As I’ve stated, losing weight is about changing habits, creating a new lifestyle. It is not a temporary change, with an end sight in mind. This must be a lifelong change where the key is about eating healthy most of the time.
Another very common question I get is how I handle vacations. This is such a tough question. As with the other facets of how we go about to get healthy, how we handle vacation eating is a highly personal decision.
Honesty is Key
Being completely honest with yourself is absolutely necessary.
- Can you veer off your new habits and pick up your healthy way of eating when you return?
- Can you stay within your new eating plan while on vacation and not feel deprived and resentful?
I have gone on vacations and my eating has run the spectrum to the EXTREMES. No joke. In the midst of one of my 6 week challenges, I went to Los Angeles for a conference with my husband and we ended up going to Disneyland on my birthday. I stayed on plan. I had one dessert, which I split with my husband. I ate completely on target, walked a lot, drank a ton of water. I did everything right.
Last year, I’d lost all my weight and was readjusting my eating. We went on a cruise. I gained 10 pounds in seven days. With everything paid for and incredibly good food, gluttony got the best of me and I slipped into my old way of eating. The unlimited drinks didn’t help the calorie count either. BUT, we went to Disneyworld after, and I immediately returned to better eating AND I exercised in addition to all the walking we did while at the parks. I still enjoyed food, but tried to keep things in moderation.
Keep it real. Vacation is about relaxing and enjoying your time away from real life. Yet, eating is something we still have to do, day in and day out. So, be real with yourself and balance what you NEED to do with what you WANT to do. Is there room for compromise? Or, are you target locked and nothing is going to derail you?
Planning is Essential
Check out menus ahead of time. Is there a way to balance having a few goodies with eating healthy? Can you find a way to get veggies in with every meal (not doused in butter, dressing, or fried).
Can you exercise? A lot of trips will entail sightseeing and walking is often the name of the game. Many times you walk more on vacation than you do at home, thus for many, you get way more exercise. Is there a gym at the hotel you can utilize? Call ahead and ask what equipment they have if you can’t find the answers online.
Find some bodyweight exercises to do if there is no gym. Push ups, sit ups, plank holds, lunges, squats all can be done in your hotel room or outside.
What are some healthy snacks to keep with you in case you get hungry? Protein bars are a great portable option for moments of hunger when there’s no where to stop and eat. Trail mix is a great source of healthy fat and carbs to help keep you going.
Figuring out your plans can help you see where you might need to a healthy snack and when you can sneak in some extra exercise.
Other Tips to Utilize
- Walking is your friend. There’s so much you can experience by just walking.
- Bring healthy snacks. If flying and you are not checking bags, you’ll be a bit limited, but you can have some go to food in case you end up hungry and nowhere to get anything healthy. Avoiding that hangry feeling is so important! I have an entire post on flying (CLICK HERE) and road trips (CLICK HERE) and what to bring!
- If you know where you’re going and where you’re going to eat ahead of time, remember, check the menu. Get an idea of what to eat beforehand. Have a back up plan in case the menu is out of date and the item you want is no longer available.
- Share meals. Of course, this depends on who you are traveling with! But, with my family, we’ll often order a couple entrees and pass them around so we can eat a little bit of several things. This is a good compromise if there is something that is not too healthy. A few bites, and pass it on.
- If your hotel has a mini fridge – pick up some fruit, yogurt, hummus and pre chopped veggies can all make great healthy snacks.
- Drink lots of water! Keep hydrated.
- Do have that splurge, especially if this is a once in a lifetime trip. If you have annual passes to Disneyworld, and you go throughout the year, then be stricter with the splurges.
At the end of the day, you are on vacation. It is the time to relax and have fun. Most time it’s easier than you think to remain relatively healthy while enjoying that splurge here and there. What choices do you make to when on vacation to keep eating healthy?