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How to Travel Like a Boss and Not Gain Weight

Hi there!

Leaving decisions about eating and drinking on vacation to chance is risky. Chances are, you'll not make the right decision in the moment. Advance planning will help you navigate your time on vacation more easily.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
11:09 Have an eating plan for your vacation. For the flight? Pack nuts and protein bars as snacks while you travel.
12:50 Have a plan for drinking as well. Alcohol is metabolized and goes straight to the liver where it is turned into fat!
20:45 Learn to set boundaries with other people.

--- Full Raw Transcription of Podcast Below ---

Introduction (00:00):
You are listening to the Keep The Weight Off podcast with Dr. Angela, episode number 15.

New Speaker (00:07):
Welcome to The Keep The Weight Off podcast, where we bust all the dieting myths and discover not just how to lose weight, but more importantly, how to keep it off. We go way beyond the food and we use science and psychology to give you strategies that work. And now your host, Dr. Angela Zechmann.

Dr. Angela (00:27):
So, Hey everybody and welcome back to the podcast. Marchelle and I are here today and you know what? We've been hearing a lot of people who, they've gotten their vaccines and they're ready to travel. Does it seem to you like every other person is off on a trip?

Marchelle (00:51):
First of all, I can't believe we're on episode number 15.

Dr. Angela (00:55):
Oh yeah. Pretty cool, isn't it? So lots of people are traveling and I am a little bit jealous. I have to admit because I don't have any specific travel plans, but you do though, don't you?

Marchelle (01:11):
I do. I have travel plans for the first time probably ever going out of the country. I've never been out of the country.

Dr. Angela (01:17):
You're leaving the country?

Marchelle (01:19):
We're leaving the country. We're going to Mexico. A bit different than previous travel plans. But I'm glad that we're talking about the subject tonight, because I'd like to go in with like a mindful plan.

Dr. Angela (01:34):
Exactly what we're going to be talking about, where you are. We're going to talk about how to be a boss, how to do vacations, like a boss, how to travel like a boss. Okay. So so here's, here's what I hear a lot from people. When they come back from their vacations, they will kind of be a little bit ashamed and they will say, Oh my gosh, I was doing so well before I went on my trip. And you know, it might be a trip out of town for business too. It doesn't necessarily have to be a vacation, but right. Generally speaking, people get in more trouble when they're on a vacation than when they're on business trips.

Dr. Angela (02:18):
Not always, but if there's something that happens in the brain when you're on vacation and it's like, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna let loose. I'm gonna, you know, it's it's just a whole like party mode, the minute you get out of the side of the, the, a normal routine. [inaudible]. Yeah. And so, or, you know, maybe they're visiting family and they End up going back to their old eating habits that they used to do with family. Or maybe there's some sort of celebration, like a wedding or a graduation or something. So there's some sort of splurge meal or food or something, and they just come back and they have a really hard time getting back on track and then they, then they feel guilty. So here's what happened the one time. and I, I tell all of my patients this story, because it's actually pretty funny.

Dr. Angela (03:15):
I went on vacation. I went on a girl's trip to Hawaii and we were going from Seattle to, I don't know, Maui or something, maybe Kauai, I can't remember, but we were on Alaska air. And at that point in time, they don't do this anymore because of the pandemic for sure, but they were giving out free Mai Tai's on the plane. Think about what a Mai Tai is. It's sugar and alcohol right - together. Okay. So I'm like, yeah, sure. I'm on vacation. I'm with the girls. Let's yeah. I'll have a Mai Tai. So I have a Mai Tai and then they come around again and offer us a second free Mai Tai. So I'm kind of a lightweight. So by the time I get off the flight, I'm a little bit loopy. And from then on, so then we went out for dinner and then we probably had another, like, I might've ordered another, Mai Tai for dinner cause it had been a few hours since then.

