We've been at the beach for week today and it has been a culinary adventure. I started a maintenance week on my nutrition plan last Sunday, which basically means I'm eating 500-600 extra calories a day and I'm allowed to indulge a little. That's good because my first stop on the island was Sunset Slush, the best Italian Ice place in the world. I've only had one so far, which is a miracle in and of itself. They stopped taking credit cards, and we rarely carry cash, so we haven't made quite as many stops. I had a couple of Oreos last night while we watched tv, and I ate lunch at Johnny Rockets in Myrtle Beach. Otherwise, I've pretty much stuck to plan, just paying less attention to my portions. Maintenance weeks are always a little tough. Part of me loves the freedom of not having to measure all my portions or count my containers, but another part of me is completely freaked out by that much freedom. I also tend to get really carb happy during the first day or two of maintenance week, then I crash hard. I made a deal with myself to stick with only whole wheat items (bread, tortillas) this week to avoid the crash. It helped. I've also allowed myself to drink unsweetened tea with lime juice at dinner (which is totally on-plan) instead of water. It feels like a treat.
We are at the beach for another week and I technically go back on plan starting Monday. While I will clean out the extra sugar I've been consuming, I will likely continue to allow myself a treat or two from time to time next week. I mean, it's not every day you get the best Italian Ice in the world!
Here are a few of the lessons I have learned so far from eating away from home for an extended period:
1. DO NOT STOP WORKING OUT! I have, miraculously, been able to get a workout in every day! Now, some days that was 30 minutes, others it was 90. Some days, it was crunches and squats. Most days, however, it was a Beachbody workout, done via Beachbody on Demand. I always feel better on days when I can get in a full, structured workout. Continuing my exercise routine has helped me not flip out about eating a cookie or two.
2. Set realistic goals. If you plan to eat strictly on plan while on vacation, you're likely to derail. That can cause guilt. Do not put that kind of pressure on yourself. Practice the 85/15 rule. Eat well (and on plan) 85% of the time, but give yourself a break 15% of the time. If you splurge after a morning on the beach and go out for pizza with your family for lunch, try to eat a very healthy dinner.
3. Eat a good, protein-packed breakfast. It'll keep you fuller longer and may even hold you over until lunch.
4. Bring your own snacks. Bring them everywhere. Get some 100 calorie packets of almonds and put them in your bag. Carry a clementine in your purse. Bring an ice chest with bottled water and string cheese to the beach Toss some carrots and celery in a zippy bag for a long car ride. Stay away from vending machines. I can't believe how much money I've saved by not buying snacks while we've been out and about on this trip!
5. Plan ahead. If the kids want to go out for milkshakes, take your Shakeology (or equivalent) along with you! If you usually drink it plain, toss in some fruit and make it fancy.
One more week until we head back home. Time to make the most of this final week at the beach!