Weekend Eats: Girls' Trip (+ Vacay Eating Tips)
Let's be real - the main point of this is to justify my need to take food pics every where I go (sorry to everyone who has to wait till their food is cold just for me to get that perfect shot!)
This post is actually a great follow up to my previous one because the way vacation weekends go down now is VERY different from years past. I used to get so nervous about eating most of my meals out because I couldn't control it and that was such a shame! I'll share some tips I use to enjoy fun foods (and some drinks) without derailing from my goals + some obligatory food pics :)
1: keep it active!
Ever feel like a slug coming back from a trip that involved lots of eating out and sitting around? I know I have. One of the best things you can do is make sure there is activity planned into your trip. This is a great way to see the area, have fun with your friends/family and allow for a little more flexibility with fun foods!
This girls' trip was a staycation for me, 2 of my college girlfriends flew in for a long weekend from the east coast. They were looking forward to escaping winter for a weekend but unfortunately it was cold and rainy the. whole. entire. weekend. This put a damper (literally) on a lot of our outdoor plans since this weather is almost unheard of in SoCal and we had to get creative! Here are a few of the things we did to get some movement in each day and we had a blast doing it!
2: Don't skip meals!
It can be tempting to skip meals when you know some of them will be bigger/richer than your typical fare (I used to be so guilty of this) but doing this only sets you up to overeat at the next meal. Instead, stick to your usual meal timing with a balance of carbs, protein and fat to keep you satisfied, fueled and better able to make appropriate portion size choices.
3: Get some veggies on your plate - no matter what
You will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that doesn't have some sort of veggie side you can ask for - steamed veggies, a side salad, etc. This is a great way to up the nutrient content of your meal and provide filling volume that can help you keep your portion sizes in check for the tastier items.
4: Don't skimp on the protein
This can be easy to do if you are loosening your dietary reigns on a holiday weekend but I encourage you to always prioritize protein at your meals to keep you full and keep your metabolism revved up (and help you recover from things like unexpectedly hard bike rides or rock climbing to failure ;)).
5: Enjoy your splurges but know when to share
Life is wayyyy to short for food guilt. This doesn't mean an all weekend free-for-all, but it means when you choose something that you really want to have, enjoy it! Take a minute to evaluate your level of hunger in addition to your desire for that food, you may find that you really want to try it but aren't necessarily hungry enough for the whole thing. This is when you can share it with your friends!
6: Focus on the places/people you get to see and have fun!
We work way too hard to not enjoy the hell out of the long weekends, staycations, trips, etc that we get the chance to have. Keeping the focus on spending time with loved ones will always be a great thing!
7: Recovering from a vacay
In addition to the emotional toll of the post-vacay blues, it is quite common to to have physical symptoms as well. Including more treats than usual (for me this was more wheat and alcohol than a typical weekend) can leave you feeling a little bloated and not 100%. Previously, this would have made me want to restrict and exercise to "burn off" the treats from the weekend but this is actually the opposite of what we should do.
- Don't restrict. Eating more than usual over the course of a weekend means that your metabolic rate has considerably sped up (our bodies are amazing like that) so the focus should be on keeping that fire burning with your usual balanced eating and meal timing!
- Heal inflammation. There's a chance that your digestive system took a bit of a hit with the food choices on vacation. Focus on healing that inflammation by eating nutrient dense veggies, high quality proteins and healthy, unrefined fats (read: real food). This would also be a great time to focus on drinking tons of water and enlisting the help of supplements like probiotics and glutamine that target your GI tract specifically.
- Let it go. If you feel stuck with the thoughts of lingering food guilt (I hear you, I've been there!) I encourage you to just let that go! One weekend "off track" doesn't derail you (in fact, it is pretty well documented that diet breaks are a great way to boost your metabolism by upregulating your thyroid hormone production,  ) and worrying about it doesn't change a thing. Take a deep breath, shake it off, and move back into your normal routine while enjoying the fact that you just might have increased your metabolic rate :)
Thanks for reading, I hope you are having a great week so far!
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Muller, M. J., Enderle, J., Pourhassan, M., Braun, W., Eggeling, B., Lagerpusch, M., . . . Bosy-Westphal, A. (2015). Metabolic adaptation to caloric restriction and subsequent refeeding: the Minnesota Starvation Experiment revisited. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(4), 807-819. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.109173