How to Survive the Vacation Hangover

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Yes you read that correctly, vacation hangover. Not the kind you get from consuming spirits. No, I think this is worse. This hangover lasts for days. The symptoms are bloated belly and puffiness from all of the fried and naughty food you ate last week.

Fatigue from the glorious late nights and sight seeing. Depression from missing loved ones and living the fantasy “good life” for a short time. Tired muscles from non use and spending hours in the car or plane. Then the worse symptom, daydreaming. I dream about the next vacation. Heavy sigh – twice! What to do when you are thrust forcefully back into reality? Well, I suggest you get a grip and get a game plan. I have some helpful hints to get you started that are really working for me…

Game plan:

1. Eat better. Ok that is a no brainer, but do you ever take a mental check of everything you consume in just 1 day? You could be quite surprised. For me it is the 5 ingredients or less rule. DO NOT consume anything that has more than 5 ingredients and I must be able to pronounce them. That is really important! I believe it makes me think twice about eating out. I am not 100% sure what is in that burger or even the chicken breast. They could have added hidden ingredients. This does cause me to pause in the grocery isle more than my family wants me to. I check labels, dang it!  Now there are exceptions, a good fresh salad may have several types of lettuce and veggies, I count that as a single item as long as they are real and real fresh! The dressing is more difficult, I usually go with a vinaigrette. I also try to stay away from canned anything. There again lies strange ingredients and sodium. Fresh whenever I can. One good rule to remember, your plate should be 50% fresh veggies/fruit,  25% real protein and 25% carbs (like 100% whole wheat bread). Be honest with yourself here, there is no room for justifying anything, especially when you’re coming off of vacation -stay strong!

2. Drink better and drink more (water that is). I have curbed my beloved Coke Zero. Gosh I LOVE that stuff. I will only drink it when we do go out and even then I usually order second beverage of water with lemon or limes added to it. Plain water is so boring. I consume at least 80 ounces of water a day. I know that may seem a lot but the more you drink, the more you want. Here is a secret ingredient I just learned about, ginger. Yes fresh ginger. Peel it slice it thin and and make a strong tea with it. I use at least 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger to 16 ounces of almost boiling water, let it steep covered for 15 minutes, then add a teaspoon of raw honey and a few lemon slices. Oh my goodness! So yummy. You won’t believe the benefits of fresh ginger. It is great for the digestion and it helps with soreness of muscles -an anti-inflammitory. Please feel free to stop reading for just a moment and google… I’ll wait. Oh but my favorite is brewing peach herbal tea with ginger and then enjoying it iced. WOW -so tasty!!

3. Move!! Yes move! Here is the elephant in the room. The thing everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about or do! Excersize. I am not telling you to go run a marathon tomorrow. Baby steps, folks, at little at a time. Commit. This is the one and only true way YOU will feel successful and be successful. A combination of walking and circuit training are key. There is no equipment needed. (Here is a picture of my wall and the circuits I do.) Try this game plan and at the end of 3 weeks you will shed some pounds and notice your energy levels have grown. At the end of 6 weeks you will see your clothes are baggy and your confidence is renewed. Continue for 3 months and at this point you are hooked  - NO turning back. Toss out the fat clothes, because YOU are never ever ever ever going back. I did this. You can do this. Oh and ALWAYS make sure you check with your doctor before you begin an excersise regimen. Always a good idea.

6 Week Summer Vacation Hangover Cure

Here we go, commit to doing this 6 days a week for 6 weeks, what do you mean you don’t have time? This takes a max of 30 minutes a day for 5 days then on Saturdays you choose to hike, play ball, do yard and housework, go for a long bike ride, go shopping, or anything that keeps you moving for at least 4 total hours during this day. You deserve this, YOU are worth it.

Week 1, Mon. – Fri.

WALK! For the first 5 minutes, just stroll. Breathe in deeply, and warm up. Then for the next 20 minutes walk briskly. Hustle a bit like you are going to miss the next bus or train if you don’t move along quickly. You should still be able to speak but you feel a bit winded. Then the next 5 minutes, cool down and stroll. Saturday, hike with the family or get in a good game of touch football or soccer.

Week 2 and 3,

Mon., Wed., Fri. Circuit time! Here is where we sweat. It is cleansing and oh so good! If you are unsure how to do any of these, google them. Do one round as fast as you can and with good form, then repeat to complete 2 rounds. Stretch and warm up before, then be sure to stretch after. In between the rounds, take a 2 minute break. I know it is a bit difficult at first but in a week or 2 you will see a marked difference in your stamina

  • 25 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Squats
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Push ups
  • 25 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Crunches/Sit ups
  • 20 Second Plank

Rest for 2 minutes. REPEAT!
On Tues. and Thursday. Walk for 45 minutes with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. Saturday move and do something fun for a total of 4 hours.

Week 4- 6.

You should be noticing a real difference in how you feel by now. Now lets have a bit more fun, here is the “Bigger and Better Circuit!” Mon., Wed., and Fri.:

  • Warm up and stretch for 5 minutes. Do the following as fast as possible with good technique.
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 50 Singles with a jump rope. No rope? Pretend! Still works and I do this because my ceiling is too low.
  • 20 Alternating lunges (10 each leg)
  • 50 Singles – rope
  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 1 minute break, walk around
  • 50 Singles – rope
  • 20 Squats
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Squats
  • 15 Mountain Climbers
  • 50 Singles -rope
  • 10 Burpees
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Push ups

Cool down and stretch for 5 minutes. Walk it off. On Tues. and Thursday walk for 45 minutes with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. Saturday move and do something fun for a total of 4 hours.

That’s it! This is really great once you get started. Remember Saturdays are for fun and exercise with the family. Please let us know how you feel while doing this and if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you!

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  1. So many wonderful tips and I love them all!! If you have time I would LOVE for you to come share these in The Mommy Club this week. I’m always looking for mommy resources like this one!

    Thanks much, Crystal

  2. Geez girl, this was convicting. I don’t know that I have vacation hangover, so much as … summer hangover? Maybe this’ll get me up and moving this week (and drinking water and eating better.) Mmmm, but homemade ice cream is so good!

    • I agree… Going to try homemade frozen yogurt today, see how it turns out.

  3. Thanks for posting this! It is full of great information. I will add some of these things to what I am already trying to do!

  4. Great tips for eating , working out and staying motivated. I like that you have your circuits up on the wall – I do to, and have just typed up and printed my fitness goals for the next year and put them up above the computer so I can be constantly reminded of them!
    Have fun with your vacation hangover workouts!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. Oh, i just got back from vacation. this sounds like a lot of work….
    maybe I’ll just play with my photos for a week instead… ha ha

    Thank you for linking it up at our linky party at

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