Did you know that approximately 87.3% of people veer off their diets while traveling? Yes, it’s true! From succumbing to the temptation of tantalizing street food to indulging in decadent desserts that scream “eat me,” the struggle is real. 

But don’t worry — because in this week’s episode, we’ve got you covered.

In this travel issue, I dive deep into a treasure trove of Thin Thinking travel-savvy techniques just for you. These smart mindset strategies will help you maintain your progress and stay on track with your goals, whether you’re gallivanting around the globe or simply driving over the river to grandmother’s house.

Imagine yourself sporting those oh so fashionable sunglasses, strutting confidently into a world where calorie-laden temptations lurk around every corner. 

But fear not, because you will be armed with the power of Thin Thinking, you will be able to resist those siren calls and maintain your progress. 

And, better still, you can’t have a damn good time while doing it, right?

So, grab your passport, pack those skinny jeans, and come on in! 


Need some Thin Thinking tools for your travel? Grab my specialized hypnosis and coaching download from the Shift Store: Traveling Towards Mastery Coaching & Hypnosis. USE COUPON CODE TRAVEL to get $5 off when you check out!


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Rita Black: Did you know that approximately 87.3% of people veer off their diets while traveling? It's true! From subcoming to the temptation of tantalizing street food, to the indulging in those decadent desserts that simply scream eat me, the struggle is real, but fret not, my fellow Thin Thinking globe trotters. In this week's episode, the travel issue, I have you covered. The treasure trove of Thin Thinking travel savvy techniques to share with you. These smart mindset strategies will help you stay on track with your goals, whether you're gallivanting around the globe or driving over the river to grandmother's house. Now, imagine this, you sporting those oh so fashionable sunglasses, strutting confidently into a world where calorie laden temptations lurk around every corner, but fear not dear listener, because you will be armed with the power of Thin Thinking. You'll be able to resist those siren calls and maintain your progress. And hey, who says you can't even have a damn good time while doing it? So grab your passport, pack those skinny jeans, and come on in.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, bestselling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello and happy post Independence Day to our US listeners and happy, happy July to us all. Well, just to catch you up, we stayed at home for the 4th of July, and the theme of my summer is to take it easy. And if it ain't easy, don't take it. So let's face it, with two college tuitions coming up, it ain't cheap either. And if it ain't cheap, don't take it. So I don't know if you, those of you who have kids, I don't really think about this overlapping college tuition thing. When I was planning my family, I started late, so I was just grateful that I could get pregnant because it wasn't so easy. And so I just took the timeframe I could get. But if I had thought it through and had my druthers, it would probably be four years apart instead of three, which would've made things a lot easier.

Rita Black: And if you're sitting there going, well try putting three kids through college, I hear you. I know I've got it almost easy. So that means though, no big trips like last year where we went to Italy and to also to England for a family wedding. This year, we're pretty much staying home with a couple of little mini staycations and a trip to see my brother in August, in preparing and putting together the upcoming Shift Out of Emotional Eating Toolkit, I have been diving deep into the inner world of feelings and emotions and managing feelings and emotions without reaching for food. And that has been a really cool journey in and of itself. So I'm really excited about this toolkit and unleashing it out onto the world. Pretty soon, towards the end of July, it's gonna have coaching sessions, cognitive coaching sessions and for those of you who don't know what cognitive coaching sessions are, those are repetition sessions where you're repeating back inside your own mind helps shift the subconscious mind.

Rita Black: It has hypnosis sessions and has a wonderful morning meditation to boot. So that's gonna be ready towards the end of July. I don't have an exact date. I will keep you posted as I always do. But so here's the thing. Now if you're thinking, hmm, that emotional eating toolkit sounds great, well, you could win a free emotional eating toolkit and it's super easy. You just have to write a review of the Thin Thinking Podcast, post it on your favorite platform, whether that's Spotify or Apple or one of the other ones. I've put some links in the show notes if you need a link to review. And then just send me the email or a picture of the review to my email, which will also be in the show notes, which is [email protected]. And you'll be automatically entered into a drawing for the free emotional eating toolkit.

