Taking a “vacation” from healthy eating

I am on vacation – several weeks of sharing a beach house with friends and family – and I am eating (and drinking) very well! People often say to me “Have some more of this [fill in the blank: junk food, fried food, rich desert, Bloody Mary], you are on vacation!”  For many people who succumb to this kind of peer pressure, the result is unwanted weight gain that is very difficult to reverse. They rationalize: “As soon as I get home, I am going on a strict diet, and will work out twice a day!”  The diet doesn’t work and the rigorous workout routine rarely lasts a full week.

Fortunately, my eating and drinking patterns do not change when I am on vacation or having a “special occasion” because I have figured out a way to eat and drink very well ALL the time.  In that sense, I am always on vacation when it comes to healthy behavior and good eating.  True, I may overeat (or drink) for one meal or event, but easily compensate by eating and drinking less for two or three other meals. Here is some advice for coping with vacations and other special occasions (from Weight Management for Your Life):

If you have been successfully working on changing your eating and exercise patterns for some time, you will encounter situations where someone will say to you “This is a special occasion, so go ahead and eat that cake!” The cake is not the issue, but the implication behind the statement is. People observing your healthier lifestyle will assume you are in a constant state of self-deprivation, and will want to see you “loosen up.” It is important to them to feel okay about their own “indulgences.” The problem with your buying into that theory is that it discounts the fact that you already are eating (and exercising) the way you want to. You are not depriving yourself – in fact, by doing what you want, you are indulging yourself. Your ongoing healthy lifestyle is its own reward. Another problem with going back to old unhealthy habits, even temporarily, is that such “special occasions” come up frequently: out-of-town trips, weddings, graduations, birthdays, holidays, cruises, office parties, etc. etc. Add the special occasions with their special “indulgences” or “rewards” up over the course of a year and you have put on an unwanted five to ten pounds.

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