Weight Loss Support - Dieting well on vacation. Yes or no?

01-22-2013, 03:25 PM
I recently jumped back on to the weight loss wagon after taking several months off (New full time job with full time school took a lot out of me). Anyways, I've been doing great. However, in 2 weeks I will be going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with a friend of mine. I am debating on if I should watch what I eat down there and stick to the healthier options, or if I should just eat what I want, try the local cuisine and not worry about calories. I live in a very different environment that has very different foods, so part of me feels like I will be missing out on a chance to try a bunch of new stuff if I am sticking to a diet. If it was a vacation to somewhere that had mostly the same stuff, I would not care. However, as I said, the food is very different from where I live. It could be years until I am down there again. I will be there for 6 days.

What is your opinion?

01-22-2013, 03:32 PM
Part of travel is trying the cuisine - so try the food. Perhaps you can watch things on how many drinks you have and having bites of dessert instead of whole desserts, but don't forego trying the cuisine!

April Snow
01-22-2013, 03:41 PM
Part of travel is trying the cuisine - so try the food. Perhaps you can watch things on how many drinks you have and having bites of dessert instead of whole desserts, but don't forego trying the cuisine!

yep, this.

And also, I know I'm usually so active on vacations walking around seeing and doing things, I can usually maintain or even drop a lb or two, as long as I don't go completely crazy with food. Enjoy, just don't use it as an excuse to go nuts. And if something isn't wonderful, don't bother to finish it.

01-22-2013, 03:52 PM
Split the difference, maybe? Not every single meal or morsel has to be special or a license to go wild, but you can pick and choose instances to indulge in some regional specialties. Being mindful and choosy about it will probably make you appreciate it even more. So beignets with coffee one or two mornings, but not every morning, etc. A restrained lunch (well-chosen salad, lean protein, etc) if you know you're going someplace really awesome for dinner. I think retaining a feeling of being in control and deliberate in your food choices almost trumps the calorie aspect, in terms of staving off post-vacation regret and making it easier to settle back in when you return.

01-22-2013, 03:52 PM
Yeah we are doing walking tours every single day we are there. Those run at least 2 hours each so I will be moving a lot. I never thought of that! Thanks!

01-22-2013, 03:52 PM
^^^ What they said!!!

The good thing about New Orleans is you can have your coffee and beignet (YUM!) for breakfast and then walk all around the city and burn it off.

I love New Orleans, have so much fun!!!

01-22-2013, 04:13 PM
U can make healthier choices, I find that when I eat unhealthy now I get really tired. If that happens to u, u don't wanna be too tired on vacation. If u r going to be drinking have diet coke and rum, or diet coke and vodka. A few regular drinks can blow an entire days worth of cals. Have fun and that doesn't have to mean over eating.

01-22-2013, 05:11 PM
I say eat what looks good/sounds good! Especially in a place like that, the food is part of the experience! Just enjoy yourself.

Arctic Mama
01-22-2013, 06:21 PM
I find it much easier to stay on plan during vacation or be entirely off. Partly on/off doesn't work well for me. So I'd fit some of the local food into your diet, but not break it for the trip.

That's how far too many folks on these boards and elsewhere have ended up with massive regains. It began with a vacation or birthday and they never did get back on track. I find it so much easier to never go off to begin with, after having tried it every which way the past few years :)

out from under
01-22-2013, 06:51 PM
Personally I travel way too rarely to waste all my time away 'dieting'. Make wise choices when you can but don't beat yourself up over eating that piece of bread or for ordering a pizza.

01-22-2013, 07:13 PM
Some people can get disappointed when gaining and have trouble getting back on track, so they should set limits. Others are ready to take a break and continue losing weight when that break is over. Just think about how you'd feel if you came back say 10 lb heavier. I'd say eat as much calories (estimate) as you eat normally or not much more. You can eat well and enjoy the place without having to eat too much. Six days is enough time to adjust to new bad habits.

01-22-2013, 07:21 PM
Eat what you want.

Maybe you don't actually want to eat and drink as much as you think you do?

