Traveling can be awesome–new experiences, incredible food, and spontaneous adventures–but sadly, all vacations must come to an end. Each place we travel has so much to offer and it would be criminal not to take advantage of it. While I love to live in the moment when I’m on vacation and indulge in all of the good food that my destination is known for, I must return to reality at some point.
I recently returned home from a 4 day trip to Chicago with a few friends. (See the vlog here!) We had an amazing time, and although we walked almost everywhere and incorporated a few lakefront runs into our schedule, that was not enough to balance out all of the delicious food we ate–donuts, pasta, falafel, deep dish pizza, ice cream, french toast–to name just a few of our divine indulgences. I don’t regret letting myself eat in an unrestricted manner while on vacation because that’s part of the fun of traveling. However, upon returning back to St. Louis, I knew that my body needed a reset back to my normal healthy routine. After just 4 full days of being home, I feel back on track. Here are 5 tips that helped me transition out of vacation mode and back to my normal healthy lifestyle:
- Drink lots of water. While on vacation, we tend to drink a lot less water than we would if we were at home and we return significantly dehydrated. On my first few days back, I made sure that I drank a gallon of water everyday. This helped to cleanse my body and give it the fluids it needed to reset. This extra water helps to flush out the toxins that may still be lurking in our bodies from all of the junk food we ate. Drinking water in excess after a vacation will also help control your appetite and help you eat less overall.
- Moderate Exercise. Getting your body moving after a vacation is crucial to resetting–but you will most likely feel out of shape and discouraged if you attempt to resume your normal workout routine immediately, so it’s important to ease back into your workout sessions instead of abandoning them altogether because what you were previously doing before vacation is now too challenging. I think cardio workouts such as running, walking, or biking are best after travel because it gets your heart rate up and helps you sweat out toxins that signal to your body that you are ready to use it again. After a few days of easier workouts, you should be ready to resume your normal workout regimen.
- Grocery shop. You are most likely returning to an empty fridge after vacation–and while you might have pantry and packaged foods to sustain you for a few days, I encourage you to do a grocery trip on the first day you return. Stock up on the fresh ingredients that you love and are a part of your normal diet. There’s no need to start a strict, ultra-restrictive diet after returning home and resolve to only eating spinach and broccoli–this mentality will often lead you to fall back into vacation patterns in a few days because you switched between two extremes too fast. Eat the healthy foods you love, and try to cook most of your meals at home and avoid eating out for a few days. Your body and wallet will thank you!
- Crush your to-do list. While drinking water, exercising, and resuming your regular healthy diet will have a direct impact on resetting your body, being productive upon returning home will have an intransitive affect on your body. Often we come back from vacations with a large to-do list. Accomplishing items on your to-do list will boost your mental clarity and release endorphins in your brain that signal to your body that you are returning to a normal routine. Motivate yourself to be a productivity powerhouse on the first day that you return home instead of being lethargic and slow to accomplish your goals. Your body will respond accordingly.
- Have patience. With all of these tips, it’s important to remember that all good things take time. You will not immediately return to your normal exercise or diet regimen because the body is not magical. Don’t expect too much of yourself or your body. Expect to see the scale increase on the first day back if you’re used to weighing yourself daily–that’s normal. Within a week of moderate dedication, you will be back to your normal weight. Instead of being frustrated with your body for not being able to withstand your high intensity workouts or return to a normal figure, recall the awesome memories of your trip and how grateful you are to have had those experiences. Give yourself grace everyday, and you will come back stronger than ever.
I hope that you genuinely enjoyed your recent vacation and were able to live in the moment and not worry about what the delicious foods you were eating would do to your body. Everything can be reversed with careful care and commitment. Look back on your indulgences with joy instead of guilt as you reset in the coming days. Have patience with yourself, and you will be back to normal in no time.