I recently travelled from Ontario to British Columbia for 10 days for a mix of business and pleasure. During that time, I knew that while I didn’t want to throw my goals, and the progress I had made toward them out the window; I also wanted to enjoy some time with fewer food restrictions and to have a few specific meals while I was in a place I had never been.
The 80/20 Rule
I had in my mind before leaving for my trip that I would try to follow the 80/20 rule and stick to my usual foods 80% of the time I was there. While this may seem like it would be hard to do, it really wasn’t. I was able to purchase food at the grocery store that was easily prepared in either a hotel with a microwave or when staying in an Air BnB – a full kitchen. I kept my food choices really simple and bought healthy snacks for travelling on the airplane or in the car during day trips.
I also enjoyed a few really nice meals out that while not on plan were an experience I wanted to have – Sushi in Vancouver was a must for me, so I did it without guilt. I also allowed myself to have a few alcoholic beverages on occasion and went out for ice cream a couple of times! The majority of the time I ate my usual foods, oatmeal, eggs, fruit, yogurt, nuts, chicken, rice and veggies.
By eating in my usual manner for the majority of the trip I didn’t feel guilty. I think it’s extremely important to allow yourself to enjoy life experiences and food for pleasure not just fuel from time to time. Of course, if you were competing in a show or had very specific fitness goals it would be a different story. I was also able to work out a lot less than I’m used to and was only able to get into a gym twice while I was gone. I combatted this by being very active, walking and hiking on most of my free days.
A couple of things that really helped me stay on track were making sure hotels had microwaves and fridges or staying in an Air BnB with a kitchen when possible and preparing food ahead of time.
Packing healthy snacks wherever I went and staying active!
When I came home I stepped on my scale knowing full well that my weight would have increased from the time I left and while it was still an ”ah damn..” kind of moment, it was well worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience I enjoyed. Also knowing that the majority of the weight gain would be shed once I got back to my usual fitness and nutrition plan eased my worries. I’m so grateful for the experience I had in beautiful British Columbia and would do it all again in a heartbeat. Guilt-free!
WRITTEN BY JENNA MCKNIGHT