I am on a low calorie diet while doing strength building exercises every 2 days. I have been doing this for a few weeks, and in about 2 weeks will go on a vacation for a week.

While on vacation I won't have access to weights, and will be traveling around backpacker style so won't have access to a gym. Diet will also be a problem just because healthy foods will not be widely available and I won't necessarily have time/facilities to prepare such foods myself.

Will abandoning my diet and workout regime for a week undo a lot of my progress? How bad will the damage be?


Yeah, you will lose progress. You'll gain a bit of weight, you'll lose a bit of strength, and you'll probably feel muscle soreness again for a workout or two.

A one week break isn't a big deal in the long-term, though. If you're serious about your long-term progress, this one week will just be a little bump in the road. But, here are things you can do to minimize the "damage":

  • Don't make excuses for your diet. If you start doing that on your trip, you'll start doing that at home. We can always find a excuse. Research ahead of time about some healthy places or foods you'd like to try eating.
  • You could do some bodyweight exercises while you're away on vacation (squats, push-ups, dips, etc.)
  • When you return, get back into it as soon as possible. Schedule your first trip to the gym right now. Reset your weights down by about 1/2 a week. So, aim to lift the amount of weight you lifted on your 2nd last workout before you left and start building back up from there.
  • This is a beautiful answer. – tmesser May 4 '12 at 13:53
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    There is always time for fitting in workouts, even if it is quick and dirty. On my vacation I did wall squats, decline pushups, tricep dips, and pistol squats. The whole routine was a little over 5 minutes and well worth it since exercising raised my energy levels and boosted my appetite; two things I want during a vacation XD. – Moses May 4 '12 at 15:39
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    Great answer @Sancho! Vacation time is often thought of as a time when normal dietary/training rules don't apply, but this is a big mistake. No gym isn't a problem - as @Sancho suggests, there are these and plenty more (eg sit-ups, lunges, star-jumps, jumps) exercises you can do. The easiest workout you can do: skipping. You can relax and enjoy yourself on holidays; maybe not work out as much or enojy diffferent foods, but think of the hard work you'll have when returning to training if you don't at least put in some substantial effort while away! – Bee Jul 1 '12 at 5:52

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