Vacation planning often ends up with people putting “get in better shape” on their to-do list. Maybe they want to tone up, so they look better on the beach. Or they want to get fit, so they can do all the things on their schedule and shed the extra pounds they put on over winter. Regardless of your reasons, here are a few tips for getting fit before your vacation.

Get Ready

If you want to motivate yourself to get fit before a vacation, put a picture of the destination on the fridge door. Then start purging your kitchen of all the diet-killing junk food that you’ll need to stop eating in order to lose the flab. You should lock the liquor cabinet, too, since it is packed with empty calories and interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat. By removing these temptations, it will be easier to stick to your new diet.

Go Grocery Shopping

Stock up on healthy foods like lean meats like chicken and fish. Avoid processed foods. Stay away from sugar and fried foods.
And if you’re going to snack, try to go for healthy options. For example, baby carrots, yogurt in single serve containers, and air-popped popcorn are perfect substitute snacks for the junk food you’re used to. You do want to have snacks throughout the day to keep you from feeling hungry.
Remember to take nutritional needs into account, including dairy and protein in your shopping list. Be wary of “fat-free” foods since many of these contain surprising amounts of sugar.

Do the Math

Calculate how many calories you’re currently burning. Then calculate how many you’ll need to consume to lose weight. Give yourself plenty of time and a reasonable calorie deficit instead of a starvation diet. If you want to lose twenty pounds, give yourself two months or more so that you lose the weight in a healthy, responsible way. Plan on a pound or two of weight loss per week. The benefit of this approach is that you’re more likely to maintain these healthy living habits after the vacation instead of gaining it all back after the summer. Conversely, rapid weight loss could cost you lean tissue or mostly consist of water weight you gain back when you rehydrate.

Join a Gym

The best way to ensure that you lose weight is to add exercise to your routine, instead of just cutting calories from your diet. While you could try to do it yourself, you’re probably better off joining a gym. There are several reasons to join gyms and the array of equipment and classes they have is only part of the bargain. Some offer a smoothie bar so you can get the pre and post workout nutrition you need, as well as tanning beds to get you started on your summer glow before you leave.

Taking classes will allow you to make exercise a set part of your routine and add a social aspect to it. Or, you could simply make hitting the gym a part of your daily routine, whether you go before work, on your lunch break, or at the end of the day.


Planning a vacation can get you into gear to get fit and stay in shape if you do it the right way. Then you’ll look and feel ready in time for your trip. And you’ll be able to maintain that form year-round.