Thursday, June 4, 2009

vacation eating.

YOU GUYS I am going to Vegas in 8 days! Oh my gosh, I can barely contain myself.

Since this is my first vacation in, like, ever, I’m already stressing a little about food stuff.

Okay, here are my feelings on dieting and travel. If you travel a lot, and to the same places (i.e, business type travel), then yeah, you should try to keep your eating as close to ‘normal’ as possible. I also do not think you should ever just naturally conclude that going on a ‘vacation’ means a ‘vacation from eating well’. If you’re thinking about eating well as something you need a ‘vacation’ from, then you’re already in trouble.

All that said, I DO think that leisure travel is about experiencing a new place. And I think that a big part of experiencing a city or region or country is the food. If I were going to India I would want to eat lots of curries and if I was going to England I’d be eating at chip stands and since I’m going to VEGAS I do very much intend to eat at buffets and fancy fusion restaurants and drink margaritas by the pool. I am not going to live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I make in my hotel room. (Or at least not entirely.)

I guess my eating approach is going to be ‘maximum enjoyment’. Please note, that doesn’t mean ‘maximum indulgence’. I know that if I indulge at every meal, I won’t actually enjoy it. I’ll feel lethargic, stuffed, and possibly even sick. (My stomach does NOT do well with too much grease now.) My goal will be to find that sweet spot, at every meal, of enjoying the experience of being in Vegas and the food I’m eating, but balanced with how I’ll feel an hour later (and a week later when I step on the scale.) I probably won’t hit the sweet spot every time, but my hope is that if I go into every meal conscious of that goal, I should do okay.

I should add that I’m okay if I come back and have a reasonable gain. (I would consider reasonable to be 3lbs or less.) If I were aiming to lose, I’d approach this differently.


My biggest fear is actually not that I’ll screw up in Vegas, but that I’ll have a really hard time getting back on track once I’m home. I’ve seen it happen again and again in blogland – people go on vacation, and totally fall apart when they get back. You get in the habit of eating decadent things, and then you want to maintain that ‘vacation feeling’ when you get home, so you KEEP eating decadent things. I even had this problem over the holidays – I planned really well for the holidays themselves, but then struggled the first couple weeks of January because my plan didn’t extend that far.


I have two ideas for how I’m going to combat that. One is that I’m going to keep tracking while I’m there. Yes, even if I go over my points by the hundreds, I’m going to write it all down. I think tracking is a habit I should keep up with. (Plus it will be a nice vacation memory – months later I can look back at my tracker and think, “oh yeah, remember when we had those crab cakes at blah blah blah restaurant in Vegas? Man, they were good.”)

My other plan is to do some grocery shopping before I leave. I know produce and milk and stuff won’t keep well while we’re gone, BUT I plan to make sure I have at least a couple of easy meals ready to eat at home when I get back, and I want them as close to my normal eating as possible. So for instance, we get back Saturday evening, and I plan to have an Amy’s frozen entrée in the freezer that I can eat that night if I’m hungry. My usual breakfast is oatmeal, almond butter, and sliced banana, so I’ll have that ready for Sunday morning. (The oatmeal and AB is no problem, the banana I’m thinking I might peel and slice it before we go, and then put it in the freezer.

I know I probably seem like I’m overthinking all of this, but the truth is, it’s a fact about me that I do really well when I’m in a routine. And Vegas is going to be a HUGE deviation in my routine.

How do you guys handle vacation / travel? Do you think I’m being too hard on myself? Not hard enough? What do you do about exercise? I’m still really debating whether or not to bring my workout clothes. The gym is $25 a day (!!!), and I don’t know if it’s feasible to work out outside.