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Vacation Eating




Just got back from our summer vacation and it always reminds me to talk to you about eating on vacation.


Because eating on vacation is a thing.


The way I see it there are 3 options when it comes to Vacation Eating:


  1. Eat the same way you currently eat at home


  1. Eat anything and everything and deal with it when you get back


  1. Something in between



Option number 1 means planning out what you’re going to eat and making sure you have what you need on hand. You’re still logging and sticking to around the same number of calories you eat on a regular basis. This will have you maintaining your weight while on vacation or continuing to lose weight.


What I love about this is the idea that the vacation is not about food. It’s about being unplugged or spending time with family or relaxing or exploring. The food has its place as fuel for your body but it’s not the center of pleasure for your time off. It helps you feel energized and comfortable so you’re best able to participate fully in your fun.


This is easier when it’s a camping or condo vacation—one where you’re bringing and making most of your food. Also the shorter the vacation, the easier it is to stick to your best eating habits.



Option number 2 is to eat anything and everything and deal with it later.


Vacation has almost always meant “taking time off” and that can mean from everything. Time off from work, yes, but also from planning meals, from doing dishes, from any sort of schedule, from the internet, even from caring—about yourself and your goals.


This last one can be dangerous because it’s how we flip that switch from “on” plan to “off” plan. Once we start playing that game, anything can make us go into that mode: a vacation, a bad day, a birthday, the weekend . . .


While this option can feel good in the moment, it has its problems too:

  • Undoing all that’s been done before it.
  • Feeling physically uncomfortable.
  • Having a lot of work to do when you get back.


Being as conscious as possible about your choices helps prevent the WTF mentality. Stopping when you’re satisfied, choosing the best quality food available, engaging in fun non-food activities can all make this option play out well.


Another choice here is to lose a few pounds before the vacation in anticipation of gain during it.


Something to think about.



Then there’s option number 3. Middle ground. Moderation.

So much easier to deal with 2 extra pounds rather than 5.


Here you balance out competing desires: The desire to look and feel great and the desire to feel like you’re on vacation.


Kind conscious decisions are king here.

It might look like having your typical at home breakfast and lunch and splurging at dinner. Or maybe breakfast gets the calorie bump one day and the rest of the meals are sedate. Figure out how alcohol will fit into the mix and consider making sure to get your regular exercise in.


Whichever option you choose, deciding ahead of time will make the whole experience, the vacation and the post-vacation clean up, the best it can possibly be.



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