Rita Black: But you will also just for doing what you did, get a free hypnosis download no matter, no drawing needed. So you're just gonna get a free hypnosis weight management download of your choice. You get to go to the shift store and choose, and then you will be entered into the drawing as well. So get writing that review.

Rita Black: And every summer around this time, I'm asked by many, many, many, many, many, many, many, and did I say many people about how to manage their weight while traveling. And as you all know, it's super easy while traveling to get off track. As I said in my intro, 87.3% of people get off track with their diets while they're traveling. And I do see that this is a very vulnerable point for a lot of people. And so no wonder people have been asking me for this.

Rita Black: So what I am doing is I have gone into the archive and pulled a travel issue that I made a couple of years ago when we were heading to Buffalo, New York. So not exactly Paris, but I will walk you step by step through to manage any travel experience in this particular podcast episode. So I'm gonna play that for you. With the idea of just getting you ready for wherever you may be traveling, whether, like I said, it's across town or across the world, you will be ready. So let's go.

Rita Black: Let's face it, something happens in our minds the second we start a holiday or a vacation, right? There's just this little thing that goes off in our brain, that little dopamine center in our brain starts firing away. Reward, let's party, let's go, let down our hair. And usually for most of us, that means food, food and more food and food. And then did I mention drinks? Oh, waiter, come over here. We need another one. And look, I'm the first to say enjoy your vacation and have a good time. But as you know, and I know a good time can quickly go south when we overindulge and then we feel guilty, and then we throw all caution to the wind. I'll be good when I get home. That's what we say. But the problem is the rest of the vacation is spent thinking about the next food event or feeling overstuffed and woozy and chaotic and just feeling bad. I can remember many, many vacations just missing the entire vacation, just feeling sick to my stomach like I was overeating. Then my brain got into this thing like, where's my next meal? Where's my next treat? And just completely missing out on feeling good during the vacation when I'd worked so hard to go on the vacation.

Rita Black: I can't tell you how many vacations I went on that there was, I was just looking forward to being in this different place, enjoying the culture, the music, the atmosphere, and ended up in a food frenzy hardly absorbing the place that I was in, in a carb coma. Then anxious and mad with myself, and not even feeling like I was on a vacation, but I was in this like food laden tortured chamber that I couldn't climb out of. I remember one time, oh my gosh, I was in New Orleans with my husband and it was early in our marriage and we were there for a friend's wedding. And I hardly, this is what's so sad, it was a very good friend wedding. And you know, if you ask me now like, what happened at that wedding, where was it, what was the reception like?

Rita Black: I couldn't even tell you because I was just all of my memories are of that vacation are food. And I remember the beignets from Cafe Dumond. I remember the coffee, I remember walking down the whatever that you know, in the French Quarter, the oo la la la la. I can't remember the name with a hurricane glass, my hand you know, wandering around wanting more food, looking for the next food event. I was feeling stuffed and bloated from everything I'd already eaten, feeling hazy and hating myself. But at the same time, I remember, even though I felt this way, this is what's crazy, I said to my husband, how long do you think it will take for us to feel hungry enough to eat again? That's right. We were just literally eating and then waiting for enough space in our stomach to happen so that we could eat again.

Rita Black: That was crazy. So since then, I went through my shift and I have maintained a 40 pound weight release for 25 years. And travel is a completely different experience, but I had to learn to work with my mind and not work against it while preparing for my trip and during my trip, and yes, even after my trip. So I'm excited to share with you my Thin Thinking strategies for having an awesome summer travel experience where you stay aligned with your weight release or weight maintenance goals.

