Man eating hamburger over whiteHave you ever wondered how people tend to let their bodybuilding diet fall to the side when they are on vacation? Many people do the typical “Get In Shape” diet and try and get into the best shape that they can by the time their vacation comes around. This usually leads to splurging and having no regard to what people put into their mouths. The average mind-set is that you can eat whatever you want on vacation because you have worked so hard for it. I agree with the working hard part, but what happens when you come back from vacation? All of your hard work has gone down the drain. How many of us have looked back at vacation pictures and wished we still looked like what we did back then? Why does this have to be? Well it doesn’t. I am going to help you overcome this obstacle with a few simple rules that you can follow and maintain that “Vacation” body all year round. Why work so hard for something and then just give it all up? Do you remember how tough it was to get into the shape that you wanted? Let’s keep you on track, and learn how to adapt and overcome this nightmare waiting to happen.

Portrait of pizza delivery man holding bag on white backgroundJust so you all know, I am speaking the truth on this, because I followed this plan to a “T” while my family and I took our vacation this year. The first thing you have to do is to see if your place of interest allows you to bring food or beverages into the park or facility. You will be amazed at how many places allow you to do this. There are always stipulations to the rules such as not being able to bring in glass containers or alcoholic beverages, but this should be expected. Once you get the approval on this, you can then proceed onto the next step: storing and carrying your food and beverages with you. Some facilities will have stricter policies than others. You will have to check on how large of a bag or carrying case is allowed into the facility, but also if you can store your food at the venue or at your hotel. Many venues will allow small containers or lunch sacks into the facility, but that doesn’t mean you get to bring your giant cooler you use for tailgating. Check with your destination to see what size carrier you are allowed to have. Try and get a hotel room with a fridge and microwave so that your drinks can stay nice and cold such as milk, liquid egg whites or MRP’s; but also to heat up any of your foods that you have bought such as oatmeal for breakfast.

ManShoppingBasketWe were able to do most of our shopping at a local grocery store, and store everything we needed back in our hotel room. Most of our meals were dry goods, but we had plenty of beverages as well. I was able to stick with my meal plans because I still had my oats, protein powder, peanut butter, whole grain bread, and supplements with me. We also were able to pack treats and snacks for the kids back at the hotel, and prepare what we needed each day. I had my shakers packed with me, and also had my oats and protein powder packed in sandwich bags (measured out) so that I could just prepare my home-made MRP’s while we were out and about. For those of you who do not know me, I usually weigh out my oats and protein powder and mix them with water in my shaker and use that as a MRP. Sometimes I add peanut butter to it, but for the most part those are the contents of that shake. So in a nut shell, we were able to pack and prepare most of our food and beverages and enter the parks with them…all LEGAL and NO PROBLEMS whatsoever.

Student putting things in lockerOnce you are in your establishment, you do not have to carry all of your food along with you either. You can always find a locker or storage area and place your food there. Just make sure it is nothing that is going to spoil in the heat. This way you can always bring extra beverages and place them there for a later convenience. It usually doesn’t cost anything for a glass of ice, so cool your beverages down with that if needed. These are some simple rules, and will help you stay on track throughout the day.

$$Let’s now talk about the perks of traveling this way. I know that it’s vacation, but it’s also all of your hard work that you put into to getting ready for this trip or just trying to maintain your current physique. You are definitely going to save money while doing this, and saving money can mean many things. Locker rental might cost between $5 and $10 for the day. A little steep at first, but it will pay off in the long haul. Your cooler if needed, might run about another $10 to $20. I used my back pack and didn’t have to worry about this. You will save on the cost of water (roughly $2.50 per bottle); you can roughly get 5 or 6 bottles for this price if you shop “off site.” You will also cut down on the calories ingested if you drink water. Use those calories for something that you are really yearning for if possible. Borrow from Peter to pay Paul, which is the mindset I have when on vacation at times. I would rather eat my calories than drink them. It’s all up to you, just be smart about it.

Food DecisionThink sensibly. Eating at a park or venue could easily cost you $8 to $12 per person. You could easily consume many forced and unhealthy calories if you get suckered into eating what is just available at your destination. We have all been there, and that is usually when you have to make a “better-bad” decision on your food options. With the price of venue food, you could easily pay for your entire trip of “off-site” food after one or two days. For the most part, it’s just like going to the grocery store when you are hungry, everything looks delicious. If you are not hungry and try to shop, the cravings are not so tough to deal with. The same thing goes for vacations and for your kids. They will not be missing anything as long as their bellies are full. If the kids are still craving a park snack, let them share it. No need to buy two or more of these treats. Remember moderation! This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the delicacies that vacation offers, just be wise on what you are eating.

Those are just a few quick tips to help you out on vacation. Try them out. I think you will be happy with the outcome. This is a simple solution to staying in shape, retaining the gains you have earned, and still being able to indulge in the pleasures that vacations allow you to. Loosen the reigns a little; just remember not to go overboard! With the money you save, you can either set yourself up to do more activities while on vacation or even better yet — save a nice down payment on taking another vacation. Let your healthy lifestyle reward you for making smart decisions! Enjoy your vacations everyone!

Stay Strong, Stay True.

About the Author: Michael Klamut was the 2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion. Mike is a United States Air Force veteran  (1997-2001) who works as a Radiologic Technologist (X-Ray Tech) during the day, and is a busy husband and father of two during the night. Mike entered his first bodybuilding competition and took 1st place in his Novice weight class (Middleweight) and Novice Overall. He takes great pride in helping others with their fitness goals and hopes to inspire and motivate everyone he comes into contact with. Mike is looking forward to helping all Labrada Nutrition fans reach their personal goal(s) and hopes to help them conquer any obstacle(s) that stands in their way.

You can visit Mike Klamut’s website at: