There’s a healthier way to vacation, and it has nothing to do with following any rules that you’ve made for yourself. Here’s how you can enjoy the gift of the moment.


Traveling can bring about many feelings. For myself, it’s a mix of gratitude, curiosity, and a calm energy as I return home. 

I get the urge to take in all that I had learned through my most recent experience and ask how I can change the world, yet am equally thrilled if I can impact just one person.

This is markedly different from what my past vacation experiences, where I had a debilitating fear that I wasn’t being “healthy” enough during vacation

I would be checking my FitBit like a lunatic, sacrifice sleep, and miss out on brunch with the rest of the travel group in order to fit in a workout. I would be crunching the numbers of my intake throughout the day wondering, ‘If I eat this beautiful scone and full-fat latte, maybe I can just eat a salad for dinner.’

This fear is real, and as a registered dietitian, I have worked with many clients who have shared similar fears – fears of over-indulging and losing all control on vacation, only to come home to an overwhelming amount of guilt and shame. 

It doesn’t feel good. 

Many of them shared with me their fears of gaining weight or back-tracking on all the positive progress they had made to achieve a healthier relationship with food, exercise, and their body. For some, they spend so much time and energy thinking about food and exercise on vacation that they miss out on the actual experience. 

What if you could break the cycle, change your approach, and learn to live in the moment? Here are 4 tips for you to try on your next vacation.

1. Try new foods and create an experience.

Immerse yourself in the new town or country you are visiting. Ask around what the local favorite is, or venture into a local market.  Watch people walk by, listen to their accents and music, and smell the many aromas. There is so much more that can come from the experience of eating beyond the food itself.

2. Learn about the culture.

If you see a certain dish or food item on every menu and street corner, it’s probably for a good reason!  Ask the locals to learn the history behind the dish and ingredients you’re eating. It’s amazing to see how a culture incorporates food in a variety of ways to transform it into something delicious.

3. Put pleasure first. 

Forget about the calories, carb or fat content, and your fullness level. This is contradictory to all you may have been told about nutrition. In order to truly let food rules go, it’s OK to make decisions solely on what feels good in the moment.

4. Trust your body. 

Trust that one meal won’t make you gain weight, and your body will get back to where it needs to be. Trust that your body will alert you to how you feel and it will not let you down. Treat your body with the kindness and respect it deserves.

Experience all the gifts your new destination has to offer, and live in the moment.

Adapted from the original post.

Katie Hake, RDN, CD is an Indiana-based Registered Dietitian, national fitness presenter, and owner of Katie Hake Health & Fitness. It is her mission to empower women to overcome their need to measure success by the numbers and find their fierce. For more tips on finding your fierce, visit www.katiehake.com