1. Start from a good place
Plan ahead and start your vacation at or below your target weight, or if you’re in the process of slimming down, take off 2 pounds or so the week before you leave. Your vacation is not the time to be playing catch-up.
2. Plan to eat food that is delicious.
On your vacation especially, relish, delight in what you eat. This goes triple when you’re in a new place, surrounded by all kinds of different, interesting, even exotic tastes. Make sure what you eat is really good; then you don’t need all that much. You can get bulk any old time and it’s not enjoyable anyway. Eat delicious food, slowly. Take small bites and savor every one. Fill yourself – with pleasure.
3. Stop when you’ve had enough.
Enough is enough. Any more is too much, making you feel stuffed and bloated. Too much screws up your digestion. You don’t want that on your vacation, do you? Though she loved you, in this one thing your mother was mistaken: it’s not your job to clean your plate, especially on your down time.
4. Take full advantage of where you are.
Seek out the different, the exotic, have new experiences, add to your catalog of wonderful tastes and foods. Enjoy the flavors and their interplay, the textures, the scents, and the appearance. Your tongue is a marvelous organ. This is a time to experiment, to be adventurous.
5. Eat s – l – o – w – l – y, one bite at a time.
Put your fork (chop sticks, etc.) down after every bite. Chew that bite; savor it, try different spots on your tongue. Not worth savoring? – you should be eating something better (see point 2).
6. In a restaurant, order small (but good!).
Entrees tend to be huge portions. Order a couple appetizers, or an appetizer and a salad. Split an entrée with a companion. Or box up half of it (when it comes) for later – tomorrow’s fantastic lunch, on the beach or by that waterfall. After you’ve eaten what you ordered, if it’s not enough, you can always order another appetizer or a small desert.
7. On a cruise
Yes, the food is “free” (meaning you’ve already paid for it), plentiful, and everywhere. They want you to eat. But the same principles apply. Promise yourself you’ll eat only food that is delicious – save yourself for the very best. Stop when you’ve had enough. Enjoy every aspect of where you are, including the cuisine. Eat slowly and order (or choose) small but good – very good.
8. Be aware but don’t obsess.
If you think you overdid it yesterday, cut back a little today. Reiterate 2 – 7 above. Whatever you do, do not beat yourself up. You don’t want to have to take off 10 pounds after you come back, but 2-4? – you know how to do that, right?