What do holidays, time away and vacations mean to you? If you’re a chronic dieter, time away often means time off from healthy eating leading to weight gain and frustration. Here are a few ideas to prevent packing on the pounds when traveling this holiday season.
If you’ll be traveling by car, be sure to pack some healthy snacks and drinks. While there may be plenty of fast food and convenience shops along the way, chances are what you pack will be healthier than what you’d find at most rest stops. When traveling by plane, same idea applies. By planning ahead, you may not be as likely or as tempted to buy unhealthy food at an airport restaurant or snack shop.
When it comes to preplanning, it’s not just our food we need to consider. Often it’s the situations-the people, places, thoughts and feelings that may derail our best efforts. For these eating triggers, we need a plan too.
For example, you may have a relative who shows their love and nurturing through the food they prepare and serve to you. Not wanting to hurt their feelings or have them feel rejected, you accept that love in the form of a slice of warm apple pie, an extra serving of mashed potatoes…you get the idea. Knowing that you’ll be faced with these well meaning “food pushers,” you may want to preplan what you’ll say or do ahead of time so you both feel good about the meal and experience. Try out a few phrases and see if they work for you such as “I’ve been looking forward to your delicious cookies and I’m saving room for a taste” or “I’m stuffed now but can I wrap it up and take it with me for later?” They’ll feel that their treat is so special you want to find a way to take it back with you while you can choose to do whatever you like with it once you leave.
Finally, if you’ve really gone overboard, evaluate what happened, don’t be hard on yourself and put some closure on it. There’s nothing positive that comes out of berating yourself and chances are, those negative feelings may just encourage you to keep overeating out of sheer frustration!
With careful planning, you can enjoy the holidays guilt, stress and weight gain…free!