How to Be an Intuitive Eater While Traveling

Learning to eat intuitively in your day to day life and routine is hard enough… now what do you do when you’re traveling!?

(Part 1 – Leading up to Vacation)

I think MOST importantly and probably the best advice I can give is to continue living your same lifestyle leading up to vacation and travel.

Don’t change anything before travel because this can trigger an “diet” mindset…

👉🏼No restricting food and trying to eat less.
👉🏼Don’t change your eating habits. Continue listening to your body and honoring your choices!
👉🏼No need to exercise more and trying to get in shape and change your body before you leave.
👉🏼You don’t need to weigh yourself and obsess about the number!!!

Lack of desperation to over indulge comes from not changing your habits prior to you leaving.

DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF!!! Go out to eat if plans come up. Don’t push yourself to get up for a 4am workout to catch your 10am flight!!

As a health and nutrition coach and as a woman that has overcome diet culture and a horrible relationship with food. As someone that values her nutrition and health. I am telling you to eat the ice cream the night before the trip IF that’s what you WANT!!

I repeat if you try to control your behaviors and change your habits leading up to vacation you’re in a place of lack/scarcity and it will change your mindset, thoughts and overall eating behaviors on vacation!!

(Part 2 – travel day) 🙌🏼

Old thoughts on travel day can be how do I avoid bad airport food, I need to pack a million snacks, already stressed about eating on vacation and fearing weight gain.

Yes, it’s great to be prepared and bring snacks and I still do, but I think it’s more important to start paying attention to your body and what makes you feel your best when traveling. When you know YOU, it’s not about following external rules it becomes what will bring me joy around
food and my experience.

If possible, I eat before I get to the airport but if not there is no stress around airport food anymore. I find what’s available for what I’m wanting in that moment, eat and move on. I need food in my stomach when flying and I feel better when I eat snacks on the plane and stay hydrated. But what my body needs isn’t necessarily what yours needs so pay attention to your body and what makes you feel good.

I practice practical eating meaning even if I am not overly hungry before my flight I eat in response to anticipated hunger. The same way you will pee before you get on the plane it’s okay to eat even if you’re not overly hungry.

A lot of times you won’t have a set eating plan and you don’t know what types of food will be available but allow it to happen and trust in yourself. Don’t worry so much about the food, continue to check in with your body and how you feel. Continue to eat foods you really enjoy and also foods that make you feel good.

Remember that you will have more relaxed energy around food if you’re CONSISTENTLY eating, CONSISTENTLY eating what you want and CONSISTENTLY satisfied…. Before, during and after your trip!

(Part 3 – During Your Trip)

Allow yourself to enjoy and embrace in the vacation… the people you’re with, the time away from work, the abundance of all types of foods, the activities you’re doing, not waking up to an alarm clock!

Each day remind yourself of these things. Set an intention for your day and how you will be present versus stressed about food.

You might be actively eating more, having a margarita at noon, more carbs and less veggies than normal or maybe you’re eating more fruit and fresh foods but when you continue to practice IE it’s not coming from a place of desperation and lack!!

Meaning you can still eat all foods without feeling the need to over indulge because you’re no longer cheating or labeling your food as “bad”. You know you can always eat those foods. Yes, you might overdo it at times because your meal is that good and it’s okay 👍🏼 Vacation is meant to be enjoyed with food.

Also, your thought process doesn’t have to change based on where you are in the traveling process either. Continue to navigate the food that is available, no change in your mindset or your internal world. Just because it’s day 4 in and you have been free around food doesn’t mean now you have to switch to eating clean. Listen to what your body wants and allow yourself to trust in that. If your body is craving more nutrient dense foods go for it. If not, that’s okay too.

If you can include planning like stopping for fresh food because it’s what will make you feel good then go for it, but also know it’s okay if you don’t. You plan most days of your life so you’re allowed to enjoy the freedom. There is really no right or wrong here. When you learn to honor your hunger and satiety you can trust yourself to make food choices that work best for you in that moment without having to stress about your previous meal or next meal.

Have fun! Enjoy the entire experience! Be in the environment and vibe!

(Part 4 – When You Get Home)

I am not suggesting that as a dieter you don’t enjoy yourself on vacation. You still indulge but from my own experience it was a harmful way of restricting and stuffing myself and feeling guilty and then telling myself I will be good again when I get home. But as an IE you get to experience life in a different way without that cloud hanging over your head of starting over again! You eat freely and go with the flow and travel freely!

When you get home there is no making up for anything! Slowly slip back into your normal lifestyle! If you want chocolate the day you get back, cool!! If you have the mindset that you will restrict again when you get home to make up for all the “bad” foods you ate over vacation it will cause you to eat even more on vacation.

When you get home don’t stress about your weight and if your clothes are feeling a little tighter. Your weight can fluctuate up and down and that’s normal!! You probably feel like you need to cut more foods and workout harder. This mindset actually causes more stress and anxious thoughts and actions are food and your body! You don’t need to cut out foods and restrict. You don’t need to exercise even harder. I know it’s a normal thought to think this is the solution, but it’s not!

I assure you it’s a natural, potential fluctuation of life and it’s okay!! Knowing your weight can change and that it’s actually normal will help you keep a neutral mindset! Also, vacation for a lot of people includes more walking and activities, fresh food, etc so heck you might come back feeling even better.

Intuitive Eating is a journey and there is no finish line. There is no failing and right or wrong answers, it’s all learning about your body and what makes you feel your best. Take time to reflect on your vacation. What felt good for you? What didn’t feel so good? What might you try differently next time?

So remember, it’s normal to feel a little anxious when you arrive home but the more you can ease back into normal life and honoring your eating choices the better you will feel!!

If you found this helpful, please comment below what tips you will use!!

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