How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation

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Have you ever worried about gaining weight on vacation? I don’t know about you, but I have had more than one trip where I put on 5-10lbs while traveling. It was not cool. At all!

Now that I have developed a better attitude around my eating, I have discovered some tips that have helped me maintain and even LOSE weight while on vacation. I use these tips any time that I don’t have easy access to my fabulous selection of food that I meal prepped at home.

So here are my tips for how to stick to your diet on vacation.

How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation

Don’t eat unless you are physically hungry

Eating only when physically hungry is my number one tip for sticking to your diet on vacation. This means trying to avoid the “emotional eating,” “bored eating,” “just because eating,” and “why not?! eating.” Those types of eating lead to excess weight gain.

Feeling like I have stuffed myself and will have to start all over with my diet when I get home, tends to ruin my vacation a little bit. I want to enjoy my vacation, not feel guilty about it.

Try not to let yourself get too hungry

It’s best to eat when you feel hungry, not “starving,” when you are on vacation. There is usually a lot of temptation to eat unhealthy foods while traveling. If you wait until you are super hungry to sit down and eat, it will be twice as hard to make healthy choices.

I find that I do a lot better about sticking to my diet if I eat when I am hungry. The longer I push past hunger, the more likely I am to stuff my face full of bread, chips, or whatever tempting foods are within reach.

Plan your meals 24 hours in advance

My second tip for sticking to your diet on vacation is to plan your meals 24 hours in advance. Now, this can definitely be a little trickier to do when on vacation, but it is worth the effort. When you plan out your food in advance (when you aren’t hungry) you are going to make better choices for yourself.

Then the next day instead of spending time and energy wondering what you’re going to eat, you just follow your plan. This leaves way more time to think about what you are going to do on vacation, instead of what to eat.

If you don’t know where you are eating, plan a few food “rules”

If you don’t know where you are going to eat for every meal, you can always plan the ones you know. For example, when on vacation, I usually know we are eating breakfast at our hotel every morning. So I plan what I will eat for breakfast ahead of time.

Another option is to put some food rules in place when you really don’t know where you are going to eat. For example, a few of my food rules are:

  • Only eat when hungry
  • Don’t eat past satisfied
  • Pick one indulgence when eating out (e.g. bread, chips, or fries)

I can put these rules in place no matter where I am eating. You can pick whichever food rules work within your diet. These are just the ones that I know work well for me.

daily meal plan

Try to decide where you are going to eat ahead of time

If at all possible try to decide where you are going to eat before you get hungry. Once you decide, you can look at the menu ahead of time and figure out what you want to eat. This gives you the opportunity to make a healthier choice than you would if you wait until you are hungry and staring at the menu with delicious food smells wafting your way.

Make the best decisions you can at each meal

The next tip for sticking to your diet on vacation is to simply make the best decisions you can at each meal. Not every restaurant or mealtime is going to have great healthy options. You might be somewhere that only has fast-food restaurants around.

In those situations, I try to make the best decisions I can at that meal. If it’s a burger place, I don’t eat the bun. If it’s pizza, I stick to 2 pieces and see if I can get a salad on the side. The key is to make the best decision you can and not just think that because there are no healthy options, you can just go wild on all the junk.

eat a balanced meal

Try to make choices you will be proud of later

When I’m planning my meals, I keep this piece of advice in mind. If I want to stick to my diet while on vacation, that means I need to make choices about my food that I will be proud of later. I know I will feel proud of myself for making the best choices I can at each meal. I will be proud of myself for not eating past satisfied. I know I won’t be proud of myself for using my vacation as an excuse to eat whatever I can fit in my mouth. (I know that last one from personal experience.)

Don’t forget to treat yourself a little too

Now my last tip for sticking to your diet on vacation is to make sure you don’t forget to plan at least a few treats in there too. A healthy diet does not equal deprivation all of the time. It means a good balance of mostly healthy meals with a few treats added in as well.

The key is to plan out your treats ahead of time so you can enjoy them without going overboard. It can be a nice addition to your vacation instead of the sole purpose of your vacation.

Conclusion

So that is how to stick to your diet while you’re on vacation. If you follow these suggestions, you will be able to go on vacation and enjoy yourself without setting yourself back with your diet. I don’t know about you, but I have worked hard to get in the shape I am now. I don’t want what is supposed to be a good time to ruin that.

If you have any questions or suggestions for how you stick to a diet on vacation, comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. You can also follow me on Pinterest here for more health and diet tips. 

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How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation

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