Why Diet And Exercise Alone Won’t Help With Weightloss

For a long time my wife and I were frustrated by our lack of weightloss results.  We were both going to the gym 3-5 times a week.  We are lifting weights.  We were doing cardio.  We felt we were eating a sensible diet.  But we weren’t seeing results.  Now several years later we’ve found out that we weren’t alone in our frustrations.  In fact it is likely that diet and exercise alone won’t be enough to help you lose weight either.

While everyone has different weightloss goals, most experts agree that there need to be some standards when defining what constitutes as “significant” weightloss.  The National Weight Control Registry for instance is composed of people over the age of 18 who have lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year.  Personally, I look at significant weightloss as intentionally losing at least 10% of one’s bodyweight.  My justification is that a 10% reduction in body weight can be connected to improved health by lowering the risks for diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.weight-loss

When the above mentioned National Weight Control Registry collected the data from over 4000 adults with significant weightloss, their results were very definite.  Less than 1% of those individuals experienced significant weightloss by exercise alone.  This validates the cliché, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”  It also gives some insight on why I wasn’t able to lose weight, even though I was working out faithfully multiple times a week.  If more people knew this statistic, I wonder if they would make adjustments to the endless hours invested in group fitness classes or on cardio machines.

Of the same sample group, only 10% of those with significant weightloss were able to be successful with diet alone.  When we see people lose weight by eating less, generally they slow down their metabolism because their bodies cannibalize their muscle tissue and use it to make energy to make up for the caloric deficit they are experiencing.  A pound of muscle burns 19X as many calories as a pound of fat, and so with less muscle a person’s resting metabolic rate decreases.  To compound issues, when a person stops eating a diet with a calorie deficit their now slower metabolism causes the weight to return and then some.  Many people lose 15-30 pounds on to gain it back and more less than a year later.

The other 89% percent of people who lost the weight and kept it off used what I call the “weightloss trifecta” for sustained results. Studies show that they incorporate a consistent nutrition plan, daily exercise, and some type of accountability and support to help them stay on track.  So let’s take a look into just what these people did to be successful.

  1. They incorporate a consistent nutrition plan

In Tom Venuto’s book, “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” he lays out the formula that allows elite athletes and fitness competitors to maintain relatively low body fat percentages year round.  Tom explains that most of these individuals stick to a consistent weekly diet that consists of around 15 different meals.  The diet may vary from day to day to prevent boredom, but these individuals do not stray from what they know works.  Then when they come across a new meal they enjoy they add it into their weekly diet and make sure it still meets their goal of maintaining their ideal body composition.

The National Weight Control Registry found almost the same thing.  In their key factors that separated the “maintainers from “regainers” that point to keeping dietary restraint under control and keeping down the level of daily fat calories.  This means that those individuals who are able to keep the weight have a greater level of consistency with what they eat.  They follow the same diet 7 days a week.  They don’t splurge on the weekends.  And they are less likely to indulge in several high fat meals during the holidays.  To summarize, consistent dieting 7 days a week lead to people who are 1.5x more likely to maintain their weight within 5lbs than people who were less strict with their diet on the weekends.

  1. They exercise daily

While exercise alone won’t give you the significant weightloss results that you are looking for, it is a part of the larger equation.  This is because to lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit.  And by “burning” more calories through exercise you are able to create a larger deficit. In fact the CDC posts on their website that “the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity.”

So how does exercise help?  First it’s important to remember that your cells use calories to make energy that is needed to survive.  And then when cells are asked to perform a task, it takes added energy for this to happen.  Muscle cells in particular use a lot of energy to perform their work, meaning a lot of calories are used during physical activity.   In addition, you are able to build more muscle tissue through exercise which will raise your RMR (resting metabolic rate), the number of calories your body consumes while it is at rest.  This is why every exercise program should have a component of resistance training incorporated into it, as opposed to just doing cardio.  Resistance training will also give you the benefits of EPOC (excess post oxygen) or the “afterburn affect.”  This is an elevated level of calories consumed post exercise for recovery purposes that can last from 12-36 hours after the work was completed.  Sorry, but when you finish doing only cardio your body quickly goes back to its RMR without using up extra calories.

Exercise can also make up for any increased calorie intakes that may happen from time to time.  A special event or holiday can lead to a meal that increases your calories by well over 1000 for the day.  So by keeping up a high level of physical activity, the maintainers can burn those extra calories without fear they may be converted to fat and stored in the body.

