Hey Friends! I’m so sorry for being an absentee blogger for the past few weeks; I’ve been swamped! Don’t worry—I’ve been brainstorming articles to write (my head is literally FULL of them) so you should have some (good?) entertaining and informative reading material coming this week!
Over the weekend I went out of town to Nike’s ‘Wild Canyon Games’. These games are like giant adventure races for adults. They were a blast! The problem? The food at the games was quite different than what I’m used to. (The games were held at a giant camp facilities in the middle of NOWHERE, Oregon—and with over 1,000 people, it is understandably difficult to get healthy food to everyone.) Meals were dense, and included entrees and side dishes like lasagna, white rice and beans, chicken, muffins, bagels, protein bars and shakes, and more. Vegetables and salads were dressed up in caeser or ranch (pre-mixed). Needless to say, I had an interesting time eating “healthy”.
And all of that got me thinking… People would probably have more enjoyable vacations (and they would feel better stepping on the scale when they got home) if they knew how to eat well on vacation. I’ve compiled a few tips (I used) to help keep you from derailing your diet while away—even when you don’t have a lot of (food) options to choose from.
- Water is your friend.
If you begin the day with a full glass of water, and consume at least 8 oz. before each meal, you’ll feel more satisfied before even having a bite! That way, you’re less likely to over eat. (In addition, water helps pass food through your system, so you’re less likely to feel uncomrortable and bloated throughout the day!) Note: If water isn’t as tasty as what you’re used to, stick to bottled (or, if the water tastes different but is still okay to drink, bring a few vitamin packs with you. They will make the water taste better, while giving you nutrients!
- Do things your way
Okay, anyone who has gone out to eat (or seen me on vacation) jokes that I can be a bit “high maintenance”, but here’s how I look at it: if I can make simple requests, like “dressing on the side” I’ll consume far fewer calories, fat, sodium, sugar, etc. than if I ate everything as it was usually prepared.
- Enjoy your company; indulge…in conversation!
If you’re talking, watching, listening, laughing, and enjoying yourself, you’re probably not over-eating.
- Keep track of your food (and beverages) in your head.
Sure, the tendency is to “let go” while away, and I’m all for it (in small amounts, see Rule 6) but it is good to be somewhat aware of what’s going in your body! I like to put everything on a plate, even snacks, and then consume it. This alleviates the oh-no!-I’ve-eaten-six-handfulls-of-chips-and-salsa-and-now-I-feel-awful situation(s).
- If possible, bring healthy snacks and/or meal replacement shakes with you.
On this last trip, I brought packaged steel-cut oats. This helped me say “no” to the morning bagels and muffins that were provided.
- Follow the 90-10 rule—eat like you would at home, 90% of the time.
Enjoy dessert, a margarita, or that ice cream cone 10% of the time.
- Take vitamins.
Sometimes a deficiency in certain vitamins comes across as your body thinking it’s hungry. Make sure you’re eating nutrient-dense food whenever possible, but consider a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps!
- Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re not.
This is so, so simple and yet so difficult to follow, but if you eat learn to eat when you’re hungry and stop before you’re stuffed, bloated, and totally full, you will feel so much better. Experts recommend eating “until satisfied”.
- Have fun!
If you’re out being active (snorkeling, hiking, running, walking, exploring, etc.) you’re burning calories and jumpstarting your metabolism. So rest on vacation, but don’t forget to have fun, too!
- Don’t eat after ___pm.
Set a time, and don’t consume food after it. For me, I stop eating and snacking at 8pm. This way I don’t consume unnecessary foods that sit overnight!
Do you have additional tips? Leave them in a comment!