The Binge Eating Diaries: 3 Steps to Healthy Eating on Vacation

3 Steps to Healthy Eating on VacationThere are dozens of flavors of vacations to choose from – the romantic getaway, the couple’s retreat, the group escape, and the solo adventure… to name just a few.

And they’re all… delicious.

We circle the LIFT OFF day on our calendars with a big fat red pen (or sophisticatedly log the date into our fancy phones).

We desperately look forward to the day when we can zip up our suitcase (that we pray will actually fit in the overhead compartment… if we make it past security) and then – we bid reality goodbye.

We’ve got days, weeks, or even months until it’s time to go… so that means – it’s “go time”.

No matter where we’re off to for our week of relaxation or play, we understandably want to feel our very best.

And our old habits, although destructive and unhealthy, are awfully hard to kick.

So, we consider the following: dusting off the scale, ditching the treats, and succumbing to the pre-vacation temptation to lose weight fast.

1 Before Vacation

The weeks before a vacation should be full of excitement and anticipation – not misery and hunger.

Restricting your food intake, in hopes of losing a quick 5 pounds before a vacation, is not going make your vacation better. I promise you. No, better yet… I pinky promise you!

In fact, if we go this route we’re most likely going to be energy-depleted, starved of nourishment, and so food-obsessed… that by the time we board the plane or step onto the cruise ship… there’s a good chance we’re going to treat the rest of our vacation like one long binge.

We purposefully didn’t pack our mindful eating skills and now we find ourselves making up for lost time… and lost calories. Our bodies and our brains are hungry and frustrated. (This is NOT the way I want to start my vacation!)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident and taking certain steps toward achieving our personal goals – unless our vacation-specific goals can only be achieved at the expense of our current health and happiness.

2 During Vacation

One of the wonderful things about visiting a new place is the food. All of those new textures, flavors, and names that I can’t pronounce!

I used to deprive myself of these beautiful moments during vacations, for fear of “looking worse” on the trip back home than I did on the trip there.

Nowadays, if I don’t nibble on the native foods – I feel like I have done my taste buds a disservice. I want to gobble up every experience I can (edible or not). We need ample energy to soak up as much adventure as humanly possible.

But that doesn’t mean that I stop checking in with myself. (Not in a parental, nagging way, but in a best friend manner… “Hey, you doin’ alright, buddy?”)

If I’m traveling alone – I want make sure I’m not using food as company.

If I’m with others, I want to make sure I’m getting what I need when I need it. When I’m working around the meal schedules of other people… I can sometimes start to get panicky.

“Wait! This isn’t MY routine! It’s too early for breakfast! It’s too late for dinner!”

Last time I was at Green Mountain, I overheard a very knowledgeable woman say that the most intuitive eaters always have some kind of food with them. And with my current mindset, I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. They’re prepared. Ready for a hunger cue to strike at any moment!

3 After Vacation

When we break any of our “normal” routines (whether they’re food-related or not) – getting back into the swing of things can be challenging.

I suffer from “The Thing I Looked Forward To Is Now Over” syndrome. It’s easy for me to lose my pizazz for a while, as I try to acclimate myself back into my daily life.

It’s like coming down from a high – it’s over. What’s next? And when I feel that way I (unsurprisingly) have a tendency to turn to food for comfort.

But just like not eating wasn’t going make my vacation better – emotionally overeating never makes the adjustment back home any easier.

My trick? I find something else to look forward to. I usually have a back-up plan after a big event – a date with a vintage market, a massage, or even a span of four hours on the couch watching my guilty pleasure show.

This preparation is part of my self-care routine. And this post-event helps me transition from going 100 miles an hour, full fun speed ahead, to the mindset of, “Okay, I’m back – but before I’m really back… let’s have a little more fun first.”

Until next time,


Do you have any tips or tricks to that help you before, during, or after a vacation? We encourage you to share below!


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