Rita Black: Okay, so let's jump in. So first of all, you must plan for success. So first of all, you must plan for success. It ain't gonna just happen. So let me tell you about the brain and travel in your brain. When you go out traveling, like I said earlier, your brain equates travel with reward, letting down your hair, being away, time off. And it is your reward center is kind of on steroids. And for this reason, willpower just isn't going to cut it. Now, if you follow me or know, you know, read anything I've written or been on seen any videos of mine, you know that the, there's 12% of your mind is your willpower part of your mind. So that's pretty much how much of your mind is engaged in being good when you travel. Like, I can't tell you how many clients or people that you know, I'm helping, we'll say, oh yeah, we're going away. You know, I'm, I think I'll, I've got it down, I think I'm gonna be good. And I was like, well, have you prepared? And they're like, oh, no, you know, like, I know I got it. I'm gonna be good. No, no. You going in with just this idea of being good when you're on vacation is, you know, like taking a butter knife into battle, it, it just ain't gonna happen.

Rita Black: And because the other 88% of your brain is wired for just the same outcome that you've ever had when you've gone traveling, and if you're somebody who overeats and you know, goes, gets off track when you travel, then chances are your brain is pretty much wired to rinse and repeat that scenario. First of all, we have our travel identity in our subconscious mind and our identity is like, I'm somebody who goes on away and loves to eat and drink and overdo things. And then we have our habits, a habit of, you know, getting there the first night and getting a great bottle of wine and going out and finding that place to eat or, you know, going down the main boulevard.

Rita Black: I remember working in a tourist town one summer. I worked in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains. And you know, a lot of tourist towns are the same. They've got the fudge shop, they've got the caramel apples, they've got the funnel cakes. You know? Most of these places are just pumping out the sugar laden products or the refine carbs. You know, just walking down the street, you know, waiting for you to go and you know, quote unquote, have a good time and vacation saltwater taffy, all those things. So we have the habits of eating or overeating and our favorites and our beliefs. Like, it's hard. Everybody else is having a good time. If I don't eat that, you know, if I don't eat, you know, how many times have I heard like I need to eat that local food in order to have felt like I was there, right?

Rita Black: So we have a lot of resistance and subconscious conditioning that's working against us when we go away. So here's some things that you wanna start to do to get, you know, that 88% working with your 12%. One thing would be to create a powerful vision of how you want to come home feeling. Again, we go into our vacation just thinking, well, I'm gonna try to be good and be healthy, but you don't really what you're doing when you engage a vision of how you wanna feel coming home on that plane or on that train or in that car as you wanna feel as light and lean as you did when you left, or, you know, you wanna feel sort of the same or even lighter than when you left, right? You, you want to feel better. I remember many plane rides when I struggled with my weight, you know, leaving the, you know, on the plane going out and then coming back feeling like I'm three inches wider and my belly is two inches bigger. You know, when I put the strap over my waist, right? So what something that was a very powerful tool that I began to engage was that feeling of when I was in the plane or in the car driving to where the holiday was, that I really felt how that felt, because that's a very visceral feeling, that feeling of being in a seat. And I kind of imprinted that, and I would hold that in my mind. And every day when I woke up, I say, I'm gonna go home feeling that same way in the plane seat or in the car seat on the way home. And what that does is it engages your imagination. And that feeling though, that feeling and that emotion and that that feeling confident and good and light really engages your reticular activation system that filters out all those other lower level impulses.

Rita Black: Oh, you know, I've gotta eat the saltwater taffy, but, but no, no, I wanna go home feeling awesome. So how, what are the actions that I need to do to align with that? So that is one thing that you can do. Another thing that you can do is create your missions and your mission and value for the trip. So what I mean by that is, and I know that might sound like I'm a little crazy but what I mean by that is when we go on vacation again, if we're more prone to go on vacations and think about the food and think about like, oh, where are we going to eat and what are we gonna do that's where our brain is gonna go, right? And, and a lot of times, so for instance, I'm going to be going to Buffalo with my family, Buffalo, New York, with my family, with my husband, with my children, and we are gonna meet my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law there, and they are coming up from Florida.

Rita Black: So we're all meeting at a Airbnb. And my husband is originally from Buffalo. So he's originally from England, actually. And he, he grew up until he was like seven years old. And then his family, his father was a doctor in England, and they were recruited in the United States in 1967. They were recruiting doctors from England because there weren't enough doctors, I guess, out in the sticks in in New York or in, in various states. So they were recruiting doctors. So my husband's family moved, he was about seven at the time, and he had this cute little British accent. And then the first day at school the boys, the puff boys from Buffalo, they were like, you sound like a pansy. And they beat him up. And then the next day he came to school and he had an, a perfect American accent.

