dessert. I did have all three of them. It’s important however, not to make this a habit. It was a one-time incident, and I made sure it stays like that.
The other time we went out for dinner was when we biked 42 miles that day and where away for the entire day. We didn’t have the energy left to cook for ourselves. We ate at a restaurant and had French fries and ice cream after that. But since we burned over 2000 calories that day through the bike ride, we were still in a calorie deficit, which helps us to lose weight.
There was one more time we eat out for dinner, and that was ad the birthday of my mother in law. But since I stick to the same rules as mentioned before I didn’t go completely overboard.
The final thing you have to know is that we went out to get ice cream about 4 times because it was so good. But then again you have to make a decision. Do we order one or two scones? That is a big one: 2 scones is almost double the calories of on scone. After 4 times, that small decision can have significant consequences.
And you want to know a little secret?
One scone is the same as 0.75 of two cones. So for the price of one scone, you almost have the same amount of ice cream as when you order two scones. That’s very good for your wallet as well.
Exercising during our vacation
Exercise wise we made sure to get some exercise in almost every day.
Sometimes I went for a run; sometimes we walked together for a few miles, and most of the times we would bike a long route through the woods.
The first week we ended up covering 105.76 miles burning a total of 5613 calories. Those are only the calories burned through the exercise. Those do not include the calories you burn through your basic metabolic rate and everything else we did.
We’ve bike trough beautiful woods as well as the heathlands. Exercising in nature reduces stress and improves mental.
There is nothing more relaxing than a bike through nature with your wife and only hear the sound of the birds in the trees.
Unfortunate we didn’t spot any dear, as that would make the day even more perfect.
Biking for a full day gave us a great deal of satisfaction that we didn’t let our time go to waste.
I can recommend it to everyone.
Our bike routes were designed by Holland Travel, a travel agency that personalizes your vacation to your needs. It was awesome.
The second week we did a little bit less. That’s because the last three days of our vacation, temperatures increased to 104 degrease Fahrenheit.
Since that’s not a healthy temperature to exercise in, we decided not to exercise. Instead, we drank a lot of water and ate very little. Since we didn’t burn many calories, we also didn’t need to consume many calories. By doing that we made sure we didn’t overconsume which is the main reason for weight gain during a vacation: You don’t do a lot, but you do eat and drink a lot which leads to weight gain.
Now I want to hear from you!
In the end, it’s about enjoying your vacation without adding 10 pounds in 2 weeks.
So what decisions do you make to have a healthy vacation without gaining weight?
Will you put in a lot of exercises or will you stick to your diet.
Let me know in the comments below.
Let’s make the world healthy again!