Vacations can be the ultimate “all or nothing” experience when it comes to food – go big or go home right? And many return from their travels feeling like they’ve eaten too much, or not enough of what makes their body feel good. The absolute best thing about Intuitive Eating is that it can travel with you!
Intuitive eaters may change WHAT they eat, but not HOW they eat.
I LOVE to travel, and get excited for any opportunity to experience something new. So, even if we’re just going away for a weekend I look forward to the entire experience and that 100% includes food!
Vacations often involve restaurants, new food experiences and eating outside of your usual schedule. So, while the food choices may change, you can still honour the hunger and fullness cues telling you when and how much you need. And, when we’re eating for primarily physical hunger, the urge to overindulge is muted, as eating beyond that “sweet spot” on a regular basis doesn’t feel good! (Read more about hunger and fullness HERE and HERE)
Ask yourself WHAT you want before ordering
Cravings come and go even while on vacation, but it’s much easier to slip into “all or nothing” eating when we’re away from home. Check in with yourself when you start to experience hunger and see if you can narrow down what you really want before ordering. Embrace the desire to try and enjoy new foods, but resist the urge to eat just because it’s there. At a buffet, walk around and see what’s on offer before filling up your plate. Start with your top picks, knowing that you can return at any time if you need more!
And remember that “normal eating” sometimes includes eating beyond our normal fullness, especially if it’s a special occasion. It’s ok for the pendulum to swing a little more when we’re on vacation.
Practice gentle nutrition while you’re away
What is gentle nutrition? According to Evelyn Tribole, RD, gentle nutrition can be described as:
“Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.”
What exactly does that look like?
- Eat to feel satisfied, even if that means eating more (or less) than you usually would at home. I experienced this while in Cuba this year; hot mid-day temperatures meant I wanted (and needed) a lighter lunch.
- Trust your body. Many vacations are active, and your body may need more fuel that it does at home. Or maybe you’re on a beach and require less. Listen to what your body is telling you!
- Let go of any expectations about food that you may have while away from home. It’s all well and good to want to eat as normally as possible, but life can (and should!) get in the way while on vacation.
Embrace the freedom and flexibility that being an intuitive eater affords and go with the flow. Your pendulum will naturally find its centre when you return.
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