  1. They have an accountability system in place

The goal isn’t to just lose weight, but to become a maintainer and keep it off for good.  But most of us go through peaks and valleys and staying consistent to our goals can become difficult.  Maybe we are stressed with work or at home.  Maybe it’s the holidays and we are surrounded by more temptations with sweets and high fat foods that will sabotage the hard work we’ve been putting in at home and at the gym (If you are struggling with food temptations, you can learn more about them here).  The bottom line is that sometimes we can’t do it all alone and an accountability or support group will help pull us through those tough times.

According to the American Physiological Association, “It’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy,” And we’ve found this to be true in our home and through our online support groups.  At home Danielle and I work together to create our meal plans for the week, help each other with the cooking so we don’t feel overwhelmed and opt for fast food or takeout, and push each other through our workouts.  And online we’ve done the same.  In fact we created The Fit Teacher Network and started our monthly newsletter to build a community where we can share nutrition and workout tips long with giving participants the sense that they are not alone.  And we go one step further by also running free 7 day clean eating groups and larger 30 or 60 day online bootcamps.

Weightloss shouldn’t be a mystery, but unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there that most people just decide not to make the change.  But hopefully after reading this you’ll have more information on what those that have succeeded in becoming a weightloss success have done to get there. And if you or anyone you know is looking for a change and we would love to help.  We can simply the above 3 steps and put them into an easy to follow program that guarantees results.

To your health,


Avoiding Snacks In The Teachers’ Lounge

We’ve all been here before.  We’ve set a health or weightloss goal and told ourselves “this time is going to be different.”  We’ve been getting to the gym as we promised.  And we’ve been sticking to the meal plan, at least for the most part (those thin mint cookies don’t count because they helped the Girl Scouts, right).  But when we walk into the teachers’ lounge at work and we see that someone has brought in the snacks.  Just seeing those doughnuts or birthday cake, we all of the sudden have the self-control of a preschooler. Time and time again we are unable to avoid the snacks in teachers’ lounge, and it sends us into a feeling of disappointment and self-sabotage.

DoughnutsStop beating yourself up.

The bottom line is this: We have a finite amount of willpower and the more we have to use it, the more drained of its strength it becomes.  Think of it like a battery.  There’s only so much juice in it, and once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back for the rest of the day.


So how do we stay the course and not fall victim to temptation?

The trick is to get a better understanding of what’s going on in our minds and then game the system to put us in a position of success, as opposed to a position of failure.

First we need to understand that we are all hard-wired a little different from the next person.  This was proven back in 1972 though the now famous Stanford marshmallow test.  The short version of the experiment is that Walter Mischel wanted to test the process of delayed gratification on a group of 4 year olds.  So with parent consent, he brought them individually into a room and sat them at a table with a marshmallow on it.  He told them that they could eat the marshmallow now, or if they could wait a short amount of time, when he came back in they would get a second marshmallow if the first had not yet been eaten.  Mischel found that 1/3 of the kids ate the marshmallow as soon as he left the room. 1/3 were able to hold out a few minutes, but ultimately gave into temptation.  And 1/3 were able to wait it out for the 15-20 minutes before he returned and enjoyed 2 marshmallows as a reward for their will-power.

Now your mind is a muscle in the sense that the more you practice using it, the stronger it can become.  But the truth is that some of us have more willpower than others, and have a greater potential to improve this willpower over time.

So which kid from the Stanford test to see yourself as?  Do you rush over to the doughnuts in the teachers’ lounge?  Or do you have no problem standing near them and avoiding the temptation?

So if step 1 is to understand your personal temptation resistance level, then step 2 is to understand that your resistance level is affected by many factors that can weaken it throughout the day.  Many studies have shown that when we are stressed, tired, or feeling like there are too many tasks to deal with simultaneously we will cave into temptation.  And it doesn’t matter what our temptation resistance level is, we are going to struggle when these issues are in play.

Stressed, tired, and feeling like a circus performer who is balancing all of those spinning plates pretty much sums up a day in the life of every American teacher.  So no wonder why this becomes such an issue.  It’s like stepping up the batter’s box  in a baseball game and already having two strikes against you.

So here is the solution.  Instead of relying on willpower to get us through the temptations that are holding us back, we need to setup roadblocks to limit our exposure to these temptations.

