In this episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers, Molly tackles the issue of keeping up a food plan for weight loss as we move into the summer season where more people are participating in social plans or going on vacations or to special events, and it can feel more tempting than usual to over-indulge in food. She shares her tips for how she thinks about eating on vacations and how she makes a plan for herself when she does go on them.
Molly advises that the first step for anyone going on vacation should be to decide what their goal is for their weight while on their trip - gaining, maintaining, or losing. She also advises writing down ahead of time all of the foods you’d like to eat on your vacation, and then auditing that list to pick out what’s really worth it to you to indulge in. By knowing what your goal is ahead of time, it is much easier to work out a meal plan that will suit that goal, and then actually stick to that meal plan with intention.
Molly also discusses the importance of thinking about the other things, outside of food, that you would like to experience on your vacation, and assessing what kind of meals will help you best achieve all of your travel goals (ie. if you want to spend time in nature and go on a lot of hikes, then less heavy meals that will fuel you for exercise are a good way to go). She wraps up by offering tips for how to readjust to a normal food plan after getting home from a vacation, by pre-planning and even preparing meals ahead of time to immediately get back into your normal weight-loss schedule.
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● Molly’s own personal thoughts on enjoying food while on vacation.
● Clarifying your weight goals (gaining, maintaining, or losing) before you go on a vacation.
● How to form a list of all of the foods most important to you to be able to eat while on vacation.
● How to use those pre-determined goals and food checklists to make a meal plan for a trip.
● Finding joy in other things outside of food when traveling.
● If you break outside of your meal plan, take time to write down what it was that you ate and the reasons why you may have been tempted to do so - finding out those reasons helps you understand the mindset behind having trouble sticking to your plan, and how to address (and avoid) that in the future.
● Plan for/prepare food to eat the day you get back from your trip, so that you immediately get back into the food plan for weight loss instead of continuing to eat like you did on vacation.
● “(On vacation) I want to feel like I am trying different types of cuisine, that I am learning more about the culture and the regional differences based on the food.”
● “As I have changed the way I eat and as I have lost weight, I don’t want my entire focus to be about the food. I don’t want to spend all my time over-indulging, because that just works to really ramp up my desire again. That really is kind of narrowing my focus to one particular way to experience pleasure.”
● “The first thing I want you to ask yourself is do you want to gain weight, maintain your current weight, or lose weight on your trip.”
● “If you’re interested in staying committed to your goal of weight loss once you get back from your trip, then you still need to be making conscious decisions that you’re following. Because I want you to still keep that higher part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex part of your brain, in charge while you’re on vacation.”
● “You don’t want to revert back to just making spontaneous decisions in the moment because it’s going to be a lot harder for you when you get back.”
● “Once you have your intention set, the next part of planning a vacation is writing down all of the foods that you would like to have.”
● “I want you to imagine each of those foods on the list and play it out in your mind - ask yourself “Is this really going to taste amazing? Is it gonna be incredible? Is it gonna be worth it?” If the answer is yes, keep it on the list.”
● “You want it to be something that’s enjoyable and pleasurable, otherwise what’s the point?”
● “One of my focuses is “How do I want to feel each day?” because if I am eating a lot of heavy meals, I am not going to have a lot of energy.”
● “What I want to suggest to you is that you think beyond the vacation, to what your plan is the next day.”
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