Rita Black: So if you ever meet my husband, he speaks like an American, but he's really a Brit, and he does sometimes sound like a Brit if he has just a little too much to drink. So and definitely when we lived there in England for a few years he, he sounded more English, but I digress. So getting back to Buffalo. So we're gonna go there and, and I have never been to Buffalo before, and you might be thinking, why are you going to Buffalo on a vacation? But this is like the first time I've been to my the place where my husband grew up. And I'm really looking forward to that. And what I am focusing on, my mission for this trip is to be of service. It's my, my husband's mother's birthday and we haven't seen them in a year and a half since Covid.

Rita Black: So I, and she's she's so healthy. I mean, she's, she's doing really well. She's almost, she's gonna be 86 years old, can you believe that? 86 years old, she still plays tennis. She's amazing. I really wanna connect with her and my sister-in-law and my children. And I'm really thinking about the deeper experiences that I would love to create, you know, to go on walks with them and to be out in nature and to explore historic buffalo downtown. And so there's what I'm doing by thinking about that ahead of time, like, what are the deeper moments and the mission of my trip with regards to the people I'm going to be connecting with, with regards to the place that I'm going to be, I'm guiding my brain into before we even go there to be focusing on something deeper and different than just the food.

Rita Black: Because believe me, now, I don't know about you, but when I do this, I have a deeper experience because I've already prepped my brain for it and gotten my brain excited about those deeper experiences. Otherwise, I might just show up on the first night, get a glass of wine, start eating and think, well, what's for breakfast tomorrow? You know? And, and it could be very easy to devolve. It's not to say that I wouldn't be doing things. Of course, we would be doing touristy things and fun things as well, but, but I am guiding myself. Those are gonna be my guiding, that's gonna be my guiding vision and my, my guiding mission for our trip, and to be healthy and light and stay connected so that I can truly enjoy those deeper moments. Because since I've shifted and traveled it's amazing how much more truly present I am if I'm not thinking about food all the time, or my weight or feeling bad about myself, and how many more magical moments I get to experience while I'm away or in a, in a different place.

Rita Black: Alright? So I'm, I'm focusing on a, that mission. So that's something else you can do. The other thing you can do before you go is to plan, plan, plan, you know, they say location, location, location. With regards to travel, plan, plan, plan, what can you plan? Well, what is your weight goal for your trip? I know that might sound a little strange, like, I'm not gonna lose weight. Or will, maybe if you are on a weight release journey, are you really truly gonna plan to release weight? And if you are, what is that going to look like? Again, we can hope to lose weight, but unless you truly have a plan of action, chances are habit is gonna take over and you're, you're going to end up in old behaviors. So if you truly wanna release weight while you're away, think about the exercise.

Rita Black: Think about the meals that you might wanna have ahead of time. You might even think about going online and looking at restaurants that might have healthy options so that you can stay on track. Maybe you wanna just take a break and not gain weight while you're away, but you wanna maintain your weight and loosen the grip a little bit. That's a perfect option as well. Then you just wanna think about what is enough for you. You know, like what is going to be your, you know, that is going to, you know, maintaining is gonna mean that you're gonna still stay mindful and not go crazy off the rails. Because when we struggle with our weight, we usually have two modes. We have good and bad, on or off all or nothing, right? And in order for you to really stay centered in your travel plans, you need to stay centered and connected to yourself and your food choices.

Rita Black: It doesn't mean you have to think about it all the time, but it just means that you, you know, if you're not chicken and broccoli, you, you, you wanna do just a little preparation in your mind for like, what is enough? Now, here are some things that you can do to help you. You can have booze boundaries, right? Like, you can think about like, well, how much is enough for me while I'm drinking and I'm away? Maybe one drink a day, you know, maybe two drinks a day. It will, and it might depend on if you're exercising or not. Is this a place where you're gonna get a lot of walking in or is this something, is exercise something that you're gonna have to fit into your day around the other activities that you're doing? Like, get up and go for a walk in the morning, or, or if you're at a hotel, use their gym.

