2012 Renewal — Keeping miles up and calories down while on vacation — even a cruise ship!

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Tale of the Tape Through Week Fourteen

Weight:  January 1 = 189, April 10 = 175.0  14 weeks,  loss of 14.0 lbs.  At target 1 lb per week pace.

Mileage: Week 14 run/walk miles: 31.0.  Avg weekly mileage: 36.2.  Above target min of 35 mi/wk.

It is the small constant decisions you make that keep your goals in sight — no matter where you are.

Can you believe it?  I went for a one week cruise and actually dropped a half a pound!  For those who have been cruising, you know what I am talking about.  For those having not experienced cruising, the ship is a floating buffet with bars everywhere.  You’ve heard of a certain fast food chain that advertizes a ‘4th meal’?  Cruise ships pioneered the ‘9th meal’, where you have 3 square meals, plus a pre and post topping off, so you make sure to get your money’s worth.

So, how do you keep your fitness wits about you in this kind of environment — like vacations or even family reunions?  Make the right small decisions without making yourself miserable.

Eat to sustain during the day, choose the right dinner entree, just nibble for dessert

For breakfast and lunch, don’t make it a big social munchout — just grab some stuff between your activities.  My preferences?

  • Fruit with some protein (eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese) for breakfast
  • Veggies and maybe clear soup (not creamy) for lunch
  • Stay away from fats, starches, and sugars so you can relax a bit during dinner and the evening

For dinner, stay away from the calorie bombs!

  • Have a lean main entree.  No fatty cuts, no fried foods, no rich sauces.
  • Less starches (bread, potatoes, rice), and more veggies
  • Got a sweet tooth?  Share a dessert.

Watch what you alcohol you drink

That jumbo coco-pina-mai-tai probably has about 800 calories.  What to do….

  • Stay zero calorie on beverages until happy hour (water/coffee/tea/diet soda)
  • Treat yourself with better quality drinks and savor them slowly
  • Alternate calorie drinks with glasses of water or club soda to fill you up
  • Sugary mixed drinks can double your calorie intake.  Instead choose simple beer/wine/liquor drinks

Get those walking/running miles in any way you can

  • If touring, make sure to walk around and see the sights
  • If at a resort, on a ship, or near a healthclub, there will be treadmills somewhere
  • Most places will have some sort of surface outside.  My ship had a 1/4 mile track. Yes, I did 13 miles doing 52 laps one workout.   I have been known to do parking lot laps when trapped at motels with no place to run.
  • An earlier blog post referred to the importance of ‘just doing the workout’.  Vacations are no different.

Great fitness goals take hard work — on the activity side and often on the calorie side.  Sometimes that hard work is mostly mental.  Stay focused and strong while vacationing, and you will find your motivation will get a real boost when you return home in better shape than you left.

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