Remember, those thin mints I’ve mentioned already in this blog?  I keep them hidden in my freezer at home.  They are out of plain sight and not easy to get to.  This way I am not seeing constant reminders of them.  And when they are gone, they are gone.  The empty box will not be replaced by a new one, unless I want the cycle to continue.  This is also why we help people clean out their cupboards of junk food when we help them with our FREE 7 day clean eating challenges.  Because you have to set up those roadblocks which make it difficult for you to continue your unhealthy habits if you have any hope of replacing them with better choices.

roadblockHarvard Professor and New York Times best-selling author Shaun Anchor has coined the idea of the “20 second rule” which works great for avoiding temptation.  Shaun points out that we should lower the amount of activation energy needed for habits we want to adapt while raising the amount of activation energy for habits we want to avoid.  Basically, the harder it is to do something the less likely we are to do it.  We need to get past those initial 20 seconds of temptation by making it harder for us to fall victim to them.

So avoiding the temptations of those sweets and treats makes more sense than trying to tough it out and remain strong while having them within an arm’s length of our grasp.  Eating a healthy snack while near those treats keeps our hands and mouth occupied.  Likewise, going into the teacher’s lounge before school instead of near the end of the day makes it less likely that our paths will cross with these tempting items.

This is also why I’m a big advocate for at home fitness programs.  There are less obstacles to completing a workout at home than if you have to drive to the gym or some outside location in order to exercise.  Something always comes up.  And if you factor in getting the kids to the gym also so you can exercise, the difficulty of being consistent with the task increases exponentially.

The bottom line is this: You aren’t going to rid the world of temptations.  Those snacks are going to be there regardless of it’s the gas station convenience store, the supermarket, or even the teacher’s lounge.  But you can set yourself up for success by avoiding limiting your time in these places as much as possible.  And when you do have to go there, have a healthy snack ready to eat instead of those treats that are sabotaging your efforts.

To your health,


Why We Shouldn’t Give Up On Our Dreams

mmMy name is Mark, and I’m a dreamer.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about why you should be too.  As adults we look at those who dream with a negative lens.  The dreamers are the ones who aren’t in touch with reality.  They are dreaming when they should be working.  They need to grow up.  But I’m here to tell you that your ideas need to be dreamed up if you have any chance of making your dreams your reality.

I’m now in my 40’s, and as I look back on my life there was close to a decade when I stopped dreaming and just focused on getting by. And that’s depressing.  Luckily we all have the power to choose our futures and when we don’t like where one path in life is headed, we can correct our course and go down another.

Back when I was in high school my dream was to become a doctor.  But then in college I decided to switch to education when I saw how many years I was going to have to be in school to reach my dreams.  I still graduated in 4 years with a biology degree, went to school another year to earn my credential, and began teaching at 23.  And through my 20’s I kept dreaming.  Dreaming of taking amazing vacations.  Dreaming of living in a big house in the community where I grew up.  Dreaming of living the lifestyle that my wife and I wanted to share with our kids (as we discussed starting a family).

Shortly before I turned 30 I realized that while I love teaching, I was going to have to build a part time business to generate the income needed to live the life of my dreams.  But it was a struggle.  I didn’t know much about business or sales, and I became frustrated. As Seth Godin says, “learning something new is frustrating.  It involves being dumb on the way to being smart.”

My 20’s and 30’s also saw me put on about 40 pounds from my high school weight, which added to my depression.  So not only was I earning the kind of income and living the lifestyle I dreamed of, but I also looked nothing like the person I wanted to see in the mirror.  I had a gym membership, but I didn’t focus on my nutrition and anything I ate more than negated for the calories I was burning through exercise.

Finally I came to the point where I had to fix myself.

The first thing I had to do was dream of the body I wanted to rediscover, and I set the bar high.  I wanted to get my six pack abs back that I had in high school.  It all started with the Insanity video I bout off an infomercial, but then it moved to P90X (click here to try either of these programs free for 30 days).  Slowly but surely I was making progress.

I went through struggles along the way.  I tore my patellar tendon (which already was partially gone to to fix an ACL tear when I was 19) and found myself in a full leg brace and out of work for 7 weeks.  But this injury actually was a blessing.  I knew I was going to reach my dreams.  Jim Rohn is quoted for saying “strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”  And so I didn’t give up on my dreams, but I simple had to keep working my way down the path to achieving them.  I already what giving up feels like.  I had been doing it over and over for years.  Now I wanted to see what happens if I don’t.

transformationBy last summer I had the body I was working towards.  I even entered into my first fitness competition.  And through helping others lose weight and improve their health, I am also building the business that will let us share our dream lifestyle with our kids.

