Planning a Trip Overseas

My client, Jen, is leaving on Saturday for a two-week trip to Europe. In session this week, we discussed how she would handle her eating on the trip and what skills she would continue to practice while she was away. In her daily life at home, in addition to doing things like reading her Advantages List and Response Cards, eating everything sitting down, slowly, and mindfully, and limiting dessert to one time per day, Jen has also been counting calories and doing well staying at or under 1800 calories per day. Not all our dieters count calories but it works for Jen.

Jen told me that doing most of these things felt manageable on the trip, but the one thing that was stressing her out was the 1800-calorie limit. She felt that it would be really hard to count everything, both because she would be in restaurants and eating new foods so frequently, and also because she wouldn’t have internet access everywhere to make counting easy.Trip Overseas

When making a vacation plan, it’s critical that it doesn’t feel overly difficult because if it does, when you get on the trip and have a hard time sticking to it, chances are high that you’ll have a thought like, “It’s too hard to work on my eating while on this trip. I’ll just eat whatever I want and get back on track once I get home.” Doing so means you’ll likely take way more calories in (and therefore gain more weight) than you would if you had a more reasonable plan and stayed committed to working on being in control the whole trip.

Jen and I decided that a reasonable compromise would be for her to continue writing down everything she eats (in the notes function of her phone, because she would always have it with her to take pictures, even if she doesn’t have internet access), but not worry about counting calories. Writing down everything she eats will do a whole lot of good: it will make Jen very aware of what she’s eating because she’ll know she has to write it down and she’ll stay accountable for every bite that she takes. She’ll also maintain the habit of tracking her eating so that when she gets home and reinstitutes the 1800 calorie limit, it won’t feel like as a big a shift as it would to go from no tracking back to total tracking. Jen knows that without counting calories, it’s possible she will gain a pound or two. She’s okay with this because she’ll be in a very good position to get that weight right off once she gets home, as she’ll be keeping her resistance muscle strong throughout the whole trip.

3 replies
  1. Beth McGilvray
    Beth McGilvray says:

    The other challenge with foreign travel is not having a scale. My solution for that is to take only clothes that really fit. That way I know if my weight is creeping up.

    Reply
  2. European
    European says:

    While I find the advice valuable in general, what stroke me is that in most of Europe, it should be actually easier to stick to healthy and reasonable diet. Just because in restaurants portions are smaller and not everything is served with French fries as it is the case in the US diners. Good luck to Jen.

    Reply
  3. Diane M Howey
    Diane M Howey says:

    Awesome ideas! I just spent a month traveling overseas and I agree counting calories would be a challenge that would eventually fall by the waste side! But love the idea of just writing down everything I eat. One question I ask myself when I travel and I am tempted to eat something< typically at a time of day I would not be eating, is this; "would I eat this if I were at home?" The answer is 'NO" so I dont eat it then.

    Reply

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