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How to Lose Weight on Vacation

How I Lost Weight Having Champagne, Bread, and Cheese Every Day

The following post was originally featured on Love, Sweat, and Fitness and written by Katie Dunlop, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Is it possible to lose weight on vacation?

I'm all about that "Green Juice Now, Champagne Later" life, but vacation is a whole other ______.

I've spent the better part of the last weeks in Europe and have tracked my weight, workouts and food to find out if it is possible to lose weight on vacation!

I gave myself a challenge. I wanted to be accountable to myself and to all of you, attempting to find the perfect balance between getting a little wild on vacation and keeping my health/body on track.

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We spent almost two weeks traveling through Spain. We stayed in Barcelona, Ibiza, Mallorca and Sevilla. Then we explored Portugal for the last week. It was incredible!

I blogged throughout the trip after each destination. Sharing my favorite food finds, travel tips, and workouts.

My goal was simple. To come back at the SAME WEIGHT that I left. This might not sound so crazy, but knowing my plan was to enjoy every glass of cava, loaf of fresh bread and round of cheese, it felt pretty aggressive to me.

The weeks leading up to the trip I stuck to my LSF Hot Body Meal Plan & Sweat Guide (Both will be released in early November). Eating clean and working out 6 days a week. I felt awesome! I don't often weight myself, but needed to in order to accurately measure my results.

The day we left I got in a great cardio session and I weighed in: 130.6 lbs - 14.9% body fat – 62 lbs muscle mass.


Everyone's body is different, but besides measurements, body fat is the best way to see where you stand. It's the percentage of actual fat as opposed to your overall weight which includes; muscle, water weight, skeletal structure etc.

There are different opinions and standards out there, but according to ACE here's a quick breakdown for women's body fat standards:

  • Athletes: 14 to 20%,
  • Fit 21 to 24%
  • Average 25 to 31%
  • Time to Get on the Health Train: 32%+

So, this is my happy place. I usually sit right around 130 lbs and 15% body fat. It's my healthy, toned, fit base.

♥Vacay Time

A lot can happen in three weeks. Three weeks of non-stop temptation to eat, drink and be lazy, but I was determined to NOT let that happen . . . at least not the lazy part

Like anything, having a plan is key, but you must flexible. I planned to work out every day. I knew there would be days that I just couldn't or wouldn't want to sleep in, my intention though was to get up and get to work!

My Workouts:

  • Every Single Day:
    • My Bikini Ab Ladder It literally takes 5 minutes and is 300 abs. Even if that is all I did in a day, it felt golden.
    • We walked EVERYWHERE! Average 3 to 5 miles a day. Save some cab money for wine and get you're walk on.
  • 3 Days a Week: 20 min Hot Body HIIT body weight workouts
  • 2 Days a Week: 2 to 3 mile jog. The BEST way to explore a new city, get your bearings and burn some calories.
  • 1 Day a Week: Yoga. Felt so good to get a deep stretch in and reset my body and mind for the week.

My Eating:

  • Intermittent Fasting: Most days, we would get up, work out and have our first meal around 11 am.
  • Protein BAE: Made sure to be getting plenty of lean proteins everyday. Fish, eggs, chicken, and pork were the staples.
  • Fruits & Veggies: Snacked on dried fruit and loaded up on veggies with each meal.
  • Bread & Cheese: Yep . . . they deserve their own category here. I tried to only have it once a day and always made sure it was cloaked in goodness like a quinoa, goat cheese, and beet salad
  • Cava: Spain's champagne. It's delicious and CHEAP! (like $3.00 a glass cheap) You feel like it's happy hour 24/7. Normally I'd try to drink more vodka sodas to cut calories, but the price was too good to resist. I'm gonna be real honest . . . I probably drank about 4 to 5 drinks a day. Lunch, Tapas and dinner drinks. C'est La Vie!

So What Happened. . .

Coming home after 3 weeks of non-stop fun, I was a little nervous. Overall, I felt good, but figured I had gained about 2 lbs. Sure, that would mean I didn't hit my challenge goal, but with all we ate and drank I couldn't be mad about it either.

We got home late Tuesday night. Wednesday and Thursday were a wash, but Friday it was time to find out what happened!

I was ready to face the music and see what kind of damage had been done . . .

Like on my pre-vacation weigh-in day, I did about an hour of cardio first, then hopped on the scale. I wanted to make sure it was an even playing field.

Dun dun dun . . . let the scale do it's magic and BAM! I was down almost 2 lbs!! 128.8 lbs – 15.4% body fat – 61.3 lbs muscle mass.

What It Means . . .

I lost 1.8 lbs overall. That's ridiculously awesome! Yes, I went up .5% body fat and down .7 lbs in muscle mass, but that is to be expected.

At home my workouts incorporate weighted circuits, but on vacation there was only 1 day I had access to free weights. That means a huge increase in cardio which often burns muscle along with fat.

In a normal week I might have a few LSF-approved cocktails on the weekend, but almost never during the week. This trip I drank EVERY SINGLE DAY for almost three weeks. I also ate things like bread and cheese on the daily which are not in my normal diet at home.

Not only did I meet my goal, I EXCEEDED IT! It is 100% possible to both maintain and lose weight on vacation if you have a plan and a purpose!


There is absolutely NO REASON TO GAIN WEIGHT while you travel. You can do my workouts from ANYWHERE! No equipment — no excuses.

Chose your battles. Some people might think it's crazy I drank everyday, but perhaps they would be eating pastries and desserts at times where I did not. I carefully made decisions on what I wanted to splurge on.

Of course, if I drank every day, ate bread, cheese, croissants, cakes, and didn't work out I would have gained weight. Anyone would. It's about finding a balance you can live with, having a plan, and holding yourself accountable to stick to it! Your vacation will feel SO much more satisfying during and at the end.


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