I don’t feel guilty of eating and on the contrary, I preach guilt-free eating. This is not an accident but a hard-learned technique that I discovered through my weight loss journey.
How To Not Feel Guilty About Eating On Vacation? Balance is the name of the game. And balance doesn’t mean sacrifice! When on vacation, keep one meal healthy every day and you won’t feel guilty. Also, a couple of weeks of slips won’t derail you from your long healthy-eating journey.
The question “How To Not Feel Guilty About Eating On Vacation” seems like a trick question. I approach the problem in two ways.
- I want to eat right during vacation without feeling guilty
- I want to indulge during vacation and not feel guilty
Balanced eating isn’t so straightforward on a vacation. Nevertheless, it isn’t as dreaded as it is made out to be. Once you know it then it is simple. Let us learn the art of balancing.
Balanced Eating On A Vacation
I will two give approaches to learning the skill of balancing
This approach is for people who have to leave on vacation tomorrow or luckily are on one already.
Just have one healthy meal every day. I usually rely on fruits, dry fruits, and edible raw vegetables for this. Before you find it boring, let me show you how this could be your best decision. You may discover a new activity that you can do each time you travel or go on vacation. Thank me later 😉
The breakfast and dinner are usually the favorite meals when on a vacation. So please don’t try to go healthy with these meals. Instead, spoil yourself. Try the local food or any comfort food you like. Vacation is the time for indulgence.
- Speak to locals about their favorite fruits and vegetables*. Find them and let it be your lunch.
- Look up the internet for exclusive fruits and vegetables* of that area and find it in the local market
- Randomly explore the local market to compare the local fruits and vegetables with the same ones you find at your home place. Taste them and find which one is better according to you.
- If you like to cook and have a facility and tools for it then you can even cook quick soups and stir-fries.
- If you are good with people and can make friends easily, then you can enjoy a meal at a local’s place. This meal will definitely be healthier than outside food. Also, the good time spent will be priceless.
- Speak to other tourists if they had any healthy meals. If it sounds healthy and delicious then give it a try.
* Edible raw vegetables
Have whole fruit and not a fruit juice. Have at least 3 fruits so that you feel full. It shouldn’t feel like fasting. In fact, eat as much as you want. This will keep you full longer and help you avoid overeating during other meals.
For dry fruits, you can either carry them yourself from your place or follow the aforementioned activity. Unlike fruits go light on dry fruits. Don’t have them as much as you want. A fistful should be more than enough for the whole day.
Exploring the local market is no less than a sightseeing experience. I don’t mean the local supermarket but the local farmers market or any market where they sell fresh produce.
Also, learning about the local food and its significance from the local inhabitants is a cultural experience in itself.
If you love cooking then explore the local cooking tricks and techniques.
Bonding and socialising over food is one of the oldest traditions of mankind. It is hard to feel guilty when you approach indulgence with this attitude.
Certain food preparations are usually healthy e.g. salads, soups, stir-fries, sandwiches, etc. One of your meals can be from them. Though a little knowledge is needed, they are usually safe food e.g. the dressing on the salad should be light and healthy, the soup shouldn’t be very creamy, etc.
If keeping one whole meal healthy is a challenge then you can try to add a healthy component to each meal. Have a meal comprising of fruits, edible raw vegetables, and the main course. This will restrict your unhealthy intake.
If you are still struggling, then have one healthy meal on alternate days. But I strongly recommend doing it every day. It isn’t difficult if you do with the right mindset.
Just one good wholesome meal should help you get your necessary nutrition. Of course, it won’t be complete but then we are talking balance here.
Striving to keep just one meal healthy is a very good hack. It stops you from mindless eating. Also, it gives you a psychological boost that you are not being totally unhealthy. This helps you enjoy your comfort food even more, keeping the guilt at bay.
“Balanced diet” is the oldest healthy-eating cliche I believe. The long term approach to balanced eating would be to improve your eating habits in general. This will help you eat the right way even on a vacation.
Below are the few techniques you can use to improve your eating habit:
- Learn Healthy-Eating as a skill
Once you learn it as a skill, it will become a new habit. Forming a habit takes a long time and it cannot be derailed by a few slips. In fact, James Clear an authority on habit formation states that “it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.”
- Learn Mindfulness
Being mindful of what you eat will help you avoid bad choices.
Mindfulness will not stop you from making a bad choice but will give you some conscious decision-making time before you make a choice. This will make you responsive rather than reactive. And the more decisions you make this way, the stronger the ability will be. With a strong conscious decision-making ability, you’ll make healthier choices in a default way.
Mindfulness meditation techniques can help you. Spend some time to learn it and it will help you in other areas of life as well.
- Learn Pranayama
Pranayama helps to regulate your breathing. It leads to a balanced way of thinking and reduced impulsive behavior.
After a few months of pranayama practice, I felt as if life slowed down. The feeling was similar to a train losing momentum. I was calmer and made better decisions. I was more aware and made healthier choices without much use of willpower.
- Plan Ahead of Time
You can balance your calorie and nutrition intake either before or after the vacation. This way you have accommodated for the excess. You’ll feel confident and this will avoid the guilt trip.
If you are comfortable with indulgence during vacation and want to manage only the guilt feeling then the following mindsets can help:
- You don’t want to regret not trying something new. In your quest for healthy eating, you shouldn’t miss out on great local delicacies. Enjoy them as there is a chance that you may never get it again in your life.
- Food is also an experience. Nutrition is the dry aspect of food. It’s the experience aspect that makes a meal. Vacationing is all about the experience. Don’t let food be a hurdle in it.
- Life is about balance and moderation. You can indulge for now and can balance later by cutting your intake. Also, you can follow the 80/20 rule – eat healthy 80 percent of the time and indulge for the other 20 percent. Vacation is the other 20%.
- Give yourself a break. Live Life! Accept and enjoy the moment of being relaxed or less strict.
- Notice the wins. Maybe you are indulging for now but you’ve been disciplined the rest of the time.
- Become mindful of the moment. Aren’t you enjoying life (and the food) and are at peace? Isn’t that what we strive for in our life? Then why overthink it and ruin it.
- Look for the good in the bad. Even the worst life situations have something good in them but only if we choose to focus on them. Find one when indulging during vacation and see your guilt disappear.
Above all, remember it’s a vacation. Don’t treat it like an escape. Your problems will return once you return. Be a mindful hedonist and soak in the pleasure of good food, good time and good vibe.
Kind request: I want to request you to have an open mind and give my program a try. I am not charging any fees for it. I genuinely want you to achieve your goal. At any point, if you face any problem in understanding the program please feel free to email me. I promise I’ll help you in every way to achieve your goal. Wish you the best. Happy Eating!