Rita Black: You wanna have a plan in mind. You know, if you don't have a plan, the world has one for you and it isn't gonna be a slimming one with regards to your vacation. So think about alcohol and think about like, how much alcohol do I need to have to truly let down my hair and have a good time? And the answer usually is not that much. In fact, alcohol has sort of a, you know, if, if you drink alcohol, because some people don't, but if you do, you know, a glass to a glass and a half is probably about the amount that you can have before it starts to have a downward spiral impact on your health, on you know, not even delivering, like loosening you up and making you feel chilled out. It starts to work against you. It's a depressant. So you wanna think about that and you wanna think about how, you know, maybe you'll have alternatives like drinking water or bringing you know, bringing some healthier options with you.

Rita Black: The same thing with treats. Like, are you gonna bring some treats from home that you know that you can eat? Like maybe some protein bars or some low carbohydrate treats if you, you know, if that's your thing or are, you know, because I, I think one thing I see people getting into is they get into sugar on an empty stomach, and then that makes them wanna eat more and more and more and more. And it's so easy when you're away because a lot of vacation places, or, you know, when we travel it's really easy to get into the sugar and carbs really quickly. So how are you gonna manage that for yourself and make, make sure that also that the people you're traveling with, maybe you can get on board with them and get aligned with their expectations. You know before we went away for a spring break, we went up to where my daughter goes to school in northern California.

Rita Black: She's at Berkeley. And we you know, she was not able to come home because the school was asking that students didn't leave the area because of Covid. So we went to Napa Valley, and my family had never been there before. And that's like the food capital of the world, right? Or the food capital of the we west coast. So we knew that there was gonna be a lot of opportunities to eat out and to drink. And so we set some limits for ourselves. We said, we wanna have a really healthy holiday. We, we, we moved every day. We did some amazing hiking. It was beautiful in Napa. The, the, it was green. There were wildflowers. I'd just never seen it. You know, you hear about the fires in Napa and we thought the, the mountains would all be burned, but it was, was like, actually the part we were in, it was just gorgeous.

Rita Black: It looked like Ireland and, and lovely and green. And and we really set limits like with bread at dinner. I didn't choose to have bread, but, you know, my kids were like, we don't wanna eat too much bread. If the waiter asked us for more, we said, no, thank you. But we had all sort of signed off on that ahead of time, and that really made it easier in the moment. We, you know, that we had a theme to our vacation, which was to stay healthy and to leave our Napa vacation feeling like we didn't go crazy. Now, once you're there once you are on vacation, here's some things that you wanna do is, do you wanna set your environment up for success? So one thing that you can do is if you're going to stay at somebody's house, and I like, for instance when I go and stay at my brother's house, I always make, I always go to the grocery store and I make a big salad.

Rita Black: My brother isn't a big vegetable and salad person. He's more meat and potatoes, right? And he loves to cook big old meals. And so I remember when we were staying up there a lot when my, my mother was sick many years ago. And it was a very, very stressful situation. I remember I just kept a salad in the refrigerator the whole time. They laughed at me, but they actually started eating that salad too. But that salad saved me. Like, so when we sat down to these heavy meat and potato meals, I would have the salad. I, you know, I would eat some of what they were eating, but I would have my salad sort of as my base if I had to emotionally eat, because my mother was very sick and, and struggling. I had some salad to eat because I was just like, well, if I'm gonna eat, I'm gonna eat some salad.

Rita Black: And it just, it, I set my environment up for success. You would have food all over. I would just, you know, I just said that food is for my brother. That's not for me. I had to play a powerful mind game. Now when I'm, I'm going to Buffalo, we're gonna be staying in a house, my guess is there are gonna be also some treats. And I'm gonna have to, you know, we're gonna have to talk about managing the treats because my depending on the mood people are in my sister-in-law may wanna have some things. My mother-in-law may wanna have some things. They, they're pretty healthy eaters, so for the most part, we should be fine. But if there are, are things sitting out on the counter, I'll put them away in the cupboard just so that I don't have to see them, you know, other people can eat them.

