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Old 12-15-2007, 08:30 AM   #1  
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Default Traveling for the Holidays--Advice Needed

Morning, all!

With just a bit over a week until Christmas, I am finally in the home stretch of final exams and closing up classes (I'm a college teacher and a doctoral student). My biggest concern is coming up in 6 days, though. This year, I made the brilliant decision to travel to a warm locale for the holidays. I know I'll enjoy the weather, but I am VERY VERY concerned about the whole eating aspect (do you ever feel like your thoughts revolve around what you will or won't eat?). For the most part, for 7 days, we will be eating out.

I could really use some advice on how to plan for and survive this trip. I want it to be fun, but for some reason having to keep track of what I'm eating makes it seem like it won't be. On a positive note, I am preparing for the trip by buying a bathroom scale just like my one at home and bringing it with me to weigh every morning as I do at home and I am buying a food scale as I use at home and weighing and measuring my food. I also hope/plan to take early morning advantage of the fitness center where I'm staying.

Enjoy your Saturday!
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:51 AM   #2  
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Quote:
do you ever feel like your thoughts revolve around what you will or won't eat?
Yes!! But I haven't figured out a better way to handle maintenance, so that's just the way it has to be.

Oh boy, I envy you your warm weather vacation! You have a lot of good ideas already. I can tell you've given this a lot of thought.

I think the problem with vacation weight gain happens when people say: "oh, I'm on vacation" and then completely abandon all their eating strategies.
Just planning and mentally rehearsing your trip (like you're doing) will do wonders for staying on track. *

As for how to survive a trip, here's a few things that I've learned over the past six years and a lot of trips ...

Daily exercise can really reduce any damage caused by eating out so often. And it makes me want to eat healthy for the rest of the day.

* I can eyeball portions and guesstimate calories well enough so that I don't have to be logging everything that I eat the way I would at home. I just keep a rough mental calorie tally.

*When I'm away, I tend to eat fewer meals but more calories at each meal and it seems to even out.

*You can find oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast at almost any restaurant, even if you have to ask. Don't even look at the breakfast buffet!

*I take along protein bars and individually bagged up servings of almonds for times that I'm starving.

*I pack food to take on the plane rather than relying on airport food. Unfortunately, you can't do it on the way home.

*I'm sure we all know how to order in a restaurant to minimize calories. Lots of times I'll choose an appetizer as an entree.

I'm sure that the others will think of some more ideas! But you're thinking and planning now, so I don't think you'll have any problems with weight gain while you're gone.

Have a wonderful trip and think of us with the snow and ice.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:03 AM   #3  
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You are more dedicated than I am. I would not take scales on my vacation. They would cause me to focus more on the food and less on the vacation itself.

I survived a wine 'n' dine vacation in October eating out every meal and traveling from winery to winery
What worked for me:
  • Plan exercise opportunities into your trip - fitness center, walking whenever possible, hiking the locale, etc.
  • Either order from the side menu, split a menu item with another person, or request a half order
  • Stick to menu items that are fairly uncomplicated recipes. Pasta with marinara sauce vs. alfredo sauce for instance.
  • Skip the bread/chips basket, or if others at the table want these items, keep passing them until they are out of your reach
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side
  • Don't be afraid to ask for your food to be prepared differently. Can you leave out ...? Can I have steamed veggies? Can I substitute ...?
  • If you have access to a grocery store to purchase healthy snacks (or can bring) - do so. Eat a snack before you dine out. You will be less likely to devour the appetizers, bread, chips, or other starter courses.

And most importantly - relax, have fun - keep your eating under control, but don't let it be the focus of your vacation. Even if you slip up, pick yourself up - and HAVE FUN!

Last edited by CountingDown; 12-15-2007 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:34 AM   #4  
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Really good tips!

I agree with Meg that the breakfast buffet in most motels/hotels is a dangerous place--but these days there are sometimes some reasonable offerings to be had there. Sometimes you can find plain oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, and fruit.

Since you may or may not be able to store leftovers from the restaurant, plan ahead to just leave any uneaten food. Don't feel like you have to finish the plate to "save" the food! Lots of us have done that for years, and are still carrying the results around. If you have a room with a refrigerator, then take the leftovers home--but again, don't hesitate to throw them out! This is especially true of things like pasta, where most restaurants serve a heap.

Yep, dressing on the side, gravy on the side, sauce on the side. Other than that, choose the dishes that sound good to you and just eat a reasonable serving portion.

Some restaurants offer smaller portion entrees these days--ask!

It can be done! Good for you for planning ahead!

Jay

Last edited by JayEll; 12-15-2007 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:14 PM   #5  
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Meg, CountingDown, and JayEll,

Thanks for the ideas and support. I'm going to print them out and take them with me along with billfolds of my before shot. I DO want to enjoy the vacation, but I don't think I'll enjoy it if it means having to come back home and fight extra weight off again!

If others have ideas, I am DEFINITELY interested!
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:24 AM   #6  
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Smile What has worked for me

Believe it or not, I actually got to my original goal when I was on vacation. I tend to maintain or lose while away; maybe the change in scene helps me in some way.

Some of my tricks:
1. Pack my resistance band and sheet of exercises--no matter what (pool closed, weather too lousy to walk, etc.) I can at least do that.
2. If you have a mini-fridge in your room, keep plain ff yogurt, a few pieces of fruit and some bottled water.
3. If you only have an ice bucket, you can keep a couple of lf cheese sticks in it overnight
4. Carry healthy snacks w/you during the day (small bag of Cheerios w/almonds, etc.).
5. Eating a filling breakfast helps me keep a good amount of energy for the whole morning
6. You can make oatmeal in your room by running water thru the coffeemaker so it becomes hot water and mixing it w/a small packet of (unsweetened) oatmeal. Add a sliced banana.

Have a great time!
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