3 Tips: How to Indulge Like a Pro on Vacation

by | Mar 2, 2023 | 0 comments

I am the first one to say it isn’t a vacation without a little indulging (or a lot of it!) But what if you wanted to make sure all of your hard efforts weren’t for nothing when sipping margaritas by the pool? Here is my guide on ‘how-to indulge like a pro’ on vacation.

Indulge mindfully on vacation
Indulging mindfully on vacation

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Tip #1: Let’s Welcome New Foods

From one foodie to another, can it even be called a vacation without fantastic food? I would even go so far as to say that part of the reasons we go away is to eat and drink. I don’t know about you but eating incredible food is a form of relaxation for me.

And there is so much science behind why eating food feels good. By fueling the body, our brain rewards us by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that improve an overall sense of happiness and reduce stress. (1).

Not to mention, if traveling to an exotic place of the world and you get a chance to discover the culinary jewels of the region, don’t say no to this on account of “being healthier.” There is room for both. (Just see tip #2 about how to indulge mindfully).

Vacation is sprinkled with opportunities for delicacies that we might not normally have access to at home (i.e., local/cultural cuisine, seasonal items and restaurant specific meals). I fully believe in welcoming new foods, new experiences and new indulgences.

I don’t know about you but eating incredible food is a form of relaxation for me.

– Marissa Beck, MS, RDN

Tip #1 Summary:

Say yes to trying new foods! Recognize these moments are opportunities, not guilt-trips.

Pain au Chocolat
Pain au Chocolat, anyone?

Tip #2: Vacation is a Continuum of Real Life

I don’t believe in restriction for your everyday nutrition. When I say vacation is a continuum of real life, it’s not the food that stays the same while away, it’s the mindset you’re bringing with you from home that doesn’t change.

And no that doesn’t mean we opt for the meal that most resembles what we eat at home. I’m looking at you, oatmeal for breakfast with berries and a hint of cinnamon.

But what it does mean is that we don’t go bat-sh*t nuts at every meal thinking, “this is my only chance.” We don’t think that way at home, so why do that to ourselves while away?

Sure, it might be “the only chance” to dine in X restaurant and have Y meal. But we can definitely order the home-made spaghetti carbonara and not feel like the only way to enjoy it is by eating all of it. Our experience of vacationing won’t be minimized if we don’t eat the whole thing.

Indulge mindfully on vacation
We can fully enjoy a burger and fries – and leave the ‘all or nothing’ mindset behind

On the flip side, our experience of vacationing will be enhanced if we really tune into our internal cues.

But say you’re already full but of course have room for dessert? I say go for it – you can still enjoy tastes and share a dessert with companions without it wrecking you.

I love helping people aim for moderation over perfection. With this type of mindset, it makes vacationing feel very similar to real life as far as the third tip.

Tip #2 Summary:

While on vacation, indulge all you want! But bring your moderate mindset from home.

Tip #3: Listen to Your Body

The bottom line: I recommend listening to your body and following hunger-fullness cues – especially if vacationing has you adjusting to a different time zone. Indulging isn’t fun when your body is full and you’re exhausted.

How do you listen to your body when there is an incredible mass of deliciousness in front of you, at every meal?

It takes practice and a concerted effort to tap into internal cues and emotions. A good place to start is by figuring out prior to starting the meal where your hunger is. Did you come into this meal at empty? Or are you feeling neutral?

Another way I help clients to tune into their bodies is by athletic visualization. I talk a lot about this in my Halloween Candy Post believe it or not, and put simply, it’s the way we want to envision ourselves behaving prior to the event. There is good research to show that active visualization about how we want to be in a specific moment makes it more likely to follow through whether it is athletic or sitting down to a meal.

Tip #3 Summary:

Listen to hunger-fullness cues the best you can while away.

Maximize Your Potential for Success

So next time you’re in between getting something basic versus splurging, think about how it doesn’t need to be one or the other. I have created a powerful 1:1 program that you can participate in with me for personalized attention about how to listen to your body. Visit my contact page to book your free call!


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Marissa Beck, MS, RDN, Founder of REVV Health, is an award-winning dietitian and recognized nutrition counselor with over 13 years of experience.

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