On Sunday night, my boyfriend and I got back from a fun weekend getaway to Seattle.
Since it was such a short trip, I ate whatever I wanted (GASP!)
"What the what?? But Emily, you're a health coach! Isn't your diet totally perfect and flawless and..."
I love trying local cuisine (without making a million modifications) and wanted to be flexible with my food choices since at home I adhere to a very cleanse-friendly lifestyle where I choose not to eat gluten, dairy, sugar, and soy.
So what happened when I ate whatever I wanted?
I LOST 2 lbs!
Today I want to share with you how this happened so you can feel light and lean the next time you go on vacation.
5 Ways to Feel Light & Lean While on Vacation (Without Dieting)
1. SPLIT YOUR MEALS
When you're away from home, it's likely that most (if not all) of your meals will be eaten out. Restaurant food typically contains at least 2 servings per meal and is usually richer than what you'd make at home, so you may be surprised at how filling and satisfying a smaller portion size actually is. My boyfriend and I split every meal which was beneficial for both our wallets and our waistlines.
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
Either set aside time to do a formal workout session or incorporate movement in a different way. We walked between 6-8 miles each day just by playing tourist (his FitBit tracked the distance for us). Even though I packed my running clothes, I didn't end up running. Just exploring the city by foot was enough of a workout!
3. BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS
Avoid getting yourself in a situation where you have to resort to crappy airplane food because you're hungry and there aren't any other food options available. I packed 4 bananas, 4 single-serving packets of almond butter, and a few bars as my "emergency food". These came in handy at the airport, on the plane, and in between meals on our trip. Plan ahead. It's worth it.
4. DRINK WATER
It's easy to forget to do this since you're out and about, but it's still sooo important. Some symptoms of dehydration include headaches, fatigue, and food cravings. Save yourself the discomfort and commit to drinking at least 64 oz of water every day, just like you'd do when you're at home. Though I didn't carry a water bottle with me while walking around the city, I kept several in our rental car, our room, and in my carry-on, to ensure that I didn't get dehydrated.
Stress is linked to a host of serious health issues, including weight gain and obesity. When you're on vacation, BE on vacation and leave your stress behind. For the last couple of years, I'd been working my butt off non-stop and it took me a very long time to figure out that this workaholic mentality wasn't working for me and certainly not sustainable. I realized that taking the time to disconnect from technology, taking breaks from doing and thinking about work, and giving myself permission to relax were essential to my health. So on our trip, I did all 3 and also got about 8-9 hours of quality sleep both nights which I believed played a big role in my weight loss.
OTHER THINGS WORTH NOTING...
I purposely didn't eat foods that I knew would make me feel awful. After all, I was on vacation and the last thing I wanted was to put a damper on this short trip with a raging stomachache or mucho belly bloatation.
That's why I consciously chose not to overeat or drink alcohol. I didn't want to piss off my sensitive system!
Even though I don't adhere 100% to any "diet", I've been playing detective long enough to know what makes me feel great and what makes me feel gross. So "eating whatever I want" to me still doesn't mean fast food or processed food from the convenience store. It means real food.
While I enjoyed gnocchi, chocolate cake, pizza, and sandwiches (all of which I RARELY or NEVER consume back home), I was conscious of the fact that these foods were very rich and likely contained ingredients my body's not used to, so I compensated by eating only 1/2 the portion size, eating slowly, enjoying every single delicious bite, and stopping before I felt stuffed.
I also chose the gluten-free option when available (like the pizza crust and sandwich bread).
The Key Here is to Find Balance.
Swinging back & forth between extremes is exhausting & frustrating.
Going "on" diets vs going "off" diets. Being "good" vs being "bad". IT DOESN'T WORK.
Every time you restrict yourself to the point of feeling deprived, there is an equal and opposite binge.
Starving yourself before going on vacation so you can stuff your face while you're there isn't healthy.
Starving yourself after getting home from vacation because you over-indulged isn't healthy either.
Just do your best in the situation you're in, be loving to yourself in the process, and listen to your body. When you do this, you'll never have to diet or swing between extremes again. You'll be living in your balance and that is a pretty awesome place to be.