Healthy Eating for Your Active Lifestyle

When you are on summer vacation, BBQs and frozen drinks are front and centre, and your best intentions may stray from your usual healthy habits. Vacation is a time to take a break from it all and indulge a little. But many people struggle to get out of “vacation mode” and back to healthful eating and activity, even after just a long weekend. What to do? First, embrace the feeling of being refreshed and relaxed after a holiday and use it to get back to your healthy habits. Don’t stay on vacation at home! Read on for tips to help you get motivated and back to your healthy routines.

Get Back on Track After Vacation (or Anytime!)


Get motivated

1. Just start!

After a holiday, we sometimes delay getting back on track. An overindulgent weekend can turn into a week and then into a month or more. As soon as you are home from your trip, or the weekend is over, get back to your healthy habits, even in small ways. Go for a walk, have a healthy meal and get a good night’s sleep. You will feel better and motivated to return to reality.

2. Move on.

Obsessing about how much you ate or the unhealthy food choices you made while on holiday does nothing to help you feel motivated. Accept that it is normal to indulge a little on holidays, then move on. If you feel you really overdid it, plan and think of ways to have a healthier vacation next time. Decide to feel your best from this point forward.

3. Go slowly.

Severely restricting calories and skipping meals may cause you to feel deprived and set you up to overeat or make unhealthy choices later on. If you over-exercise or go too hard, you may overdo it and feel too sore or tired to exercise for a few days, a sure bet to lower motivation. Don’t punish yourself. A slow and steady pace will get you back to normal.

Plan your transition

1. Go shopping.

Plan to go grocery shopping as soon as you can after vacation and fill your fridge with plenty of fresh produce, whole grains and lean protein. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Preparing food at home helps you stop overindulging right off the bat. If you have a chance before you leave on your vacation, cook a few healthy meals and freeze them for when you get home. This will decrease the temptation to eat out or order takeout.

2. Write it down!

Once you are home, take a few minutes to record when you will exercise and what you will eat. You will more likely follow through when you have a plan. There is nothing better than a good solid workout, walk or swim to help you feel you are getting back on track. Tracking what you eat in a journal for a few days may be helpful. But if that seems like too much, just write out a simple plan for a week of healthy breakfasts or snacks.

Decrease temptation

1. Get enough ZZZZs.

Staying up late and sleeping in is what vacation is all about. When you get home, reset your sleep schedule as soon as possible. Research shows that sleep affects appetite. When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to choose unhealthy foods and eat them more often. Make it a priority to get between seven and nine hours of sleep to deter overindulging.

2. Treat yourself.

If you get bummed out that your vacation is over, have a modest treat (e.g. a bit of dark chocolate or something you do for yourself that does not involve food) to ease back into your routine.

Jennifer Michaelchuk

Registered Dietitian

Jennifer (BSC, RD) is a registered dietitian from Edmonton. She enjoys inspiring others to achieve their healthy living goals and make healthy food choices.

Article posted on September 1, 2015



Active Tip

Burning an extra 100 calories each day equals losing a pound a month.

The Expert Says

Registered Dietitian, Jennnifer Michaelchuk says “An overindulgent weekend can turn into a week and then into a month or more. As soon as you are home from your trip, or the weekend is over, get back to your healthy habits, even in small ways. Go for a walk, have a healthy meal and get a good night’s sleep. You will feel better and motivated to return to reality.”