Even though I’m a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, I’m not perfect. The highest occurrence of self sabotage on the physique is done during vacation. I myself have done this with trips to Vegas, Mexico, Israel, and many other trips, which is pretty ironic seeing how my short term goal is typically to look good for that particular vacation.
It makes sense how we sabotage ourselves on vacation: our guard is down, we turn our decision making off, and allow ourselves to revert back to old unhealthy patterns of eating, exercising, and living.
A ton of literature has come out as of late creating a buzz around the human capacity for decision making. According to the latest research, we only have an allotted amount of decision making (aka willpower) both daily as well as long term (weekly, monthly, yearly). This is why poor decisions in the kitchen are made at nighttime and the busiest day in the gym is on Mondays.
So how can we capture our decision making capability during vacation?
Simple. At the beginning of the day we are the freshest and able to make the most well thought out, important decisions. So, eat a clean breakfast and workout first thing in the morning on vacation.
Don’t have a gym? Follow this circuit routine you can do in your hotel:
Foam Rolling: 5 to 20 minutes
Push Ups – 5 second drop (5010) to failure
Hand Walkouts – 30 seconds
Bulgarian split Squats – 3 second drop (3010) 12 reps per side
Long Lever Planks – 30s
Single Leg Squat – 12 reps per side
Perform this circuit without stopping and then repeat for three more rounds after prisoner squats.
Don’t have any healthy options around you? Chances are you actually do, but don’t know how to find the healthy options. Your meal should include some form of vegetable, lean protein, good fats, and be low in carbohydrates.
You can even eat healthy at a McDonalds. Get 3 ham and egg sandwiches, take out the bread and cheese, and wash it all down with some Greens + vegetable powder (or pills). Far from perfect but still a great option.
“I have no decision making capability, because I’m just burnt out from the week before training to take my vacation.”
If this is your inner self talking, you should probably take the first day off and focus on recovery techniques to put your body in a better position to crush it the next day. Massage, meditate, contrast baths (very hot to very cold), foam rolling…these are all great techniques to use for day 1.
Leave perfection at home, just strive to be awesome.
I’ve heard of a lot of people actually ruining their vacation with strict workout plans and diets, reflecting back on what should’ve been a beautiful getaway to spending 2 hours in their hotel room watching workout videos. Life is too short, enjoy yourself, but make sure to do it in a way that will continue to get you closer to your goals.