I have been thinking a lot about vacations lately: hearing stories about others’ vacations as well as planning my own. Food issues can arise for people who struggle with emotional eating when they are out of their normal routine and away from home. Sometimes a sort of panic sets in concerning some unknowns, such as: Will there be enough food or will I get what I need? I know that is an odd concept for those who do not have food issues and are normal eaters, but it is a real concern for many who emotionally overeat. Vacations come with an intention of pleasure, but emotions that lead to overeating can come into play. I like to help people look at the sometimes hidden stressors that can be present on a vacation. Then you can be on the lookout for them and take some proactive steps to decrease them.
Some stressors that can be present on a vacation that can lead to emotional eating are:
1) Eating on the go.
2) Eating in the car.
3) Eating food you do not normally eat.
4) Eating at odd hours.
5) Eating food that is out of your comfort zone.
Vacations are a welcome activity of the summer and I hope you can really embrace them. Here are some steps to help you manage your eating and strategize to eat in a way that nourishes your body.
1) Split a meal with someone else. Leftovers can be hard to manage when you are on vacation and can set you up to overeat at a meal.
2) Take care of yourself. Remember this is a vacation. Have fun and relax.
3) Eat at your regular times. There is a point where you can feel off by not eating when you normally do. Your body does have a rhythm and honoring it can be important.
4) Plan to sit while eating; avoid eating while you are driving.
These steps can help you eat more mindfully, which in turn helps you eat what fuels your body. Your vacation is about fun and having new and memorable experiences. When your concerns about overeating are lessened there is more time to experience the opportunities that a vacation can give you.
Kim McLaughlin M.A. is a licensed therapist and a motivational coach working with people who engage in emotional eating or binge eating. She has certification as an Intuitive Eating Counselor. If you are in need of services contact Kim McLaughlin here.
Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating here or visit her website at www.feedyoursoulunlimited.com.