Monday, August 8, 2011

DAY 220 -- Overeating while traveling.

My husband was supposed to go on a fishing/hiking trip this past week, but it got canceled. In its place, we decided to do a last minute road trip, and traveled around for five days, spending four nights in hotels (a different hotel and different town each night). During this journey, I discovered yet another trap I need to deal with when trying to eat healthy.  Usually my concern is whether healthy choices will be offered where I am staying (with friends, or with family) but on this road trip, eating out and staying in hotels, my overeating was a far greater problem.

When dining at local restaurants at home, it is easier for me to quit eating when I am full, for a couple reasons: 1) I can take the leftovers home to enjoy later, and 2) I can return to that restaurant another time and order my favorite entree.  But restaurant dining was more difficult to handle during this trip.  Taking leftovers with me was not an option since we only had a small cooler, plus when passing through a town for maybe the one and only time, I couldn't tell myself I would return there and eat again.

Maybe part of the problem was that we were determined to dine at non-franchised eateries unique to the towns we visited.  A delicious choice, by the way, but it fed the inner desire to overeat!  "I better eat all this deliciousness now while I have the chance... it's not something I can order at home... who knows if I will pass this way again."  

Perhaps I could avoid the problem by eating at the typical places we see in nearly every town, but that sounds so boring!   I need a plan of attack to keep from overeating at non-franchised restaurants when traveling.


  1. I'm glad you wrote this post. We are leaving on a 4-day trip on Thursday and I'm needing to prepare myself mentally for it. I've started back to counting points (Weight Watchers) and have slipped back into a very comfortable plan for eating throughout the day. Yesterday, we traveled 35 miles to have new tires put on the car and ended up walking to a nearby local eatery. I had eaten a small portion of food before we left home but decided to eat breakfast with my hubby. I ordered oatmeal and was able to fit it into my plan. If it had been closer to dinner time, it would have been way more challenging.

    My husband and I have developed a plan for sharing meals when we're on the road. We started doing this a long time ago because when riding motorcycles, there is just no way to bring leftovers home and the other thing is that we've learned when we split a meal, it's enough. This has also helped our financial budget.

    When we go on the road, my mind automatically thinks "well, Susan, you're on vacation ... don't worry about what you eat ... that's what people do on vacation." Bad thinking, huh!

    I really liked what you posted the other day about your husband saying "Your system is like a Ferrari, it needs good fuel". I typed that up and put it on my fridge. I AM a Ferrari. My body is not a garbage can.

    I recently started eating 6 times a day (every 2 hours). Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But I've discovered that I am way less hungry in the evenings (my worst time of day) and able to stay within my meal plan. I've started eating what is on my plan and if I still feel hungry, I set the timer for 20 minutes. If I'm still hungry in 20 minutes, I can eat more. What I've discovered is that the hunger passes.

    I know this is a really long comment ... perhaps I'll be posting on my blog today about it. Seems like I need to write, huh? Have an awesome day!!!

  2. Susan...thank you for your comment. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas. I wish I had mentally prepared for my trip, I was stuck in the frame of mind (as you put it) "'re on vacation...don't worry about what you eat..."

    The first morning of our trip, we were in Darby, Montana and went to a wonderful little cafe for breakfast. I thought I was doing so good by ordering the "lite" breakfast, which was supposed to be half portion of larger meal. Well, I knew I was in trouble when I heard a man at a nearby table exclaim (as the waitress served his food), "THAT'S the 1/2 meal?????" Sure enough, when she served our breakfast, the supposed 1/2 meal was HUGE. I would hate to see the size of the full size meal. Yet, I still ate it all. And that attitude continued the rest of the trip.

    I used to do better about making sure I was really hungry before eating. I would drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if I still thought I was hungry...and usually I was not. But I've gotten out of that habit. I will start that again.

    That's a good idea to share a meal when eating out. We could have done that several times during our trip because we both ended up ordering the same thing anyway. Next trip we can remember to do that.

    (And I'm glad you liked my husband's "Ferrari" comment! I should put that on my fridge too!)

    Good luck on your journey, and here's to healthy eating even during travel!