(Or maybe you do, in which case I would say pick your battles and think ahead. One beignet doesn't have to turn into five just because you're there, stuff like that)

01-22-2013, 07:38 PM
6 days is no time at all in the scheme of things. I say make a good plan for when you get back, but have a good time while you're gone. :D

01-22-2013, 09:42 PM
Maybe you could watch what you eat for things like breakfast lunch and snack and then enjoy a good dinner each night. I hope you have lots of fun, New Orleans is amazing. Make sure to visit the Gumbo Shop and the French market!

01-22-2013, 09:44 PM
go for it, but keep away from a lot of fried food and use PORTION control

01-22-2013, 09:54 PM
When I've gone on vacation I enjoy myself within reason. It's not necessary to eat an entire plate to sample the local cuisine after all.

01-22-2013, 10:14 PM
I don't think that eating local cuisine and watching what you eat have to be mutually exclusive. You can sample the foods in moderation and just stop when you are full.

To my surprise, I followed this strategy on my last vacation to South America and actually lost weight for the first time ever while on vacation.

01-22-2013, 11:29 PM
In November, my sisters and I took a 3 day sisters weekend! We went to Lincoln, had a motel, went shopping, went to a Husker football game, etc.

One thing we decided, was, we would not eat anywhere we could eat at home. So, we did Texas Road House, a Cuban place, etc.

We went to a semi pro hockey match and drank beers! We had a blast!:D

We are all in the same boat with our weight. So, what we did, was order what you want, but stop when you are full, you do not need to clean your plate, and expect a few days of water weight gain when you get home. And have the mindset, that when you get home, it's right back on plan.:D

I don't know about the sisters, didn't ask, I packed on 3 pounds of water weight, but, I got right back on plan and within a few days it was gone!;)

The Red Robin Blue Cheese burger and tower of onion rings was to die for!;) However my 2 sisters and I and one nephew split the tower of rings so we only got 3 each! Share!

When we were full, we quit and the nephew, who lives in Lincoln, young and financially challenged, got the doggie bag, and took the leftovers!:D

I would say enjoy the local food, have a few drinks, but keep portion control in mind, and be of a mind set to see a slight gain when you get home, but be prepared for that, and be mindful of getting right back on plan!:hug:

01-23-2013, 12:56 AM
I just got back a few days ago from NOLA. I had an amazing time!

What worked for me was ordering foods that they are known for, and only eating half portions. If what I was going to eat wasn't special then I would make a healthy choice. Honestly there is do much good food down there that not enjoying it would have been difficult for me. I made sure I took advantage of the hotel gym and walked everywhere. The day I got back from vacation I was right back on plan. I didn't gain any weight and I definitely indulged.

Have a great time!

01-23-2013, 01:04 AM
Some of my favorite things there are raw oysters (10 calories each!!) @ Acme Oyster Bar, and crawfish boil (262 calories for 1.5 pounds in the shell!!) by the French Quarter. Also, Bloody Marys (Coops!!) are a good bang for the buck! ;-)

Oh--and try the pralines--but try them for free--lots of stores offer sliver samples!

01-23-2013, 11:22 AM
Definitely pay more attention to enjoying local foods than to limiting yourself. Food and drink seems so central to the NOLA experience that 'dieting' there would be unpleasant!

Maybe add in some extra walking beyond your walking tours every day, too? Wander out and lose yourself in the city, bring a pedometer and really challenge yourself to move alot. I think we hit 25k+ steps one day while just touring around the old town in Tallinn, Estonia. Which did not seem all that big to me from the outside?

Usually I am very careful at breakfast, moderately careful at lunch, let myself have a snack if we stop (but often you are too busy touring for a snack?), but never something that is... pedestrian. And then ate what I wanted at dinner. Sometimes when I've been on a cruise, I made the decision to order dessert and eat half of it. Have a great trip!

01-23-2013, 11:28 AM
Normally I would say to try to stay on plan as much as possible with maybe a few treats. But New Orleans is a world unto itself. It is to be experienced, relished and savored. Not only the food which is out of this world, but the culture, the atmosphere, the history, and the music. Have a wonderful time!