Spending time with family and friends, relaxing, having some fun, and for many ... indulging. Yup, it's that time of year when hopefully you get to take a vacation. Maybe this year you should consider not taking a vacation from your healthy habits. You don't need to deprive yourself, but if historically you overindulge in decadent foods on vacation, this year consider doing things a different way.
When presented with a food choice, you may find yourself saying (as many of us do), "Whatever, I'm on vacation."
This is not a good reason to eat something.
Good reasons to eat something:
- You are hungry
- It is not available very often and you really enjoy it
- You have decided (before choosing to eat it) that it is worth eating (worth the calories and their affect on your body weight)
- It is healthy for you and you are hungry
- It is something you have never tried before (but don't finish it if it's not as delicious as you imagined)
Not-so-good reasons to eat something:
- You are on vacation
- You are not hungry, but it's there
- You are overtired
- You are emotional and need comfort, reward, entertainment, etc.
- You feel like you should because someone made it for you
- Everyone else is doing it
If you are trying to lose weight, take a vacation on vacation. Decide not to try to lose weight while on your trip, just try to maintain your body weight while you are gone. If you are trying to maintain your figure and just don't want to gain weight on your trip, accept that if you are eating differently and in a different routine, your weight may go up, but if you make smart choices it will go right back down (usually within a week or sooner) once you get home and back into your usual routine.
Ten tips for maintaining your weight on vacation:
- DON'T LET YOURSELF GET TOO HUNGRY - It will make it easier to make poor choices and once you do eat, you will likely eat too fast and too much. So ...
- KEEP SNACKS WITH YOU - single servings of almonds, a yogurt, a protein bar, a cheese stick, fruit (preferably something that is high is protein and/or fiber and well-balanced to keep you full longer)
- CHEW WELL AND EAT SLOWLY - this practice often results in people eating less
- STAY ACTIVE - if you exercise regularly, keep it up! Try to workout at least every other day on vacation. You know you'll feel better if you do!
- THINK AHEAD - before making a food choice, ask yourself, "Is this really worth the calories?" "How will I feel after I eat this?" Also, be mindful of when you may eat next to help determine portion size.
- DON'T LOSE FOCUS AT THE END - Many of my clients report that they do well for most of their trip and then let themselves go at the end. Perhaps it's like a reward to them. However, they all say that they regret doing it, so it really wasn't a reward.
- STAY HYDRATED - drink plenty of water and alternative a glass of water for every alcoholic drink if you drink it.
- CHOOSE LOWER-CALORIE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES - If you drink, opt for light beer, wine spritzers, or mixed drinks made with calorie-free mixers.
- LIMIT SUGAR - Try not to indulge in too many sweets, it will just make you crave more.
- BE PROUD - Remember that if you indulge less than the people you are with, you are not depriving yourself, you are empowering yourself to make the choices that you truly want to make.
When you get home, get right back into your eating and exercise routine and if you weigh yourself, don't weigh in for a week.