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How can you recover from vacation weight gain?
If you have gone on vacation lately, you may realize that it isn’t necessarily hard to eat clean. The again, you’re on vacation, so that means your diet and fitness are on vacation also! It becomes very easy to indulge in a “vacation binge fest” where you eat and drink everything that looks appealing.
What isn’t AS easy is recovering from that vacation binge and losing the extra vacation weight gain baggage!
Throughout this post I will tell you about my experience during my last vacation binge and what I am doing to get back on track.
Thoughts that go through your head early in your vacation:
- I’m on vacation, I need to let myself relax… Even with my diet.
- Damn that Key Lime Pie sure looks good!
- French fries? YES! Double!
- Beer, margarita, rum punch? YES! Line them up!
Thoughts that go through your head towards the end of your vacation:
- Holy crap, why did I eat all of that?
- Good lord that’s a big Margarita!
- Dang, I feel like a bloated, fat cow…
- Did I just completely ruin my diet?
- How long will I need to exercise when I get home to recover?
Well let me say, I just got back from a fantastic (and much needed) vacation with my wife, Paige. We went from Indiana and traveled down to the Miami area and the Keys. It was an awesome vacation for us and best of all the majority of our travel and hotel stays were paid for by my loyalty points! That left us with a lot of money to eat and drink everything we wanted. (Maybe too much…)
The Vacation Binge Fest
While we were on vacation, we went down near the Florida Keys. Now, when you are in the Keys, it is almost criminal to not have some of the delicious Florida Key Lime Pie. Let me emphasize the word DELICIOUS…
Here is a brief list of my binge-fest foods I had:
- Key Lime Pie in Ft. Lauderdale at Coconuts and in Key Largo at Mrs. Macs Kitchen
- Key Lime Freeze at Mrs. Macs in Key Largo (like a key lime pie was blended and put in some glorious milk shake, slushy thing!)
- Mustang Sally Burger at the Burger and Beer Joint in Miami
- Homemade Ice Cream
- 36oz, $30 (don’t get me started, there was no price on the menu) “Bulldog Margarita” at The Place in South Beach
- Room Service Pizza and Fish Tacos at The Hilton Bentley South Beach
- Grouper Sandwich at Shooters Cafe on the Intracoastal in Ft. Lauderdale
- Lots of Oysters
- A cuban platter in Little Havana
- Blue Crab at Pinchers in Naples
I’m sure there were more, but I think you get the point… Cheat meal? No, no, no… How about CHEAT WEEK! Let me at least say, I did lift weights a few times at the hotel fitness centers and some were awesome with huge weight rooms which had lots of free weights and quality equipment…
Remember, I am a believer in cheat meals and cheat days. You can read my post on cheat meals and their importance by clicking the link below:
So what was the effect of all this food, you ask?
Well… Brace yourself! I left for vacation weighing around 196 lbs and I returned from vacation a week later weighing 208!
Holy crap! I’m no mathematician but I believe that is a 12 pound gain!
What to do?
Well, you could do any of the following:
- Kick your dog because you are so mad at yourself… (That’s just not nice)
- Get liposuction… (That’s expensive)
- Go on a “blow out your b-hole”, Hollywood cleanse diet… (That’s just painful)
Or, you could realize that the majority of that weight gain is most likely in the form of water weight…
If it’s water weight, prove it, Zach!
Okay, so check this out. We returned from vacation this past Monday evening. I stepped on the scale on Tuesday morning where it read that dreaded 208 lbs, I moved the scale around just hoping that it was incorrect, but nope… It was reading the same 208 everywhere I moved it.
Today, only 4 days after the scale read 208 lbs, I now weigh 199 lbs. While it still reads 3 lbs heavier than when I left, I’m not too worried about it. I can lose that amount of weight a week or two.
My point is, don’t freak out and throw in the towel… Give it a few days and watch the water weight fall back off. Follow my plan below and get back on track.
So what’s my recovery plan?
- Intermittent Fasting w/ Bulletproof Coffee
- Hit the gym hard (mine is in the form of full body, Kettlebell work)
- Jump start your cardio (mine is in the form of Road Cycling)
- Cut out all processed foods and grains
I started Tuesday morning performing Intermittent Fasting with Bulletproof Coffee… What is Bulletproof Coffee, you ask? Well it is coffee you have for breakfast in place of food. Brew your coffee, preferably in a french press and put in 2 tablespoons of GRASS FED (must be grass fed) butter and 2 tablespoons of MCT Oil. Blend it with a hand held blender or frother. This drink will give you insane focus in the morning and leave you without hunger until lunch.
- I have been drinking 16 ounces of bulletproof coffee throughout the morning as my breakfast (no other food) and then around 12-1pm, I eat my lunch.
Hit the Gym Hard
I prefer doing total body weight exercises in the form of Kettlebell Training. I perform high intensity intervals, consisting of 10 minutes of 30 second kettlebell swings and 30 seconds rest. You can perform any type of exercise you want, but total body, short bursts will help you burn off stored glycogen and water weight.
- Grab a kettlebell, learn how to do swings. Try performing 10 minutes of intervals!
Jump Start Your Cardio
I have rekindled my liking for Road Biking lately and love doing it as my form of cardio. I can burn anywhere from 800-2000 calories per ride and work in hill intervals to burn that excess glycogen.
- You don’t have to road cycle, but if you try it, you may like it. You can also perform HIIT Cardio which is quick and efficient at melting body fat!
Cut Out Carbohydrates and Grains
I try not to eat much grains anyway, even when on vacation I would try to take off half the bun of sandwiches and use a fork and knife. I also tried to substitute sweet potato fries instead of regular french fries.
- Follow this rule… If it comes in a bag, box, or can, pass it up!
- Fill your plate with green veggies and a portion of grilled protein. Don’t over complicate it…
There You Have It!
Vacation weight gain happens… I believe in enjoying your vacation and relaxing, but you can also minimize the impact and easily recover from vacation weight gain.
I provided a simple, yet effective, Trip Fitness plan to recover from a vacation binge fest.
How about you? Do you have any tips or shortcuts to get back on track after eating badly on vacation?
If so, please post it in the comments below or Tweet Me!