So if you are still reading this, I’m guessing you have some dreams that you haven’t yet achieved.  Are they fitness dreams?  Are they financial dreams?  Are they lifestyle dreams?  Let’s connect and I’d be happy to mentor you.  Too many people to mention in this post have been there for me and I would be honored to pay it forward.

Now that I’m in my 40’s, I think it’s time to keep dreaming.  Who knows where I will end up in the next 10, 20, or 30 years.

To your health,


6 Tips To Sticking With Your New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolution Tips


It’s the beginning of a new year.  And with it comes the annual New Years Resolutions.  If you are like most of us, improving your personal health and fitness are near the top of the list.  I was thinking about this yesterday on my way to work and came to the conclusion that making the resolution is the easy part.  It’s the managing of the resolution that’s much more difficult.

As John Maxwell says, making a resolution isn’t a one-time event.  It’s like those old Ronco infomercials (you know, the ones with the rotisserie cookers).  We often just “set it, and forget it.”  But managing a resolution is a daily activity that takes conviction and consistentsy.  And keeping our resolution is always harder than we initially expected it to be because of the obstacles life always puts in our way.

I’ll be honest and say that I did take a few too many days off from working out combined with enjoying whatever I wanted to eat and drink from Thanksgiving on.  But that was then and this is now.  Before I know it Spring will be here with warmer weather.  So now is the time to get locked in and put in the discipline to reach my fitness goals.

Here are 6 of the New Years resolution tips I’ll be using to help me stay on track with my goals.  Feel free to use any and all of them to help you too.

Tip 1. Write down your goals and set a deadline.  

Speaking from experience, the more I remind myself of a goal the more I am likely to stick to it.  So writing it down makes perfect sense.  Once it’s written down it becomes tangible.  I post it in my bathroom so I can read it while brushing my teeth.  And I set reminders in my phone that show up throughout the day.  This way the goal doesn’t get the opportunity to fade away or be replaced by whatever else slips into my mind.

For 2016 I am also using an affirmation that I’ve created and built around my goal.  This helps give my goal more meaning because I get to remind myself of how my life will improve once my goal is reached.  My affirmation begins with the deadline for reaching my goal.  That way it also takes on a sense of urgency.

Tip 2. Follow a proven program.

Even though I have more knowledge on health and fitness than most, I still follow a proven fitness program that I know will help me achieve my desired results.  Insanity, P90X, and the 21 day fix are 3 that I have done in the past.  There is a difference between following a program and going to the gym.  In a program the workouts are to be done in sequence so they complement each other.  If you go to the gym or take a fitness class, generally the workout is done in isolation of what your past or future workouts emphasize. Doug Couch

Following a proven program also gives me the confidence that my goals are attainable.  I’m not having to invent the wheel, but I’m following a path that others have gone down before and also seen great results.  Currently I’m following a new program called Hammer & Chisel.  My friend Doug has already done 2 60-day rounds of this program and seen great results.  And if he can do it, so can I!

Tip 3. Plan out my food in advance.

It’s true that you can’t outwork a bad diet.  I learned this the hard way over 15 years ago when I first tried to lose the weight that I had put on during my college years.  I went back to running, something I enjoy, but I was going crazy when I didn’t see results.  At this time I knew very little about nutrition and the fact that my burger and fries from Burger King had more calories that I just burned from running was going to make it impossible to shed the pounds.IMG_0210

Today my nutrition is much different.  With my workout programs come a simple to follow meal plan and I use these as my guide.  I determine how many servings of each type of food I’m going to eat each day (protein, veggies, fruits, starches, etc.) and then I build a menu for the week.  My meals become automatic and with a little bit of meal prep on the weekends, most of my food is ready to go.

Tip 4. Stay hydrated.

4 years ago I gave up soda when I began to see the effects it was having on my kids.  They were 6 and 5 and the results from their checkups was already revealing that they on the path to obesity.  So we made the choice to stop buying sodas and stop having them when we went out for the occasional family meal.  The results for myself and the rest of my family have been amazing.  And now instead of drinking soda, we have mainly water with the occasional unsweetened ice tea. IMG_0209

One of the hardest parts of ditching soda is the lack of taste.  So I’ve been able to overcome this by flavoring my water.  At first I was using chemical powers but the more I looked into those the less I liked them.  Now days I infuse my water with lemons, cucumber, berries, and even mint that I grow in my garden.

Tip 5. Get plenty of rest.

