Vacation Mentality

Sep 26, 2014

Vacation Mentality

Used to be that “vacation mentality” eating began in the car on the way to the airport, or even the night before if I couldn’t hold back the tide.

I had often so lost it on vacation that I made myself genuinely ill even while staying totally preoccupied with my next indulgence. Statements like: “this is vacation so nothing counts” or “I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else” rationalized anything. “I can’t believe I at the whole thing!” I would berate myself and then eat equally outrageously the next time. Elasticized clothing was a given.

And who cares really (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?) except for when I would lose a whole summer of weight management because of some doors I “innocently” opened on vacation.

I figured out that I could have my cake and not wear it too if I took a few simple steps. A skinny menu for travel days, for example, could bookend my trip, both starting me off on the right foot and snapping me back on track before I even reached home. And really, is airport food worth derailing for?

I can bribe myself into waiting for the predictable, time-honored indulgences till the last few days of the trip, never entirely denying gratification, just delaying it. Eating hearty but lean breakfasts and lunches can contain me for the inevitably more indulgent dinner.

Advance staging of my home environment so that I can easily have a couple of on track days immediately upon arriving home reestablishes my momentum and officially ends “vacation”. And, if I calorically banked in advance for the vacation (much like paying with cash rather than putting it on a credit card), then I owe nothing back. No debt (so no guilt) seems to make closing those doors just a little easier.

What can you do this year to keep a lid on vacation mentality?


Susan L. Holmberg, MS, CNS is a Nutritionist in private practice with twenty years experience empowering individuals to solve their unique weight challenges.


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