When it comes to vacation, are you a planner or more of a spontaneous traveler?
I’m all for spontaneous activities, but when it comes to eating, I have to argue that planning (at least somewhat) is the way to go!
When I go on vacation, I like to generally stay on plan. Not rigidly—I love to leave room for trying new foods and wines! But I know that when I’m traveling, I frequently need extra energy to truly enjoy my days, so I make sure to eat well leading up to the trip and, often, while I’m on the trip.
That’s not to say my way is the only way though! Depending on your vacation food philosophy, you might find that you feel happiest when you allow yourself to loosen up a little on your trips. I can certainly appreciate that choice as well—when my family goes to Vermont, for instance, I often let myself indulge a little more than I typically would.
My point here is that there’s no one right way to approach nutrition while you’re traveling . . . But it is important to remember that vacation doesn’t HAVE to mean you’re coming home ten pounds heavier.
When it comes to finding that happy medium between enjoying yourself and staying on plan, here are a few questions I like to ask myself when planning a vacation . . .
By this I mean, what are you likely to end up spending your time on? And how does food play into that? If you’re going on a two-week hiking excursion, for example, I’d recommend that you plan your nutrition pretty carefully. After all, you’ll need your energy! However, if you’re planning to lounge on the beach for a week, you’re probably okay to enjoy a margarita or two. Ask yourself: Is this a culinary trip? Will my meals be influenced by my kids or partner? Depending on your goals for your vacation and your travel companions, you may find yourself feeling more or less inclined to watch your nutrition throughout the trip.
Are there events in your life that you’re going to need lots of energy for in the time around your trip? Are there any special occasions that might render this a bad time to look a little bloated in photos? If you’ve got any big stuff on the horizon—other trips, conferences, weddings, photoshoots, etc—they may be worth taking into consideration.
This one can be kind of a loaded question . . . Let’s face it, five pounds or so doesn’t hit us all the same way. If you’re the type who can lose weight somewhat easily, then splurging on vacation treats is probably no biggie. But if you’re like a lot of people, losing five or ten pounds is something that takes monumental effort and a few weeks. Having a few extra beers or a couple of ice cream cones might feel like the best choice in the moment, but are you going to beat yourself up when you get home? If you make the decision to treat yourself, you MUST be willing to ditch the guilt and get on with your life. If you struggle with guilt, you might want to consider sticking close to the plan for your own sake.
So, l ask . . . What’s your vacation food philosophy? I’d love to hear more about how you navigate nutrition while you’re on holiday! Let me know in the comments.