Meal Plans, Nutrition

How to Stay on Plan While on an All-Inclusive Vacation

How to Stay on Plan While on an All-Inclusive Vacation

When one thinks of all inclusive resorts, one may think of unlimited drinks by the pool and all you can eat food.

John and I were going on an all inclusive vacation to the Riu Palace Pacifico in Nuevo Vallarta that we had bid on and won back in October at the Highland Park Sister Cities gourmet gala.

At the time of winning this trip,  my new lifestyle (way of eating and doing more purposeful consistent exercise) was not even on the radar.  However, at the time of the trip I am 2 months into my Fit to the Next Level journey.  I am slowly starting to see progress in terms of body composition and how I feel overall.

While this trip to Nuevo Vallarta was one that we looked forward to for months, I’ll admit that I am concerned about how to stay on plan while being on vacation and especially at an all-inclusive resort.  While I definitely don’t want to lose the momentum and derail any successes that I am seeing  by indulging or overindulging, I don’t want to ruin our vacation by being preoccupied with staying on plan.  After all, this is a vacation that we looked forward to for months.

I am so lucky that I have John’s support. He is as committed to my success as I am.  I am confident that he will be continue to be supportive while we are on vacation (and I was right).

Not knowing what to expect in terms of food choices available at the resort, and having learned the importance of planning ahead, I packed and took with me a bag of oatmeal with a ½ cup scoop, almonds, and protein powder.  By taking oatmeal, almonds and protein powder I knew that I’d be able to stay on course. I also brought with me my 30oz water bottle so that I could achieve my daily water requirement (120 oz) minimum.

When I got to the resort, I was pleasantly surprised at the food options available. For breakfast there were fresh fruits, fresh baked breads and pastries, pancakes, pre-made egg dishes, varieties of sausage, ,yogurts, and even mimosas and Bloody Mary or Mimosas if you so choose. Lunch featured a salad bar with fresh veggies, pre-made salads, pasta bar, meat dishes, grilled fish, a carving station of some sort of meat, and a Mexican food station. For dinner one could go to the buffet at any time or opt to dine at one of the four featured restaurants  Japanese, Mexican, a steakhouse, and a gourmet fusion experience.

Every morning, we began our day  at the gym.  I brought a couple work outs with me that my trainer had put me through so that I could try to work at the same intensity level that I have been.  Being on vacation, time constraints are not a concern so the cardio portion of my workout was longer than it would be at home. After the gym, we would go up to breakfast.

On the first morning of breakfast, I went to the omelet station and had the cook prepare a veggie omelet with 2 eggs and one egg white. I noticed that she put oil in the pan. I was not a fan of the oil so I Googled how to say in Spanish without oil. So, the next day I was able to tell the cook no oil. I also enjoyed a piece of multi grain bread on most mornings, but toward the end of the trip, I wanted to be more calorie conscious so I shifted my carbs from bread to the oatmeal that I brought and mixed it with hot water. My lunches were always the same a big salad with protein either fish or beef. If I was hungry for a snack in the afternoon I’d often have a plate of veggies- jicama, cucumber, or whatever veggies were available. Dinners were always protein and based. The restaurants offered appetizer, entrée and dessert which I only took advantage on cheat meal days or said differently rarely.


While I didn’t stay as true to plan as I would at home, I did not deprive myself. I had a daiquiri when we first got to the resort to celebrate our vacation, and a Pina Colada about ¾ way through the trip. I usually had a glass of wine with each meal. One night I had a scoop of ice cream because I had a big sweet tooth.

Before going to bed, I always tracked my food in My Fitness Pal to the best of my ability- meaning that I would sometimes have to guesstimate as to how foods were prepared. I really think that by staying accountable to what I ate by tracking my foods, it helped me to stay on track as much as I could.

When I got home and weighed myself, I only gained .4 pounds and that was with pizza on the way home from the airport(Pequod’s).

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