Mindful Eating on Vacation

By Michelle May, M.D.

mindful-eating-on-vacationI overheard someone tell her friend, “I gain five pounds every time we go on vacation so I’m on a diet until we leave.” This is yet another great example of why diets are so ineffective; you are either on one or off one. On the other hand, you never need to take a vacation from mindful eating! So how do you enjoy a vacation without counting everything you eat or “blowing it”? The solution is to shift your thinking from a Vacation Mindset to a Mindful Eating on Vacation mindset. Let’s compare the difference.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’m on vacation so I’m going to eat as much as I want.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I’m on vacation so I’m going to eat as much as I want, but not more than I need because I still want to feel good.

 

Vacation Mindset: I dieted before vacation and I’ll go back on my diet when I get home to lose what I gain. I better enjoy eating while I can.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I eat what I love and love what I eat every day.

 

Vacation Mindset: Food is everywhere all the time so I can eat constantly.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: Food is everywhere all the time so I can wait to eat until I’m actually hungry.

 

Vacation Mindset: There are so many great restaurants and foods to try! I’m going to try everything.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: There are so many great restaurants and foods to try! I can afford to be selective about what I use my hunger for.

 

Vacation Mindset: The food is amazing!

Mindful Eating on Vacation: Some of the food is amazing. When it isn’t, I don’t bother with more than a bite.

 

Vacation Mindset: I don’t want to miss out on anything.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: Opportunities to eat just keep showing up so there’s no need to worry about missing out on anything.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’m not going to worry about what I eat this week.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I eat to meet my needs for nourishment and enjoyment no matter where I am.

 

Vacation Mindset: I have to get my money’s worth.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I get my money’s worth when I eat exactly what I need. More than that is a waste of food and makes me feel uncomfortable.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’m on vacation so I’m going to splurge.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I’m on vacation so I going to enjoy some new foods and new activities.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’m going to eat until I’m unconscious.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I’m going to eat until I feel content then I’m going to relax with a good book and maybe enjoy a nap.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’ll eat until I’m stuffed tonight but I’ll hit the gym to make up for it tomorrow.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I’ll eat until I’m comfortable tonight. Maybe I’ll check out the gym tomorrow.

 

Vacation Mindset: I’m on vacation! Why exercise?

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I’m on vacation! Why exercise when I can swim, walk on the beach, dance, hike, go sightseeing, kayak, play golf or tennis…

 

Vacation Mindset: I know I’ll gain five pounds.

Mindful Eating on Vacation: I know I’ll enjoy an abundance of wonderful food and come home feeling great!

 

Of course, even when you aren’t on vacation, mindful eating helps in any situation where there’s an abundance of food—in other words, every other day of your life!

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