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Apr 25 / Jeremy & Kim

Our Vacation Weight Management Program and Workout Routine

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@ Kate Ward Thacker (

In a few days we’ll be heading out for a 4-week tour of North America.  During this time we will be traveling to attend a professional conference in Canada and visit family and friends in various parts of the US.  We only get back to the US once a year so we have been looking forward to this trip for a long time.  It is going to be great to be able to catch up with our friends and family.  We’ll even be able to attend a couple of weddings while we are there.  In addition to catching up with people we love we will also be hitting our favorite food joints and drinking the best microbrews around the country.  Normally, weddings, dining out, and micro-brews are a recipe for weight gain and will wreak havoc on your health and fitness goals.  Below we are going to lay out our strategy for keeping lean and fit as we travel for four weeks with extremely limited access to a gym or fitness equipment and too much access to fatty foods and empty calories.

Make Time for Exercise

During long periods of travel filled with major food events you simply have to decide to make the time to exercise.  When you are on the road this can be quite a challenge as you are not in your familiar environment.  You cannot go to your regular gym.  You may not have access to gym equipment, etc, etc.  The excuse list can get quite long, but you simply have to decide you are going to make the time to exercise.  During this trip our goal is to get in at least three resistance training sessions and one intense cardio session in each week.  We are also going to try to log 4 hours of intentional walking time.

We’ve always found the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning.  The three major reasons why we prefer this timing are:

  1. It allows us to exercise in a fasted state which burns a lot more fat than exercising in a fed state. This is especially important when you want to burn off that fourth beer you had the night before.
  2. It helps us feel more awake and alert throughout the day
  3. It limits the possibility of social factors getting in the way of our workout.  No one plans an impromptu happy hour at 5 A.M.

Our Chosen Weight Management Workout Routine

Our go-to exercise program when our access to gym will be limited is Turbulence Training.  You can learn more about how we’ve used Turbulence Training on our post about how we exercise on the road.  During this entire month of travel we will be using Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training Bodyweight Workouts.   We’ll let you know what we think of the workouts in the manual when we return.

Our Weight Management Diet Plan

This trip is going to be filled with big events.  First off, this is the first time we’ve seen our family and friends in the last 12 months.  This means that they are all planning welcome home parties that will involve lots of food and plenty of alcohol.  Second, we will be attending two weddings during this 4-week time period.  There is simply no way we are not going to over consume calories during these events.  To make sure this doesn’t lead us directly into extreme weight gain, we are going to significantly reduce our caloric intake on days when we will not have to attend parties or weddings.  This means implementing at least one eat stop eat style fast each week.  We will do our best to schedule the fasts the day before each big event and the day after each big event.  We call this bookend fasting and we’ve found it to be an excellent way to shed excess calories you consumed during weddings, bachelor parties, or holidays.

[This video gives some solid tips about how to drop some weight in order to get ready for that beach vacation.]

Being Smart about What Foods We Eat

During the week-long professional conference buffet breakfast is included with the price of the room, there will be tea/coffee and snacks served twice a day plus we will have to go out for lunch and dinner.  With all of this temptation we are going to have to make smart choices about what we eat and how much we eat because if we are not careful here, then even fasting twice a week may not be enough.

When we are in situations where the likelihood of overeating is high we try to choose the types of foods with which we will overeat.  The smartest foods of which to eat too much are vegetables because they usually contain the fewest amounts of calories per serving.  With this in mind, whenever we attack a buffet the first thing we do is fill at least half of our plate with nothing but vegetables (steamed or roasted vegetables are our favorite choice when possible).  The remainder of our plates will be filled with protein, usually the steak.  The foods we try our best to avoid are breads, pastas and rice.  We avoid these because they will cause a major spike in your insulin levels which will cause your body to store fat and makes it more difficult to burn fat during exercise.

Another simple trick we like to use is to drink lots of water before and during meals.  This water will take up space in your stomach causing you to feel fuller sooner.

Mission Impossible?

It will be a major challenge for us to maintain our current weight and level of fitness during this trip, but with proper planning and the right level of commitment it is entirely possible.  Being consistent with intense exercise and using the diet tips outlined above we believe we will maintain our current level of fitness by the time our trip is complete.  Keep an eye out for a full report on our travel experience and our thoughts on the bodyweight manual once we’re back in June.

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  1. Staying fit is tough while on vacation. That’s for sure!
    I usually try to do a workout if I’m staying at a hotel with a gym but I think that adding a bodyweight program as you mentioned is the best option.

  2. Normally I use vacations as my week off from diet and exercise but that doesn’t work for a month long trip like yours. I like all the tips and wish you luck over the next 4 weeks. No reason you can’t have fun and stay in shape too!

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