How I Avoided Gaining the Freshman 15 on Vacation

It’s vacation season!!!  Which means you have your summer bod and certainly you don’t want to destroy it right?! I wanted to do a quick blog talking about some of the strategies I used on my recent cruise to Cozumel (check out my YouTube video I did before I went here).  Now you guys have to understand that cruises are my favorite thing in the world…1) you are in and around water all of the time 2) you have unlimited food and 3) you get to experience new places with complete strangers turned friends.

The cruise I went on went out of Tampa and went from Thursday afternoon through Monday morning.  Yes – I also got the unlimited drink package so this is even more relatable because I understand we are human and that some people like to enjoy some drinks occasionally on vacation.  Don’t worry – I do too.  So how did I avoid going on the cruise weighing 180 pounds and not coming back near 200 pounds with unlimited food and alcohol?!?

(1) Always Hit the Salad Bar First

Whenever I’m at a buffet (including a Brazilian steakhouse) I always hit the salad bar first.  It’s an easy way to get in volume without having an insane number of calories.  What I mean by volume is that your stomach only has a finite amount of space.  Instead of loading it up with a bunch of carbs from a mudslide and a chocolate cake (easy to do), fill it up with some greens before your main course.  If you don’t have a salad bar, begin with a salad as an appetizer

(2) Focus on Protein First

Pick out items that are higher in protein as protein is more satiating.  Keep in mind that while you’re on vacation, you most certainly want to avoid being high fat AND high carb.  So, if you are going to enjoy some Bahama Mama’s then avoid going really high fat as well.  Instead, bump up your protein.  Look for high quality sources of protein first.  Here are some examples of what I ate:


(3) Stay Active

Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to sit on your bum all day long.  Whether you’re on a cruise or on the beach, get some daily movement in.  While I was on the cruise I hit the gym every morning for 30 minutes except the day we were in port at Cozumel because I knew I was going to be active that entire day on the beach snorkeling and walking around.  Whether its walking to the restaurant or getting up for an early morning bike ride, stay active.

(4) Avoid the Sugary Drinks

This is typically one of the toughest to do.  I’ll admit…the sugary drinks are the best – especially when you don’t love alcohol in the first place.  This is where things can go sideways, and people can hit some stalls.  That Bahama Mama or BBC can add up quickly when you are having 3 or 4 per day.  Typically, I drank either champagne, red wine, or a dirty martini – all fairly low in carbs and calories (P.S this was my first time having a dirty martini and I was thoroughly impressed.  Make sure you get it EXTRA dirty 😉 – extra sodium for the win).  I will admit that I had a BBC – for my momma (they are her favorite).  I made sure I took an extra dose of berberine beforehand (see #5) and enjoyed every second of it.

(5) Fasting and Glucose Lowering Agents

I only ended up eating breakfast one of the days.  Even though breakfast buffets are my favorite, I was always up late and tended to have a later dinner so I wasn’t hungry in the morning.  I typically fasted for 14-16 hours naturally – not planned at all but my body was just used to it.

Additionally, I took exogenous ketones and berberine with me.  Not only did the exogenous ketones help with the mineral load and mixed quite well with some cocktails :P, but they are my go to for pre-workout fuel wherever I am.  Alongside that, I brought a healthy dose of berberine that I took daily – 500 mg 30 minutes before each meal and that certainly helped keep at some of the insulin spikes and glucose levels at bay.

(6) Stop Stressing

If you’re stressing on vacation, you’re not truly being present in the moment.  These are the people that need a vacation from their vacation.  ENJOY.  This is your time to relax and recover.  At the same time, don’t blow away all of your progress in an entire week and lead to a downward spiral even after vacation.  Have fun and get right back on track when you are done.  Just like you didn’t get in “shape” in 7 days, you aren’t going to become “obese” in 7 either.

I hope some of those tips help you as you gear up to enjoy some well-deserved vacation with family and friends.  Relax, enjoy, and be present.  Don’t beat yourself up if you’re “out of ketosis.”  Leave the keto police behind and get right back on track when you’re done <3

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