Dr. Angela (04:10):
And then of course we had to have dessert. And then I woke up the next morning and I was like, I had a sugar and alcohol hangover because sugar and alcohol get metabolized exactly the same way in the liver. So the, the hangover byproducts are the same. And I felt like crap. And I was like, Oh man, I shouldn't have done that. You know, I was feeling bad about it, but the day went on and I started feeling better as I got hydrated again. And then that night we're out to dinner again and then, okay, sure. Yeah, I'll have another, Mai Tai and a dessert. And so every single day of this vacation was Angela making a resolution in the morning when she's having her hangover that she's not going to do that. And then every night back into vacation mode. And by the time I came home, I felt horrible. And I think I gained like five pounds, something like that in a week! A week! Well, some of it's not fat, but you know, I just felt terrible. So has anything like that ever happened to you

Marchelle (05:15):
Kind of a similar experience with vacation, but I think you remember this. So I was pretty new after - it was like the first couple of months that I did, you know, the sugar and flour detox and everything was going so great. Then we decided to go to an amusement park. It was like during Thanksgiving time, this last year. So we went to this amusement park and of course, what kind of food is at amusement park, all the kinds of candy and pizzas and, you know, cotton candy and all this kind of stuff. And I thought, Oh, okay. I could be doing so much worse because you know, really any other time in the past I would have just gone for it. And I would have just ate whatever, ate my way through the whole trip. Right, right. And then this time I thought, okay, so I'm going to only have this caramel popcorn I got on this little train excursion that you go on. And so I got this big bag of kettle corn and I thought, okay, that's like the least damaging out of all the stuff I could eat. Right. And it kind of was, I didn't need a whole lot of it. I didn't even realize what was going to happen later. So when I got back from vacation, that's when I was doing those Facebook live videos where it's like, Oh, I'm in a really crappy place. I'm just craving donuts. Now. It wouldn't happen because it just sent me into this like constant craving of carbs again in sugar, mostly. So it took me about three weeks to overcome that. And I can't say that it wasn't a Rocky road out of there because it was, you know, I just couldn't, I just couldn't get my mojo back.

Marchelle (06:49):
But that's why on this vacation, I definitely want to have a plan because that's what happened is I didn't have a plan. I just kept telling myself, well, you could've done so much worse, you know, and really it wasn't that didn't help me, but just gave me an excuse. And so yeah, so great, great subject.

Dr. Angela (07:10):
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think a lot of people are, you know, a lot of people struggle like this. We hear it all the time. We really do. And you can imagine, Marchelle, like if you hadn't been in touch with us, you know, like, what am I up to after that vacation? That happens a lot, really. And then people will come back, you know, months and months and months later and say, I got off track on a vacation and I didn't know how to get myself back on track. And I felt terrible. And so, so this is just one of these things that I just want everybody to realize. Like, what I did was I came up with a plan because I didn't want to come back from a vacation feeling like I'd felt after that vacation again.

Dr. Angela (07:55):
And so my plan was to just, and this has been my plan ever since, my plan is to eat really good, wholesome, nutritious food for most of the vacation, like treat it like I would treat any other day. And I use the vacation as an opportunity not to eat my way through it, but to find out more about the culture, to just enjoy downtime, to get massages, like if it's a beach vacation to just lay in the sun, you know, like I'm not, to me, the vacation is no longer about the food. Although if there is some special restaurant or, you know, like maybe you're in new Orleans and you want to try some, you know, something specific from new Orleans or maybe you're in France, nobody's going to France right now. But eventually and you want to try like some sort of special French pastry, you know, something like that. I save it for the last night or if it's a longer vacation, I save it for the last two nights. Now, why do you suppose I do that? Any idea?

Marchelle (09:03):
So that you don't start out the vacation with craving?

Dr. Angela (09:09):
Exactly. Exactly. Because what had happened to me on the plane was those, Mai Tai's just sent my brain spinning, craving sugar and alcohol. And you know, it would have been way too hard to get myself back on track during the vacation. So what I'm doing when I do my vacations now is I'm keeping my brain, you know, that dopamine center in the brain that likes to use any excuse whatsoever to get you to eat something, to give it its hit, right. So I'm just telling that center, no, we're going to have a splurge at the end and then we're going to get right back on track. So fantastic meal comes at the end of the trip. So it's not a whole week of debauchery it's at the end of the trip. And then on my way, home from the airport, or if I'm in a car, you know, I just stop at a grocery store and get good, healthy, nourishing, nutritious food so that I don't wake up the next morning with nothing in the house.

Dr. Angela (10:14):
That's the other thing that happens to people. They're like, well, you know, I got home from my vacation. I'm like, have you gone grocery shopping yet? And they were like, no. And I'm like, that's the first thing you gotta do! You gotta get your food on the way back from your trip so that you don't come home to a house that's only got like crap food in it. You know, like stuff that's stuck in the freezer or whatever, unless you plan ahead and, you know, put stuff in the freezer ahead of time. I don't know if It's just to me, it's worked really, really well because I've never again had a vacation where I never feel deprived because I always know I have a splurge meal at the end and I never let my brain get totally and crazily out of whack. And it works really well for me.

