Conquer Vacation

Written by Allison Madsen


June 12, 2023

Summer is starting which means beach time! You’re probably excited to show off all the progress you have made in the gym over the Winter months, but how do you maintain all your fitness gains and still have a blast over the summer?

Vacations and holidays always include time off, relaxation, and lots of food.  While I’m sure we’re all looking forward to these fun things, you may be worried about creating balance over the summer months.

Travel can be a struggle point for many, and even more so if you have been consistent with a strict diet and training program.  If you’re wondering how you can stick with at least some of your fitness routine while vacationing I have some of my favorite tips for feeling healthier while traveling to share!


Let’s face it, the food on vacation is more often than not one of the best parts of the entire trip, and you should enjoy experiencing new things.  But how can you maintain some dietary balance while away?

Prioritize Protein:

To help maintain all the muscle you’ve been working hard to build at home in the gym, your body needs some protein.  Depending on where your travels take you, the protein sources you are used to eating at home may be harder to find due to cultural differences.

When this is the case, my best advice is to prioritize protein for at least one meal a day: lunch or dinner.  Sticking to a protein centered meal once a day should give you the freedom to try all the fun foods you’re looking forward to, while still keeping in line with some of your diet goals.

If protein intake during the day is a real hurdle, try checking out a local grocery store or market and see if there are any high protein snacks you can pick up and keep in your room– yogurt, cheese sticks, or protein bars work great as a late night snack too!

Share Dishes:

Huge plate of pasta or something delicious and fried calling your name on vacation? Try asking a family member or friend if they’d like to share!  Sharing food can be a great way to try everything you want while sparing some calories and creating a more balanced plate.  Try ordering some interesting vegetable sides or protein centered dishes to complete the meal and eat family style!

Being Mindful of Portions and Hunger:

Going out to eat on vacations is fun, but sometimes we can go a bit overboard.  When you sit down for a larger meal while away, recall what your normal portion size at home would be, and remain mindful of it.

Looking forward to a huge dinner? Try eating a lighter breakfast or lunch or avoiding the extra afternoon snack.

There will be lots of fun desserts and treats you’ll want to try while away, so check in with your hunger before snacking.  If you realize you’re not really hungry but just want to try something, eat a portion of it! And save the rest for later when you’re hungry.  You will probably slightly overeat some days, and that’s okay, the goal is not to drastically overeat several days in a row.


You may be planning to get some workouts in while away, or you may be looking forward to a much needed vacation from the gym– either way, I have some tips for getting in some healthy movement while traveling!

Do What You Enjoy:

If going for a run, hike, bike, or lift makes you happy on vacation absolutely do that, if possible!

If you find yourself with more time restraints or less equipment available than expected I have a few more suggestions…

Walk When Possible:

Most of the time you’ll experience far more of a place’s culture and scenery by walking anyway– so if the weather is nice and you’re not going too far GET THOSE STEPS IN!

Do a Home Workout:

Got 20 or 30 free minutes in the morning? Try a bodyweight HIIT and Ab routine from the comfort of your room! Doing some exercise first thing in the morning is a great way to wake you up, get those endorphins flowing, and jumpstart your metabolism– so give a quick morning workout a shot!

For a quick no equipment required workout, try a mix of:

  • Push ups

  • Dips (use the edge of a table, couch, or bed!)

  • Sit ups, leg lifts, mountain climbers (or really any ab exercise!)

  • Bodyweight squats or lunges

  • Burpees (to get that heart rate up!)

Hotel or Other Gyms:

If getting a few proper workouts in while away is a little more important to you, make sure you look into accommodations with gym equipment.  Most hotels offer some type of free weights, which will be more than enough to maintain your progress until you return home.  If your lodging doesn’t offer exercise equipment, see if there’s a gym nearby– most gyms offer day passes at a reasonable price and are happy to accommodate tourists.

And finally…Enjoy yourself!  The reality is your body will not change much during a week or two away, so make healthy choices when you can, but don’t skip out on trying new foods or giving yourself time to relax– the gym will be there when you get home!

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