Episode 154: Kat's Top 10 Tips to Stay Healthy While Vacationing (Without Deprivation)
May 24, 2022
This week I was chatting with a client who is going to be traveling for 4. months. straight. this summer.
Not only that, but she'll be traveling to places that have limited healthy options, AND she'll be traveling with friends who are not quite as health conscious as she is.
And I figured, since summer is around the corner and you very likely have some trips planned of your own that you would rather not completely derail you... now might be a good time for a podcast episode on how to maintain your habits while traveling (without being obsessive or restrictive about it).
1. Don't Go Full Fuck It.
In other words, don't throw caution to the wind and say fuck it to ALL of your healthy habits. That's a recipe for you to feel like crap and come home bloated and filled with regret.
2. Consider Making a Produce Pact
A big part of the advice I have for you today is prioritizing adding in healthy habits instead of taking away 'bad' foods. So committing to eating a serving of fruit and/or veggies at every meal is a great strategy for that.
3. Control Your Portions.
Even if you eat nothing but pizza, burgers, and hot dogs, if you're eating them in the right portions you shouldn't throw yourself too far off track.
4. Practice Mindful Eating.
Say it with me... sloooow dooooown. Do not scarf your food or drinks. Chew your food. Savor the the flavors. Enjoy the experience. This is also particularly helpful if you're with people who like to drink a lot... milk that margarita and make it last!
5. Crowd Out the Bad with the Good.
This goes back to adding in good habits that naturally end up taking up the space of some of the not-so-good habits. For example, if you prioritize drinking a lot of water, you might find you have less room for booze. Or if you eat your side salad first, you might not eat the whole burger that you ordered.
6. Never Let Yourself Get Starving.
If you go out to eat on an empty stomach you're setting yourself up to overeat and to pick the most carby, fatty item on the menu. Instead, take the edge off with a little snack before heading out the door.
7. Be Intentional About Your Splurges
I am all for enjoying a mojito on the beach in Costa Rica, or savoring a piece of pizza while in New York, or indulging in some spiked hot cocoa on the slopes in Colorado. But remember, not all splurges are created equal. So don't just order the dessert for the sake of ordering dessert because 'you're on vacation'.
Choose where you want to indulge, where it feels like it's really adding to your experience, and is part of making memories. When you do that, regret won't be part of the equation. For example, when I was staying at my parent's beach house and everyone was having homemade s'mores cooked over a campfire, I was not going to miss that.
8. Order Smart.
Remember the average restaurant meal in America is 1200 calories, so be mindful when ordering out. Some of my favorite tips are to have the server doggie bag half your meal before it even hits the table. Specify how you want things cooked (choose grilled, steamed, or baked over fried or sautéed). Order all sauces and dressings on the side so you can control the portion. Make your meals as veggie-based as possible. Ask them not to bring out the bread basket.
9. Pick Your Lens.
Because of diet culture, many of us feel like 'eating healthy' has a negative connotation to it. Picking the healthy option feels almost like it's automatically a sacrifice. We need to change the lens we're looking through and make ordering healthy or exercising more enticing to us.
For example, instead of day-dreaming about downing half your body weight in pina coladas before going on vacation, what if you day-dreamed about eating all this beautiful fresh fish, and colorful, tropical fruits, and veggies?
Your mind is a powerful thing, use it to help you.
10. Stick to Your Bare Minimums.
Pick the bare minimum healthy habits you know you can stick to no matter what. These will be your touch stone, your anchor to keep you from completely falling off the wagon.
For example maybe you can commit to drinking a glass of water in between every cocktail, or starting your day with a long walk, or getting 7 hours of sleep.
At the end of the day, these tips are all there to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible. And when I say 'enjoyable', I mean you're able to relax and not obsess about your food choices, but you're also feeling energized and are not coming home bloated and full of regret.
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