(3 MINUTE READ)
As many of you know, I’ve been traveling a lot recently. Missouri in December, Hawaii in January, Florida in February, Arizona in March, Tennessee in May, Wyoming in June…WHEW. Needless to say, this involves lots of meals out, alcoholic beverages and being thrown off routine in general. All of this travel would have previously TERRIFIED me. How could I possibly indulge so much, be out of my workout routine and still be in line with my fitness/health goals?! In retrospect, those fears were SO irrational.
First, I’ve brought my body to a place where I feel great maintaining. Therefore, the advice I am about to give applies to those that are simply looking to maintain while traveling (or in general). Now, this isn’t to say you won’t lose weight, however if you are actively trying to lose weight while on a trip there’s just a few extra tips I would add in, which I’ll mention at the end of this newsletter.
Even if you are trying to lose weight in general, I like to suggest focusing on maintaining while going on a trip simply to make it more enjoyable : ) You can always get back to a more focused regimen when you return. Putting the process on pause is MUCH better than taking steps backwards (aka completely going off the walls on vaca/trips ) if you ask me.
That being said, this all boils down to just being mindful. I know, I know, a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, AMY, what does that even mean and how can it possibly be effective?! It really just means trusting and honoring your body’s cues. It works because our bodies are actually prettttttty dang smart in letting us know how much we need, we just need to listen. So here are four tips to start practicing just that:
BE PRESENT. Don’t eat while you’re doing other things. Sometimes you can’t avoid this, I GET IT!! Most of the time I am doing other things while I’m eating because of my crazy schedule but if you can avoid doing this, it’s definitely optimal for focusing on what’s happening in your body while you eat and truly ENJOYING what’s in front of you!
EAT SLOWLY. Chew your food well, give your stomach time to send satiety cues to your brain. This is also great for digestion and allows you to truly savor and enjoy each bite.
FOCUS ON FEELING. Continuously remind yourself how you want to feel for the next few hours. Being too full is never a fun feeling! I literally hate it. So when I’m eating something super delicious, I always remind myself how terrible I feel when I eat too much. The purpose of food is to give you fuel & energy, not make you feel like you want to lay down, try to keep that in mind!
SAVE IT FOR LATER. Food will always be available to you! Bring it home for another meal or give it to someone else who will appreciate it. We are all fortunate enough to have access to food in general. Your body is not a garbage disposal. Even if you do throw your leftovers away, it’s WAY better off wasted in the trash than wasted in your body. We are no longer in the caveman days where we didn’t know when/where we would get our next meal. You can always have more later or get this meal another time.
It really boils down to constantly asking yourself questions during your eating experience. Slow down and take deep breaths. These are skills you can practice anytime / anywhere! I know it can seem hard to trust your body. I used to think that if allowed myself to eat what I truly wanted, I’d end up eating SO many calories. The reality was, I actually ate less because I listened to by body’s satiety cues and stopped eating when I felt full. I also stopped seeing certain foods as off limits so I never felt the need to go bananas. Each experience gave me more confidence and trust that I can have anything I want and not overdo it.
Something I find very important to mention however, is the fact that I am by no means perfect with this. There are still times I eat too much and don’t feel the best about it. When this does happen I simply take the next time I eat as an opportunity to try again. This isn’t a perfect journey and it’s VITAL you acknowledge and accept that before beginning. Trial and error, trial and error, trial and error!
Lastly, as promised, my tips for those who want to continue weight loss while traveling. First is of course to follow all the tips above. Second is to simply indulge less (Notice I didn’t say anything about choices above). Each time you eat, try to make a choice where lean protein and veggies take up a majority of the meal. If you want to drink, keep it to a minimum and avoid sugary mixers/heavy beer. That’s really it. The only difference between maintaining and losing while traveling is the choices you are making. Listening to your body in either situation is a MUST if you want to be successful : )