Eating Intuitively on Vacation


Summer has officially started and in honor of warmer weather and vacation season, I thought it would be the perfect time to write a blog post with gentle reminders for eating intuitively while on vacation. Before diving into this post, it is important that you have a good understanding of the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating which often take some time to understand and practice. On our blog, you will find blog posts for all of 10 Intuitive Eating Principles. If you find yourself needing extra support to practice any of the Intuitive Eating Principles the dietitians at Food Ease Co. can help!


Vacations spent with friends and family can create some of the most amazing memories. Whether you are traveling far away or staying close to home for a getaway, vacations are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing. However, with vacations and being away from home there is often a feeling of stress or fear that can occur as you break your normal routine/schedule. Being around unfamiliar foods/new foods that you may not be used to eating can also be very overwhelming and cause intense thoughts of restriction. Aside from food, being unable to engage in your normal means of physical activity can create feelings of anxiety around eating if your relationship with food and exercise is not in the best place.


Engaging in intuitive eating during vacation can be hard even after years of practicing intuitive eating. Some of the following few examples may happen or have happened to you already while on vacation:

  • Eating less than normal when the thoughts of restriction creep in 
  • Eating beyond fullness when trying new foods that you can only eat in a certain country/location
  • Eating even when not hungry before going somewhere/traveling where there may not be food 
  • Not eating and feeling so hungry while on the plane because you don’t like the food, or it is too expensive 
  • Not eating/being afraid to eat because your stomach is upset from all the different foods, so you try not to eat very much


Although intuitive eating preaches to honor your hunger and fullness, when on vacation focusing on your hunger and fullness cues should not consume your every thought and take away from your vacation. Eating beyond fullness happens at times and although it may be uncomfortable it is only temporary and may be a helpful guide during your next eating experience.


This brings us to a few gentle nutrition reminders while on vacation:

  1. Satisfaction is Key: discovering satisfaction in food again is a vital component of intuitive eating. Allowing ourselves to eat the foods that sound good to us and make us feel good is important not only when on vacation but in our day-to-day lives. Embrace the culture you are in and try all the new foods!
  2. Avoid getting Hangry: while traveling there may not always be food options available nearby or that you will like. To try and avoid getting hangry at all costs pack snacks! These don’t have to be classic diet culture “healthy snacks” that aren’t truly satisfying to you. These snacks can be whatever you like and what brings you comfort because sometimes after traveling for hours a bag of M&Ms just sounds good. 
  3. Be Mindful of Satiation: Another way to avoid getting hangry is to create satiating snacks or meals that are still enjoyable to you. Yes, a bag of M&Ms sounds good but ultimately that alone may not keep you full compared to if you had some nuts or a granola bar on the side. Satiating meals/snacks that will help keep you full normally involve all three macros (fats, carbs, and protein). Although this is not always realistic while on vacation it is something to keep in mind before you embark on a long day.
  4. “Screw the Track”: I am sure you have heard something along the lines of “get back on track after ____” many times before. But screw the track! Going on vacation and enjoying different foods and spending time with family/friends in my opinion is not going off track by any means. Sure, your routine may look a little different while on vacation compared to what it is at home but there is no need to feel like you have to restrict when you get home to compensate. You can easily return to your normal routine when home. 
  5. Calories DO Count: another famous saying you often hear people say is “Calories Don’t Count on Vacation” well actually they do! Calories on vacation and calories at home are used the exact same way as energy for the body. It is especially important that we make those calories count on vacation, so we don’t end up eating too little and feeling fatigued all day. We should be adequately providing our body with calories to sightsee and explore! 


Vacation is meant to be spent enjoyably, not spent stressing about eating and trying to get your normal 7:30 AM workout in. Eating intuitively while on vacation may not look perfect and that is OKAY. We do not aim for perfection with intuitive eating. Being out of your normal routine is not easy, be gentle with yourself. A vacation spent stressing about food is not a vacation well spent. 

Intuitive eating takes time, practice, and reflection. If you find yourself needing extra help/guidance with any of the Intuitive Eating Principles the dietitians at Food Ease Co. can help!

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