Dr. Angela (10:55):
So that would be my recommendation for all of those who are traveling is to just have a splurge meal at the end. Now the question always is okay, well, yeah, but what if I'm flying, you know, and I'm playing food is terrible. Now what I will say is I have been on a few flights since the pandemic started and they aren't really serving food on flights. Yeah. So, so I mean, they might come through with some granola bars or snack bars or cookies or something, but you know, plane food is not good food. So what I always do is I pack nuts and protein bars, you know, I don't generally like to eat processed food, but protein bars on a trip are going to save your butt. You know? The ones I always recommend are probably the best ones we found, unless you found something else Marchelle, the best one we found are the Quest bars, because they're really high in fiber and they're really good protein and they're low in carbs and they're filling, you know, and they taste good.

Dr. Angela (11:56):
And we're not getting sponsored by quest or anything like that guys so they've been the ones that I've found that are the best. There might be other ones as well, but, but not packages of nuts and protein bars. And, you know, you could, theoretically you could, you know, bring some deviled eggs or something to eat on the plane as well, if you wanted to do that. So sometimes I do that. Sometimes I just go to a restaurant at the airport and just order, you know, like our, our airport in Seattle has a really nice restaurant called Evergreens and they sell salads. They're beautiful salads and they'll put anything in them for you. And so, and they mix them all up right there and you can just carry it on the plane with you and eat it on the plane, you know?

Marchelle (12:41):
Oh, if I think I'm hearing you correctly, I think what you're saying is have a plan. I'm going to do some research ahead of time because we're going to be an all-inclusive. So I'm going to ask the question. It's probably not just on my mind, but on everybody's mind. What about the booze?

Marchelle (13:00):
Drinking Is a thing on vacation and we all do it, right. Or we all want to, whatever. So do you have a suggestion for like, what is the safest or what is the low most low-calorie or what is your plan for that? Because, I know we're getting a plan for food, but honestly I think alcohol goes right in there with vacations.

Dr. Angela (13:22):
Yes. I agree. Remember that's what got me in trouble was the, on the plane, the alcohol. Yeah. Cause you get a little bit, then you can't make good decisions, right?

Marchelle (13:33):
Yeah. But I mean like people, people are going to want to have a couple drinks, like, so what is like a safer plan than abstinence, because, you know, I'm sure that abstinence is the best way, of course. But what if you're on vacation, you want to have a couple of drinks or whatever, what do you think?

Dr. Angela (13:49):
Yeah. So so a glass of red wine is probably just fine. You know two or three glasses of red wine will put you in that sort of, I don't care what I eat state and then your eating alcohol gets metabolized and go straight to the liver and turns to fat. And so that really cut back on my alcohol usage when I heard that at a conference, that was very interesting. Like you're going to be going down to Mexico. And so you probably, you might not want red wine. Well, white wine has more carbs in it and more sugar in it. So another option might be like a vodka with club soda, and then put a little splash of cranberry in it. And some lime. That's a trick I learned from my patients and it looks really elegant and people always ask, what are you drinking? What I mean is you can alternate that - one with the vodka, and one without the vodka and you keep yourself well hydrated too.

Marchelle (14:50):
Oh, that's a great idea. Okay.

Dr. Angela (14:52):
Yeah. So if they say, Hey, would you like another drink? You say, yeah, just leave the vodka out this time.

Marchelle (14:59):
My personal opinion is don't drink booze with sugary sodas. Bad choice!

Dr. Angela (15:08):
Yeah. Once in a while I've done like a rum with a diet Coke and some lime in it, you know, that's kind of a nice one in the tropics and it's hot. That's a nice one. But, but Rum has a little bit more sugar in it than something like vodka or gin, some of the more clear ones but you know, it's a vacation. So once in a while, a little bit should be fine. You just don't want to get yourself so toasted that you can't make good decisions. Right.

Marchelle (15:35):
That's always the goal!

New Speaker (15:35):
And I'm probably dating myself... Hey, I'm on vacation. I want to let loose, you know? Yay.

