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Old 10-09-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default Hello there - vacation dieting tips

Hi there,

I am targeting a 140 lb. total weight loss. Once I get to that point, I'll see how I look and feel, and whether I'm healthy (the most important part!), and consider taking off more at that time. This is a great board; I've only posted once in the introductions forum but have been lurking. Now I could use some advice!

I am just finishing my 12th week of my weight loss program. I decided to splurge on a very nice vacation--I'm going to Italy in November. I have never been there. I love the idea of walking around in such a historical location.

The challenge is how to maintain a diet plan when I'm in a country known for its food! This is the land of pizza and pasta, both of which I have been avoiding. And I'll be surrounded by gelato! Furthermore, the breakfasts all seem to be buffet style, and I'm not good at controlling myself with buffets. I worry that I won't find anything I can eat on a continental breakfast bar. Since I'm traveling alone, I'm a bit shy about going to a restaurant by myself where I might be able to get fish or grilled meats, so my options are eating at the hotel (expensive) or picking up take-out stuff (typically not healthy stuff). I won't have access to a refrigerator or cooking facilities so I can't shop for healthy options.

I know that some might say "enjoy yourself and eat what you want - you're on vacation!" but I'm very worried about eating what I want. I struggle with binge eating and am afraid that if I stray from my routine for even a day or two that I will fall off the wagon.

The good news is that I am staying at hotels with fitness centers, and Rome is a city where you end up doing a lot of walking every day. I can do a couple of miles on a treadmill, then walk throughout the day, so I don't think exercise will be a problem.

Any tips on things I might be able to do in order to avoid eating stuff I shouldn't? If anybody has been to Italy, are there some foods that are easy to find and I can eat without guilt?

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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I've never been to Italy and can't help with specific menu choices. However, I'd like to say this. You mentioned being shy about going to a restaurant alone. STOP right now with this thinking! You are independent enough to go to Italy alone (I really admire this!) You are also independent enough to go to a restaurant alone. Take a magazine or a book. Let meals be a short amount of "down" time in your busy day. I'm not trying to be critical, but I'm not sure what the difference would be in eating in a restaurant alone or eating at the hotel or fast food restaurant alone. Don't think too much about it and just do it. After all, no on there even knows you! What better time to be brave and push yourself to try something you never did before? A woman alone with a book will look mysterious and glamorous, don't you think? LOL

As for eating tips - I guess you have to try to stop thinking of the pizza and pasta and concentrate on other foods that may be local favorites. Don't "indulge" in anything that you could easily get at home, like ice cream or soda. Save the calories - whatever they may be - for something you would never get here.

If the breakfast is a buffet, see if you can make a plate and take it back to your room. Choose fruit and lean protein, a slice of rye or whole wheat toast, maybe. Then turn your back. Forget about "getting your money's worth" at a buffet. That's what does us in every time! Or grab fruit and a piece of cheese and leave the hotel for the day. Just don't llok back!

Steer clear of fast food the same as you would at home.

Make time every MORNING to work out - you will be so much less likely to binge if you spent time early in the day doing something healthy.

I'm sure you will do well with a little though and planning to your meals. Try not to let the "good times" be tied to eating. We all do this and it has gotten us into trouble. Let the trip itself be the "good time." When you make a choice, just make it the best you can for that one choice. Each and every time. Personally, my advice would never be to just eat what you want because you're on vacation. My advice would be to let this be part of the learning process that we don't have to eat to have a good time. You have 12 weeks of "practice" in how to live a healthy lifestyle. You have a few more weeks before you go. Do all you can to get yourself set for a healthy good time. YOU CAN DO IT. We'll be thinking of you and expecting you to check back in.

One last thing - join a challenge or 2 in here. Set a mini goal for the end of the year and join the "100 Day Challenge" thread - it started when there were 100 days left in 2011. You can jump in now. With a goal in mind for the end of the year and a group of friends cheering you on, you should have an easier time making the right choices. You'll have to check back in when you return and be accountable. Not that anyone is critical, but I find it helps.

Hope to see you in some of the threads. You'll find great support here.


Life style change started on Jan 13, 2011. I was going to lose 100 pounds by Christmas.
I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
Just Keep On Keepin' On

Last edited by linJber; 10-10-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
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When I went to Alaska--land of fresh seafood, which I could eat forever and ever, amen--I kept myself somewhat under control by not having a calorie limit, but still keeping a rough calorie count. It's not always possible to be exact, but you can estimate some, and that keeps you mindful of what you do eat. I don't, however, suggest staying in mega weight-loss mode whilst in Italy, unless these sorts of trips are common for you.

Gelato isn't worth it, though; you can get it state-side if you have the desire for it later, but it isn't much better than ice cream. Keep that in mind to keep temptation at bay.

Also, if you go to the Vatican, just outside there, in Rome proper, there's this restaurant. If you're going to splurge, I suggest doing so there on the gnocchi with gorgonzola radicchio sauce. It was really reasonably priced; they also, when I was there, had some healthy options--I remember specifically seeing fish.

. . .I'm not helpful.

And for my next trick...
(My seldom-updated blog)
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for the reply. I will check the 100 day challenge as suggested. I haven't been weighing myself because it will depress me, but also because it's about more than my weight - it's about just feeling better and being healthier.

I think I'll be all right, exercise-wise, while I'm gone. I splurged a little on hotels so I could get hotel rooms with exercise equipment. One of the hotels is also next to a park with an 8 km walking trail. I find that as long as I keep exercising, I will control my food. I guess I don't overeat on the days I exercise because it would feel like I had just wasted all this effort.

Anyway, thanks. Really glad I found this site.
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