Navigating Vacation While Losing Weight
Navigating life while trying to lose weight has its share of difficulties, but trying to lose weight while enjoying some leisure time can seem daunting for several reasons:
- You don’t want to be stressed about what you eat
- You want to try the local foods
- You are not in a planning mode–you are in relaxation mode (or at least you hope to be)
- You don’t have your “staple” foods with you
During this season of the year, we have clients at Achieve Weight Loss who go into a panic mode. They have lost weight and they want to continue losing, but now they are going on a fun (and hopefully relaxing) trip and they don’t know what to do. The problem is intensified even more if they are vacationing in a foreign country where they don’t recognize many of the foods in the grocery store. What do you do?
Two options regarding weight loss on vacation:
- Forget about losing weight (or maintaining weight loss)
- Learn how to navigate through vacation and lose (or at least maintain) weight
Option #1 is a diet mindset. The diet mindset says, “I’ll do my ‘diet’ while I’m at home, but when I am away from home, I’m not going to hold back.” This mindset will never result in long-term weight loss. Why? Because the diet mindset is “I’m on my diet….I’m off my diet.” Most people live in a diet mindset.
Option #2 is a lifestyle mindset. The lifestyle mindset says “I’m going to keep making my food work for me–even if I don’t recognize all the unique foods I am eating.” But, how does that work? How is it possible to live a weight loss lifestyle while on vacation?
How to Live a Weight Loss Life Lifestyle on Vacation
- Watch portions. Ultimately weight loss is the result of taking in fewer calories than your body needs. The good news about vacation is that most of us tend to do a lot of walking so we our caloric expenditure is higher than usual. So, if you simply watch portion control you are more likely to maintain the weight loss you had prior to vacation (or even lose some weight). At Achieve Weight Loss we teach a simple portion control method that doesn’t require weighing or measuring out food or counting calories or points. This simple method works the vast majority of the time and is a simple way to keep calories under control.
- Be active. The good news is that most of us are more active on vacation because we are walking the beech or through a theme park. You will burn more calories and get your insulin levels down quicker. Of course, make sure it is a good brisk walk!
- Drink water. In addition to staying hydrated as you enjoy the beech or theme parks, drinking your water will keep you feeling fuller longer. You will tend not to overeat if you are drinking a good amount of water plus water helps combat fatigue!
- Mindfully eat. Be conscious of how you feel while you are eating. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. As you feel a gentle pressure in your stomach then it is time to stop. You can read more about mindful eating here.
- Relax. Most of us live hectic stressful lives and, as a result, our bodies are in a constant “fight or flight” mode making weight loss difficult. The main hormone which is released when you body is stressed is cortisol. Vacation is supposed to be a time for relaxation and, as a result, your body’s cortisol levels decrease resulting in less fat storage.
- Enjoy yourself. The “Diet” mindset says “I can’t enjoy myself because I have to eat foods I don’t like”; whereas the lifestyle mindset says “In moderation, I’m going to enjoy myself. I will not eat everything I see, but I will eat what looks appealing while watching my portions.”
Here is the reality, there is never a perfect time to lose weight. The key is to learn how to navigate life and that includes vacation!
Have a Healthy Day!