Rita Black: I'll let them know where they are. But it usually helps to, you know, have signed off and say, Hey, you guys, these things are a bit of a temptation for me. So can we put them, you know, in the cupboard and, and you guys know that they're there? Or then the pantry, they're, they're in there and I don't have to look at them. So really, you know, bring things into your environment that are gonna work for you and get the things out or hidden that aren't. I had a client who it was in a similar situation where she was staying with her family and her family loved tortilla chips and salsa every night. They would sit and have drinks and tortilla chips and salsa, and she got through and she brought in carrots and celery. You know, and maybe that sounds a little too healthy for you, but she loved it.

Rita Black: It ended up being, and everybody ended up eating the carrots and celery instead of the tortilla chips. So often it will work for you if you make the healthier choice, but you just have to bring that stuff in and talk to your inner coach every day. Like, sit down and have a meeting every morning. How are we gonna be healthy today? Have that vision of you leaving that vacation feeling light and lean. Protect your blood sugar, meaning try to eat protein at your meals and, and or as a snack so that you eat stabilized eating sugar or refined carbs on an empty stomach is gonna spike your blood sugar. You're gonna crash, you're gonna feel hungrier, more susceptible to overeat. Reinforce the support while you're away. You know, keep reminding your guys like, oh, let's, how are we gonna move today?

Rita Black: You guys? What? You know, what are we gonna do for exercise? Will somebody walk with me after dinner? You know, you be the person of, you know, the health leader. And I think it's also important for you to take breaks away from the crowd. You know, if you're around a lot of people, maybe you're on vacation by yourself, but if you're with a bunch of people, especially in a house, I think it's important to have you time away from everybody because our brain gets very overstimulated when we're around other people, and then we tend to overeat. So take those brain breaks and forgive yourself. If you get off track, just get back on track. Do not start over. Do not start over and promise yourself that before you leave. I am not gonna start over when you get back home from your vacation. It's also gonna help you, especially in your, as you are mastering your weight, is to really look at what worked for you and what didn't.

Rita Black: You know, there'll probably be things that you did that really worked very well. I think it's important for you to go, oh, that worked well, let me do that again next time. And then there will probably be things that didn't go well. And you can expect that things aren't gonna go perfectly. That's okay. But you know, when things don't go perfectly, don't lose a lesson. You know learn from it. So if you have to overeat a whole bag of saltwater taffy to learn that doesn't work for you ever again that's probably the best bag of saltwater taffy you ever ate, right? So if you really learn from it, then you don't lose the lesson. So, so really do what, you know, I would call the debrief of the of your vacation. And, you know, think of yourself like a CIA agent. We're doing a debrief now of the vacation with your inner coach so that you can really think about what worked, what didn't.

Rita Black: So the next time you travel, you'll be that much better and that much more masterful at traveling. All Right? So you guys, you can do this. You can have an amazing vacation. Stay centered, stay connected with yourself. That's the most important thing. Have a terrific time, have magical moments, and not, you know, not get off track and feel regretful. All right, well, I hope that you enjoyed this week's episode and got some really good tools for your travels this summer. And I hope wherever you are traveling, you are safe and sound and enjoy yourself thoroughly. And I hope that those techniques that we talked, the thin thinking techniques that we walked through give you that ability to just stay focused and on track. And just to remind you as well grab that travel coaching and download hypnosis session, I think you really would like it. The, the link is in the show notes and there's a coupon code for $5 off. Like I said, it's something you can listen to every night while you're away to keep your mind focused, because as we all know, our mind does like to go astray while we are away. So have an amazing week, and remember that the key, and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Thanks for listening to The Thin Thinking Podcast. Did that episode go by way too fast for you? If so, and you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com. That's www.shiftweightmastery.com, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book from Fat to Thin Thinking, Unlock Your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss and to learn how to subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode.