The reason I decided to make a post about how to stay fit on vacation is that it's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! Like, for real, at one point I caught myself the binge-eating-n-drinking whole day, without even caring about it!
When you escape from your everyday life and set off somewhere where your usual environment rules don't actually work, you forget that you also left habits like staying clean and working out behind you. And that's exactly what happened to me.
So about a month ago my girlfriend and I decided it's sea-sand-and-surf time, and we figured that Greece has everything we need. Beautiful sea, kind people, and ginormous history. I started browsing through Airbnb and found a beautiful place, about 90 miles south of Athens, called Xiropigado.
Xiropigado is a kinda small village that has about 400 inhabitants, but it was a freaking fairytale. The apartment cost somewhere around $30 per night and it was exactly what we wanted: a peaceful place with not many people and a place to stay near the beach. Xiropigado has 3 or 4 restaurants, 2 little stores, and 1 drugstore. Everything you need, right? The best thing about it: It was closed to Athens and to Nafplio, a former capital city of Greece (until 1834). So basically we had a lot to explore!
When we got in Xiropigado we were super jet-lagged and tired. The first day of our vacation we spent eating and drinking on the beach all kinds of carbs, just to regain our energy. We realized that absolutely everything was so amazing including good old gyros, that we lost control! It was gyros for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner! Haha!
After a few days, I decided to use all the benefits of the seaside and to track down how my body will behave. Thanks to the salty air and sea, my skin became so soft and I could feel like I have another 20% capacity in my lungs! Crazy, right? That impacted my stamina and I could endure longer swims and runs.
It doesn't take long to adapt, but once I did, I found an awesome way to stay fit and enjoy your vacation at the same time.
Practice intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a very powerful tool that will help you a lot with staying lean. The regular window of 16-8 will be enough to keep you fit, and you won't even feel it.
When you have 16 hours fasting period, you are burning fa fort at least 4 hours, so even if you go above your daily caloric intake you should be fine. Well, except if you don't take like 10 000 calories… In that case, only 100 miles run may cover you… May…
I started practicing intermittent fasting a long time ago and it gave me awesome results. When you are in a foreign country and you are exploring, of course, you want to try different foods and beverages. In this case, Greeks love their food to be caloric. Fries is in almost every meal including traditional Greek gyros, and greeks really love pork. It's meat #1, for sure. When it comes to beverages, their lager beer is awesome. The best ones I tried are definitely Alfa and Mythos. If you are maintaining or losing weight beer does not belong to the beverages you should drink, but intermittent fasting will help you stay on track.
If you are new to intermittent fasting you can read our step-by-step beginners guide. We got huge positive feedback about it, that many people managed to accomplish even 20-4 windows, without a struggle, so if you need some pro-tips, feel free to use everything from the post.
Avoid tour buses
We all heard that the easy way is often not the best way, and that rule is true in this case. It's easy to jump on a tour bus, get your selfie stick, and GoPro and shoot everything around you, but you are missing a lot, without even knowing it.
- You are not in control. Tour bus probably visits the best places, but if you want to see something in details, or check it out, the only option is to exit and let it go without you.
- You burn calories walking. Yeah, if you didn't know, when you walk, you burn calories. Be creative, find the top 10 places to visit make a route, and go with it. I know it's impossible to do that just by walking in huge cities like Athens. Sure, grab a bus or metro to the nearest station but stay on foot after that. I remember when I was in Barcelona and we went to visit Sagrada Familia. There were 100 tour buses passing by it and I remember thinking that all those people are missing every single important detail about it. And if you just take a look at photos of Sagrada Familia you will notice that it's impossible to take a good look without staying at each side for a couple of minutes and just observing.
- It's cheaper. Tour buses in Nafplio cost around 20 euros and it's really not worth it. It's so much fun to get in those tiny streets and feel the spirit of history laying there.
Just by avoiding tour buses, you will burn extra calories and if you start intermittent fasting you might even drop a few pounds!
That's me… Fascinated by the amount of water… Modesty, right?
Drink plenty of water
Only when you travel far away you realize how much water helps your body to function. Water will flush carbs you eat and will keep your blood sugar normal. You need to hydrate especially if you go on summer vacation. Hot temperatures can cause sunstroke, heart attack, dehydration, and exhaustion. Basically, all the things you don't need on your vacation.
A human body is 80% of water, so make sure you have always a bottle or two with you, where ever you go. Water has minerals your body needs every day for normal functioning and without them, you may feel some nasty symptoms. Many countries don't have drinking water and you must buy some in stores. Always carry a bottle of water and keep drinking it every now and then. You will be surprised how water help you feel good even when your head is under a burning sun.
Bring your supplements with you
Bringing supplementation with you on vacation is one of the first things on my things-to-pack list. You can google as much as you want but you'll never actually know what is the food like where you go. Gyros looks amazing on pictures, but I didn't actually know what it tastes like until I tried it.
One of the most important things not to forget is definitely protein powder. Even if you are not using it on a daily basis I do recommend getting one because optimal protein intake is essential when it comes to muscle breakdown prevention and staying fit. One of the best (if not THE best) ones out there is definitely Whey protein by Optimum Nutrition I managed to find on Amazon. I use it for over a year now and it's really awesome.
It comes in various tastes, and it contains muscle growth and regeneration formula. The best thing, it has only 1g of sugar! Make sure to check it out!
Besides protein powder, I also suggest you bring some multivitamin complex and some probiotics, just in case. We already made a complete post on the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain so everything you actually need is there. Hope you'll find it helpful!
Explore every day
Trust me when I say this, you saw nothing. Exploring never stops, there are always a bunch of new things and it has huge benefits for you.
First of all exploring by foot, as we previously mentioned burns calories. Your body is constantly moving, and thanks to the new things, your brain is processesing bunch of new information, so you will probably forget you are hungry.
Second, you will gain new experiences and by the time you will be like a little Wikipedia. Really, you will know thousands of new fascinating things and having that is a true blessing.
When we arrived in Nafplio we started following my planned route, top 10 things to see there. Nafplio isn't a very big city so we were fortunate enough to go to every place we wanted to see on foot, without using any type of transportation. First thing I wanted to see was Palamidi castle. I read on Google there is an option to get there by bus/car or to go the hard way – 900 stairs climb.
I thought I'll leave my last breath there… It was hot like I shoved my head in the oven, and the water supply shortly went off… What a rookie mistake. But when we got there… Just look at this…
And the view…
I bet I burned 500 calories just by getting up there. And another 100 just by trying to absorb all these beautiful colors and details my eyes caught. It was a really beautiful experience. Here's another beautiful panorama of view.
The last and final advice I can give you has a good time. Forget about home, problems, issues, and turn your phone off. No, you don't need to know what's happening on Instagram or Facebook. Turn the internet down, and use your phone just to text your loved ones that you are safe and alive.
If you carry stress with you, your body produces cortisol, also known as a stress hormone. Cortisol plays a big role in controlling blood sugar, inflammation, metabolism regulation, etc.
Get a book. Explore. Be happy.
And enjoy the only life you have.
- How To Do Intermittent Fasting: Step-By-Step Beginners Guide
- Which Alcohol Can I Drink During Weight Loss: Dos and Don’ts
- 10 Worst Mistakes People Make When Losing Weight
Founder at Extreme Loser