Marchelle (15:48):
I know it is so hard going in on vacation. Cause that was like, the first thing that I think about is like, what can I eat and what can I drink? You know, because you want to let loose. And yeah, that's just, it doesn't pay off in the end. It's never worth it. And so I'm going to try something completely different and have like plan and come out on the other side, feeling like, a success story.

Dr. Angela (16:13):
Yeah. That's awesome. So you're going to be in an all-inclusive.

Marchelle (16:16):
There's like 9 restaurants.

Dr. Angela (16:19):
Oh wow. Okay. That's cool. So it'll be easy for you to get like a really good protein breakfast. Good really healthy food. Sometimes those places will actually make you omelets they'll have like an omelet stand or whatever, and they'll snake an omelet to your specifications. So you could like have a different every day for those of you who are like traveling in, you're staying in hotels with continental breakfast, you have to be super careful because you know, breakfast generally means, you know, pastries and muffins, cereal boxes and stuff like that. And you just, you don't want to eat that stuff. Like just don't even think about eating. It just, just don't even let it be an option. Sometimes the continental breakfast we'll have some, some eggs or some bacon or some sausage or something like that, which is fine. Sometimes what I do is if there isn't anything other than icky continental breakfast, then I just go to the local Starbucks and I just order egg bites.

Dr. Angela (17:17):
Like that's a nice something to have. Yeah. Just egg bites. And I mean, you know, these, aren't the bestest of the best, but when you're on a trip, it's better than crap food. Right. So, yeah. So it's just a nice stop gap measure and it will fill you up and keep you going. And then I always take nuts with me when I'm traveling in case you know, lunch is late or whatever.

Marchelle (17:41):
You always have nuts with you! You have them at work too all the time.

Dr. Angela (17:45):
I know. It's just because they're, they're a nice stop gap measure. Yeah. When you're doing lunches and dinners, so you're going to be an all-inclusive. So you're pretty much taken care of there. You can just make some really good choices for, I have a lot, we have a lot of patients who, you know, they're on the road or whatever, or, and they, they end up in fast food restaurants.

Dr. Angela (18:09):
And so my, my advice would be to do the best job you can to avoid stopping at fast food restaurants. If you're in a car and you can take a cooler with you and you can pack a cooler, that would be the best situation. And then, you know, you can always put more ice in your cooler and go to a grocery store and get real grocery store food and eat that instead of stopping by the fast food restaurants. I mean, I just, there just that food is just so bad for you. It's just toxic.

Marchelle (18:41):
I have done that before with the cooler and that was like a really smart move. Yeah,

Dr. Angela (18:46):
Yeah, yeah. So and then, you know, if you're like, let's say you're on some sort of tour or something, and this is where the brain will say, Oh, well, like you don't have a choice here. Brain will go. You don't have any choice about what to eat or like you're at a conference and there, the food is just being served to you. You would be surprised at how much choice you have.

Marchelle (19:10):
Well, a lot of our patients say like, if they're going to, like, let's say, they're going to help their family out or they're going to visit their family. They all oftentimes say, well, I don't really have a choice because I got to eat what they're eating. You know, I don't want, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. Right. You know, I'm at my parents' house or I am at my uncle's house or something. And so I do, I do feel like they feel trapped in the way that they don't have. They don't have a choice.

Dr. Angela (19:39):
Well, my suggestion is to talk to them ahead of time and let them know that that, you know, you're trying to eat really well and you're trying to avoid eating toxic foods and that you've discovered that stuff like pancakes and bread and pasta and all that actually is really, really bad for you. And you want to be a healthy person and offer to do some cooking there, you know, offer to make them some awesome recipes that you've discovered since you've been trying to eat really good, wholesome, healthy food, you know, you can do that. And you're not being a burden because that's what a lot of people are saying. They're like, well, I don't want to be a burden, I'm at somebody else's house, you know, and it's not a burden. If you let them know ahead of time, you know, like don't be making me a pancake brunch breakfast, you know, I don't really want to eat that kind of food.

Dr. Angela (20:34):
I don't feel good when I eat that. You know? So really you have, you have the ultimate control over everything that you put in your mouth. And so one of the things that we talk about a lot in Journey Beyond Weight Loss is setting boundaries with other people and learning how to do that, how to live your truth. And your truth is I want to be a healthy, vibrant person and how to make sure that you get your needs met without feeling guilty. You know, that's one of the things that we work a lot on in Journey Beyond Weight Loss. We just had an enrollment opening and we're closed now, but that's something that, you know, you might want to think about. If you do feel obligated, when you're with friends and relatives, staying at their homes, we can help you with that.

