L2 Fitness Blog

3 Lessons From My 11 LB Weight Gain in Mexico

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On Dec. 8, 2017 I weighed 188.9 lb the day before I left for vacation.
On Dec. 17, 2017 I weighed 200.1 lb the day after returning from vacation.

You can do the math. It’s 11.2 lb if you can’t.

  • Did I workout? Yes. I trained 4 times while I was away.
  • Did I stay active? Yes. I walked for around 1-3 hours per day.
  • Did I drink? Yes. Caipirinha’s are my favorite on the beach.
  • Did I watch what I ate? Partially.

What Can You Learn From My 11.2 Pounds?

The Scale Doesn’t Tell The Whole Truth

Did I put on 11.2 lb of body fat? Absolutely not. I would have needed to eat around 5500 calories in excess of my maintenance (around 8500+ calories) every single day to put on 11.2 lb of body fat in 7 days.

There is a lot of water retention going on here (yes, I still put on body fat). Traveling, if you didn’t know, is a recipe for retaining water. Flying, foods high in sodium, change in fiber intake, change in routine, dehydration, all play a massive role in retaining water and fluid fluctuations. I expected my weight to drop significantly over the coming days upon returning.

What can you learn? When traveling don’t get upset when you come back and your weight has spiked. Drink lots of fluids, follow your plan and you will shed the excess water in the coming days.

Here are my weights post trip:

  • Dec. 17 200.1
  • Dec. 18 198.9
  • Dec. 19 197.2
  • Dec. 20 195.9
  • Dec. 21 194.9
  • Dec. 22 193.7

Don’t Diet Heading Into Vacation

I made the mistake of dieting leading into vacation. I generally avoid this and recommend not going into vacation at the tail end of a diet. Even though my diet was not intense and I was not “hungry” it likely contributed to excess eating during my vacation.

What can you learn? Avoid going into vacation after a diet as this can take you from a restricted, hungry state into a place of abundance leading to higher chances of overeating.

Set Realistic Expectations

Set realistic expectations going into vacation. I generally allow myself a 2-3 lb buffer when I go away for a week. I know that I am going to be flexible, have some drinks and enjoy some treats. I don’t “expect” to lose weight, nor do I expect to “maintain” I have an understanding I will gain but I aim to avoid going overboard.

Keep in mind your strategy may vary depending if you travel once a year vs. multiple times per year.

What can you learn? Set realistic expectations, if your going away on holidays allow yourself a buffer. This will do wonders for your mindset.

What Will I Change For My Next Vacation?

For my next vacation I will not change much. I did not gain 11.2 lb of body fat. I suspect by the end of the week I will be down around 6-7 lbs. Leaving me with approx. 3-4 lb up from before leaving. I generally leave myself around a 2-3 lb buffer, so yes I did go over what I like to do but I am not worried. I have owned that decision. It will come off.

I will stay true to my rule of not dieting into a vacation. If I want to diet I will allow myself time to raise calories prior to leaving which is the strategy I use with clients.

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