I don’t know about you but the more fatigued I get, the weaker my will-power and conviction becomes.  This means that cravings for things that will hold me back from my goals are the strongest in the late afternoons and evenings, when I’m the most exhausted. The best way I have found to combat this is to try and rest more when I can.  Now I normally don’t get to take naps, and I wake up sometimes as early as 3:30 in the morning to exercise and invest time on my blog and business before going to work, so how do I rest?  I do something that relaxes me.  Sometimes it’s reading a few pages of a book.  I pick up my guitar and play for 20 minutes.  Sometimes it’s just seeing what show I’m behind watching on the DVR.  But these tend to get my mind to stop thinking about food and focus on something else.

Tip 6. Find an accountability partner.

For a long time I thought that I was alone in my fitness journey.  I would run or workout with headphones on.  I would workout at home before anyone else was up.  Basically, I’m pretty antisocial when it comes to exercise.  But that doesn’t mean I’m alone.  In fact I have a whole network of friends that mutually support each other.  We are there to pick each other up when we fall and congratulate each other when we hit our goals.  It’s this level of support that lead me to become a fitness coach in the first place.  I love helping people and this was a great way to do it.

If you are not sure where to start or if you need someone to hold you accountable, I’d be happy to help you too.  Just message me on my Facebook page or fill out the form on my “WORK WITH ME” page and let’s connect!


Here’s to achieving your New Years Resolutions in 2016 and beyond!



When is the best time to exercise?



Getting a workout in during the day is better than skipping it altogether, but have you ever wondered “when is the best time during the day to exercise?”

From my experience, I would say it depends.  I know that’s not that simple answer you are looking for, but hear me out.  The truth is that you probably can categorize yourself as a morning person, a night owl, or somewhere in between.  Based on this simple idea you can describe when you naturally have more energy and focus during the day, and when you seem to be more tired.  For instance, I am a major morning person.  In college I would wake up around 4 am and study organic chemistry in my apartment living room while my roommates were all asleep.  This began at first because that seemed to be the only time my apartment was silent, but I soon realized I had more focus at 4am than I did at 4 pm.

As I finished college and started my career as a teacher I continued to get up early and began exercising before school.  This has worked for me, but over the years I have learned that it doesn’t matter what time you work out at, so long as you follow these 3 basic rules.

Is The Morning The Best Time To Exercise?

Many people have heard that the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning.  But this in only partially true. Yes you will burn more calories from fat during the workout but this doesn’t necessarily translate to more fat being used for energy over a 24 hour period.  One reason for this is that your body’s cortisol levels will rise due to the stress of fasted workouts and will actually slow down the conversion of fats to carbohydrates so that they can be used for energy.

Secondly, your workout is going to suffer because your body lacks the fuel needed to push itself to the point of muscular failure.  I made this mistake for years by going to the gym and lifting weights on an empty stomach.  And as a result I found it difficult to build muscle.  However, since making this change and eating an hour before all workouts I am moving past the plateau that I had been stuck on.

Well, what about fasted cardio?  I’m sure you are wondering if that’s a good idea.  And going back to my point a few paragraphs ago, it’s going to stress out your body.  People getting ready for a fitness show might add it shortly before a contest, but it’s not something that done over an extended period of time.  Muscle burns 19X more calories than fat, so you want your body to preserve all the muscle it can.  You don’t want it being converted to carbohydrates by the liver so that it can be used to fuel your cells so you can run on a treadmill at 5am.  Instead, plan your workout around when you can get the fuel your body needs.

Exercise shouldn’t have a negative effect on your sleep.

Here is another example of what I used to do wrong.  I would work myself to death putting in long days and nights only to wake up and try to get to the gym on 4-5 hours of sleep. And it quickly caught up to me.  I found myself tired and constantly making bad food decisions after dinner.  So all that hard work I put in at 5am at the gym was neutralized by my snacking when I was too exhausted to think clearly.  And apparently I’m not the only person the experience this.  A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people did not receive adequate sleep, late night snacking increased and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks.

A better choice is to plan out your day and prioritize what needs to get done.  This way you can prioritize your day and figure out what can be put off until later.  Most of my clients complete simple 30 minute at home workouts.  If you are looking for at home workouts, here’s some ideas. This way there isn’t a lot of extra wasted time driving to and from the gym.  They can set their DVR for the Bachelor and committing to their fitness goals before sitting down to see who gets the rose this week.

How Long Should My Workouts Last?

