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The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Vacation Weight Loss?

Vacations can challenge our weight loss maintenance efforts. We’re away from our usual routines and our own kitchens. We want to experience new restaurants and try new foods. We may wish to rest or sleep rather than spend time exercising. We may want to go out and sightsee as much as we can instead of spending time in the hotel gym. Taking a cruise means unlimited food is available around the clock. Being on a guided tour may mean getting up early to get on the bus and coming back exhausted at the end of the day – again challenging our plans to maintain an exercise routine while on vacation.

Vacations can increase our risk of gaining weight despite our best resolve – or perhaps not?

One of my program graduates, Sharon, planned to pretty much stay “on plan” during her recent vacation. She planned to exercise in the hotel gym for her usual hour each day, and to continue with her usual way of eating – mostly vegetables, lean proteins and fruits, with small amounts of healthy grains and healthy fats. In fact, Sharon ended up eating more than she normally eats at home, and was eating foods that are not part of her weight loss maintenance plan. Yet, she came home a couple of pounds lighter than when she left on her trip.

“How did this happen?” she wondered. In thinking about it, Sharon concluded that her small weight loss was due to a variety of factors: continuing her exercise program, despite the amount of time it took away from “vacationing”; spending much more time walking than she normally does, given her sedentary desk job; continuing with her basic meal plan: lots of vegetables, lean proteins and fruits; drinking lots of water to stay well-hydrated; and enjoying treat foods in moderation, which left her feeling satisfied instead of deprived.

Nonetheless, as soon as she came back home, Sharon got right back “on plan” – implementing and sticking with the types of foods and portion sizes that have enabled her to maintain her weight loss for several years now. “I’ve been there and done that in the past. That is, I’ve had the experience of eating more (and eating off plan) on vacation, not gaining weight, and coming back home and thinking that I could just continue eating that way and still not gain weight. I was just deluding myself, and of course that did not work, given that I mostly sit all day long. This way of thinking only led me back onto the weight gain side of the weight gain-weight loss rollercoaster that I’ve ridden so many times in the past. I don’t want to get back on – ever – so it was right back “on plan” for me, as soon as I returned from my trip”.

Self-delusion is a common form of self-sabotage – we allow ourselves to believe things that are not true, rather than taking a close look at our thoughts or assumptions. I’ll be writing more about self-delusion in a future post.

Please share your vacation maintenance success strategies and challenges with me and with other readers, by commenting on this post.

With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh™ is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.