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7 Ways to Eat Healthier on Vacation

Updated: Jun 1, 2019

Let's face it, it's pretty easy to convince yourself that resistance is futile when you're on vacation- just give in to all the fried food and ice cream, every day! You may think this lack of willpower is a character flaw, but it's NOT your fault. These foods trigger primal responses in our brains to sugar, fat, and salt that once protected us when food was scarce. Food manufacturers, restaurants, and ice cream shops are all very clever at combining them in a way that calls to us. Why do you think salted caramel brownie sundaes were invented? It's NEVER about willpower. It IS about strategies, habits, and mindset.

Yes, you CAN eat healthy/ier/ish while you're on vacation. And no, I'm not talking about making certain food or drink off limits, because that's sure to backfire. Instead, try these strategies on your next vacation:

If you're beginning to eat healthier:

  1. Stay well hydrated, as thirst can often be confused with hunger

  2. Eat slowly to give your brain time to catch up with your stomach

  3. Really savor the flavors of the first few bites and sips

  4. Add one (more than average for you) veg or fruit each day

  5. Indulge thoughtfully - try a smaller portion size

  6. If you are able to cook, eat breakfast in

  7. Relax! Healthy habits aren't learned in a week or two. Small change is better than none.

If you're a mostly healthy eater:

  1. Stay well hydrated, as thirst can often be confused with hunger

  2. Eat slowly and stop when you're about 80% full

  3. Savor as many bites and sips as possible

  4. Challenge yourself to find ways to add several fruits and/or veg each day

  5. Indulge thoughtfully - share with your fellow travelers

  6. If you're able to cook, eat breakfast in and plan ahead - have some simple meal ideas on hand for the times it's convenient to cook

  7. Relax! Healthy habits won't be undone in a week or two. Instead of thinking, "I'll get back on track when I get home.", try, "What is a small way I can get back on track?"

Acknowlege your successes and treat yourself with compassion if you do overindulge. What can you learn from that? Number 7 bears repeating: relax and keep trying.

Here's a handy graphic to help you remember while you're away:

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