Summer is right around the corner and most of us are getting ready to say HELLO to vacation and GOODBYE to our diets, am I right? When you think of vacation do you picture yourself being overwhelmed by unhealthy food and drink choices and start to panic? Are you cringing at the thought of letting go of the healthy physique you have worked so hard for!? These thoughts have become counter-productive. Now going on vacation just went from being fun to completely stressful and guilt ridden!
It doesn’t have to be that way.
For months you have remained disciplined and worked way too hard to have your beach body fade into the sunset just because you have a couple trips planned. So, what is the alternative? Intuitive eating!!! You need to be careful not to eat so much food that you ruin your body. You may come home with a little extra water weight from the added sodium and a few extra splurges but that is where intuitive eating comes into play. All your hard work does not have to go away.
So what does INTUITIVE EATING mean? Exactly how it sounds… MODERATION!
If you have ever followed a meal plan or counted macros then you should know what proper portion sizes look and feel like. You should also understand when you are satisfied vs stuffed. When going on vacation you should not throw all your nutrition knowledge out the window. You can still enjoy good food, but in moderation. When I travel, I try not to pack Tupperware meals, obsess over tracking macros, or stick to a strict diet. I practice what I preach and intuitively eat.
I have been tracking macros for almost 4 years. By now I can eyeball my food and know when I am eating too much. I go out and eat while being aware of when I am making good vs bad choices. The purpose of eating healthy and following macros is to teach you the skills to live a healthy lifestyle. Tracking macros has allowed me to understand portion control, balance, and basic nutrition skills. I know how to eat healthy the majority of the time, but can also be flexible by adding in some fun foods that will not destroy my progress. When I go on vacation for a few days, I can comfortably eat out at restaurants while staying in control. I do not have all out binges or mindless eating/drinking. I am able to practice balance and still enjoy life!
When eating out over a few days I always follow a few simple rules-
- Do not finish your entire plate at every meal (even if your mother taught you otherwise)
- Use portion control
o Ordering ala carte can help with this- eggs, oatmeal and some bacon
o These are typically smaller portions than a full sized meal
o Eyeball it- you should know what 4oz protein looks like vs 8oz
o Do not eat it all because it is there, realize when you are satisfied
o If you are unable to control yourself- then figure out your portion and ask the server to box the rest to remove temptation
- Pick one meal per day to be indulgent- the rest of the meals should be healthier options
o Maybe have a burger/fries and dessert at night
o Keep breakfast and lunch on the lighter side
Breakfast- egg whites, toast and vegetables
Lunch- grilled chicken salad or small fish tacos
Snack- protein bar or pack of nuts
Dinner- ENJOY THAT INDULGENT MEAL
- If you typically eat 5-6 meals per day and know you are already getting more macros/calories per meal on vacation, then stick to only 3 meals. This way you are not eating 5-6 meals which may be double your normal macros/calories- condense the meals since they are most likely calorie dense.
- Plan on drinking? It’s vacation and we all need a few good drinks. Try and avoid the sugar drinks. Stick with Vodka/clear liquors and diet mix-ins. If you do decide to splurge and indulge in a Margarita, then just choose maybe a lighter meal option with this drink- one that’s lower in carbs.
- If you are out and find a sweet treat you can’t resist- then eat it, but maybe opt to split it. This way you get to enjoy the treat, but were able to share the joy with someone else 😉
- Lastly, hit the grocery store when you get to your destination. Grab some healthy snack options incase you are feeling hungry. It would be a better idea to have good snacks on hand vs munching on junk. Also, it’s always wise to pack some of your favorites for the road trip or airport travel.
o 100 cal nut packs
o Favorite Protein Bars
o Pack protein powder
o Tuna packets and Rice cakes
o Pre-portioned Fruits or vegetables
The point of vacation is to go and enjoy yourself… we love to go and try new foods… after all that’s what vacations are all about. But try and change your perspective. Get active and go for walks, hikes, play volleyball, surf etc. Do not put such a strong emphasis on food all day. When it’s time to eat go and enjoy, but be mindful. Do not focus your entire vacation around food. Make it about the memories.
I hope you follow some of my tips and feel confident about your hard-earned body and vacations!