Too often I hear of people spending 2-3 hours in the gym on a regular basis.  And what’s worse is that they are braining about it like it’s a badge of honor.  Exercise should be about quality as much as it’s about quantity and it should be physically demanding.  If you are spending more time checking out the Facebook status of your friends or taking 35 selfies until you get “just the right one”, then you are not really spending 2-3 hours exercising.  If this is the case, make it a point to get your workout in and then relax with social media while eating your post-workout meal.

But what if you are putting in 60 minutes of lifting and then 60-75 minutes of cardio?  If it’s 1-2 times a week you probably are ok, and may even see slightly faster results.  But if you are doing this daily than your body will begin to react negatively to it.  First off, your body will have a negative hormonal effect by overproducing cortisol (there’s that tricky hormone again).  Overtraining will also suppress your immune system.  And if you couple overtraining with too little sleep or poor nutrition than you are most likely going to be compounding the problem.  Finally, overtraining can lead to injury.  When the body is fatigued it begins to lose focus.  This is seen with athletes commonly when the majority of injuries occur near the end of games.  The same thing can happen in the gym and you are opening yourself up to increased risks by extending your workout time.

Final Thoughts.

There you have it.  It’s not so much what is the best time to workout as it is how are you preparing your body and then taking care of it to maximize your recovery.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.


To your health,


How To Not Gain Weight While On Vacation

PP beachSummer is here and it’s time to relax and go on a vacation.  You’ve been going to the gym and watching what you’ve been eating for weeks (or months) to make sure you can fit into that swimsuit and like what you are going to see when you post your pics on social media.  So why would you undo all of your hard work with a week of overindulging in paradise?  If you are wondering how to not gain weight while on vacation, you are not alone.

The truth is that by following these 4 simple steps you can avoid much of the vacation weight gain that plagues so many others.  In fact, my family and I just spent a week in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico where I was able to test out all of these tips first hand.  And I’m happy to say that my wife and I each weigh a pound less than when we left.

Tip 1. Start your day with a workout

If you enjoy spending your days lounging at the pool or the beach, starting your day with a quick 30 minute workout will help speed up your metabolism and burn those calories throughout the day.  When you check into your hotel, ask at the front desk where the gym is located.  This way you already know where you can to get in an easy round of circuit training if you don’t have a specific workout routine you are currently doing.  Chances are there will be a variety of cardio equipment available too.  If you prefer to exercise outside, a swim in the pool or a run/walk outside a great to get you sweating before breakfast.

Tip 2. Don’t make food the center of your vacation

PP tide poolsIt’s easy to find yourself wanting to have a those desserts at the buffet or a few adult beverages, but don’t go overboard on them.  A good rule of thumb is one treat meal a day.  If you get breakfast, fruit and an egg white omelet are going to be good choices.  For lunch, it’s hard to go wrong with some lean protein and veggies.  It was great when were in Mexico because the beachfront condo we stayed at had a full kitchen.  This allowed us to bring most of our food so we weren’t always going out.  We brought a few coolers and bags with our favorite foods in them to enjoy throughout the week.  If you won’t have a kitchen available to you, a great tip is that you can always pack some foods in your luggage before heading to the airport.  On past trips almond milk, PB2, my Shakeology packets, and a blender bottle have all found their way into my suitcase and I can quickly make a shake as ofe of my daily meals

Tip 3. Stay hydrated

It’s very easy to confuse hunger for thirst and feed your body calories when all it really needs is some water. And if you are going to a location that’s warmer that what you are used to, chances are you are going to need to drink more water than normal (especially if you’ve had a few drinks the night before).  An easy to follow rule is to bring a water bottle with you whenever you leave the room and take sips throughout the day.  It will help prevent dehydration and while limiting hunger cravings.  We actually brought 2 cases of water with us from Costco on our trip and I’m so glad we did.  It was great having something to sip on at the pool so I didn’t feel the need for a beer or one of those drinks with the umbrella in them.

Tip 4. Get active.PP fishing

Before you go on your trip do a little research about what’s available near where you are staying.  Are their places to walk and see the sights?  Are there water sports or beach activities?  Maybe you just like to check out the local shops.  All of these activities will get you moving.  I know for our group we were checking out the tide pools after breakfast, playing in the pool, and then walking (or riding horses) along the beach at sunset.  When I combine these activities with my morning runs along the beach and a few afternoon sessions lifting weights in the gym, I was burning just as many calories each day on vacation as I did back home.

Overall, it was a great trip for my family and these tips all helped me stay on track for my goals without gaining weight.  We can’t wait to go back down there next year and make new memories.  I hope your next trip is full of great memories too.


To your health,