Get the most out of meals on vacation

Margaret
Margaret Prouse
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Vacation provides an opportunity to relax, regain perspective and refresh oneself.

Many of us expect to indulge ourselves at mealtimes while on vacation, lifting the limitations that we place on ourselves during the rest of the year and, as a consequence, return a few pounds heavier.

Dr. Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat (Greenleaf Book Group Press, Austin, 2010) says vacation is a perfect time to learn a different form of self-indulgence. When you are away from the demands of the workplace and everyday routines, you can indulge yourself by eating only foods that you really love, and stopping when you are comfortable, but not stuffed.

You can also learn to break out of what May calls the “eat-repent-repeat cycle.” The cycle, as she describes it, begins with adherence to a weight-loss regime, followed by breaking the rules laid out by the diet. Then comes a period of guilt during which it seems natural to overindulge further, considering that the forbidden foods will be off-limits again during the next stage when you repeat the cycle by getting back on the diet.

Instead, May advocates relearning the awareness that young children have: recognizing physical hunger, eating what they love with pleasure and stopping when they have had enough.

Most of us learn, early in life, to override the signals that tell us when we are hungry and when we’ve had enough to eat. After years of cleaning our plates, not wasting food, eschewing certain “bad” foods which thus become more desirable, eating on schedule and living in a world where food is always available and on display, it is indeed difficult to recognize our body’s signals.

May, who spent years gaining and losing weight as she proceeded through the eat-repent-repeat cycle, observed that many of her patients did the same.

She decided that there must be a healthier way to 

 

Organizations: Greenleaf Book Group Press

Geographic location: Austin, North Wiltshire

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