Marchelle (21:25):
I've been using so much of the material and the tips and you know, all of the information this last week, that I learned in Journey Beyond Weight Loss. Like it's all starting to come together for me and my mind has been freed.!

Dr. Angela (21:41):
Yay. That's awesome. Okay. So is there anything else, Marchelle, I'll just do a quick summary of what we talked about.

Marchelle (21:53):
I think like the information, the most important information, I think I've gleaned from you, like in this discussion, but just with the vacation eating is have a plan, you know, like be just like prepping food for the week. Yeah. You're going to prep your mind

Dr. Angela (22:10):

Marchelle (22:11):
Thats what you're going to do. And like do some research and find out, you know, like ahead of time, talk to your family, you know, and tell them kind of where you're at and what you're doing. That you have some healthy boundaries. And so I think that is that's really good information. I'm going to use that for my trip.

Dr. Angela (22:29):
Yeah. I'm glad you brought up like, like prep your mind because so many people go into their vacations with this vacay mindset, you know? And so if you want to do that, that's your choice. I mean, that's fine if you want to do that, but you do have to recognize that it's going to be a little bit more challenging to get yourself back on track when you get home, that's all.

Marchelle (22:53):
If it does happen, you can just, all you have to do is to get back on track really quickly is just to talk to yourself very nicely and just keep going. Like you just never give up, like, no matter what happens, even if it lasts for a while, like if I get off track, I just never give up.

Dr. Angela (23:15):
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. You can't fail if you, unless you quit. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. So just in summary, then make sure you have your mind prepped so that, you know, whether you're going to just go ahead and do your all-out splurge or whether you're going to eat pretty well for most of the trip, or are you going to allow yourself some splurge days or whatever, if you're going to stay with family or friends let them know ahead of time that you want to eat really well. And don't say I'm on a special diet say, I just really am working at eating normal, healthy food. And I would love to make some, you know, make some of my cool recipes for you and that kind of thing that. I mean, they'll really appreciate that. If you're going on a plane, you want to plan ahead in advance so that you're not starving on the plane, especially if it's a long plane trip take some protein bars and some nuts with you, maybe grab a salad at the airport to carry on the plane with you.

Dr. Angela (24:15):
Once you get behind security, you can do that. If you're, if you're traveling by car, take a cooler with you, try to stay out of fast food restaurants to the best of your ability. That will be very, very helpful just to stay out. And then if you're at a hotel, that's got a continental breakfast check ahead of time to see what they have in their continental breakfast. If they've got eggs and sausage and bacon, you're good to go. If they don't just get to the local Starbucks and get some egg bites or go to a grocery store and get some decent food, don't eat the crap continental breakfast, that's just...

Marchelle (24:50):
You always have a choice.

Dr. Angela (24:51):
You do. You always have a choice and watch your brain, you know, notice how your brain responds to this whole challenge of vacations. Does your brain go, Oh, this is too hard. You're not going to be able to do this. Or does your brain say, yeah, we're up for the challenge or does your brain say, Oh, like, it's vacay, we're going to go. Or does your brain say, Hey, you know what? We can have vacation. And we can also nourish our bodies really well while we're doing some new, different things.

Marchelle (25:18):
That's the mindset I want.

Dr. Angela (25:20):
Yeah. And be super careful with alcohol. Be very careful with it - it is really easy to overindulge when you're on vacation with alcohol. So, yeah. Yeah. So cool. All right. You guys, I hope that all of, all of our podcast listeners are doing well wherever you are in the world. And I hope you're starting to be able to plan some fun things. Make sure you get your vaccine. If you haven't done that yet, it's fine! There are everywhere. Now you can get vaccines and we will see you next week with another awesome podcast episode. Buh-Bye

Closing (26:00):
Hey, if you really want to lose weight and keep it off for good, your next step is to sign up for Dr. Angela's free weight loss course, where you're going to learn everything you need to get started on your weight loss journey, the right way, just head over to to sign up. Also, it would be awesome if you could take a few moments and write a review on iTunes. Thanks. And we'll see you in Journey Beyond Weight Loss.

- Dr. Angela


This episode was produced and marketing by the Get Known Podcast Service


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