Throughout the year you will inevitably have periods of time when you’re away from the studio. During those times when you’re not dancing, it might be a good opportunity to experiment with the way you eat.

You should not drastically cut back on calories or try to restrict yourself. Punishment for a lack of activity is not necessary. Instead, use this opportunity to reconnect to your hunger cues.

Vacations are a particularly advantageous time to reconnect to your bodies needs and desires. There are certain typical vacation factors that make it a good time to reconnect to what you need and want when it comes to fuel.

1. You’re with family or friends most of the time. Since you don’t have time to be alone or bored when you’re on vacation you’ll be less likely to eat unnecessary snacks.

You also may need to adapt to the eating times or preferences of others.

2. Eating out can be a benefit.

Practice picking out the healthiest options possible *hint* this doesn’t mean low fat, no flavor, steamed veggies and nothing else. Yes, load up on veggies either with a salad or side. When you’re not at a restaurant with a focus on healthy options, you may need to craft a meal out of appetizers, salads and sides. Get creative!

Remind yourself that restaurant portions are usually overly generous so it’s unlikely you’ll need to clean your plate to be satisfied (sometimes you will, and that’s ok too).

Restaurant eating can also provide fewer distractions. You’ll be having conversation with those around you but there’s no TV to watch. Put your phone away and tune in fully to your food and company.

3. Once you’re back in your hotel room, food is not super available.

You’ll be away from the snack filled pantries of home. Keep unhealthy snacks out of your hotel room. If you do want to have something in there, trail mix and fruit are great hotel/travel snacks. Also, stock your hotel room with bottled water as you may drink less when you’re out and about exploring a new city.

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4. Indulge in things you may not typically eat and savor every taste.

But don’t feel like you need to finish it. A helpful food thought to remember is that it’s unlikely you’ll never encounter any specific food again in your life. Chocolate croissants in France? Maybe not. Chocolate croissants somewhere? Definitely.

After the first TWO bites of something you’ve likely reached your pleasure MAX. After that it’s just excess. If you’re truly hungry go back to the healthy options – don’t fill the void with cake.

5. Rethink your eating routines.

When you’re home and doing the same things each day it’s easy to get into a food rut. Maybe you’re eating the exact same breakfast every day or have gotten into the habit of eating the same portions of things day after day.

On  a trip, you might not eat three full meals in an effort to save some money. Maybe you just eat brunch, a snack and dinner.

Whichever tactics you try out, take advantage of the opportunity to do something different.

Reconnecting to your hunger cues.

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach for high level dancers. She founded The Whole Dancer in 2015 after identifying a greater need for balance, wellness and support in the dance world. Since The Whole Dancer was founded, Jess has worked with 100's of dancers worldwide at top companies and schools. She has been featured in or written for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Spirit Magazine.

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