Advice about protocol

Dear Coaches,
Every year I travel with two couples on active vacations – usually involving walking, hiking or biking many hours every day. They are in their early 70s, very fit and trim, and healthy and I’m in my early 50s, relatively fit, but have about 40 pounds to lose. FYI – these people are my role models of how to age well.

Anyway, my protocol before my vacation had been IF (16/8), no flour, no sugar, 2 meals, whole-food/plant based – veggies, rice, beans, nuts and seeds mainly, and no wine during the week. I was losing some weight but I failed on most days to follow my plan completely – mostly because of feeling hungry, tired and stressed.

For my vacation last month with these two couples, I decided to stick with plant based meals but to go with the flow on timing and eat based on what was available. Both couples had a very similar eating pattern, early breakfast of cereal, toast, fruit, and yogurt, a second breakfast later in the morning of a pastry and coffee, a later lunch of a sandwich and chips, and a dinner of salad, pasta, bread, and a little fish or chicken, all with a couple of glasses of wine and a few bites of dessert. Portion sizes were good but never excessive. I adopted most of this (except yogurt and meat) and I felt terrific. Energized for a full day of activities, never stuffed, slept great, and I lost 2 pounds over 2 weeks. In fact, I almost always lose weight when I vacation with them.

So of course my brain is now very confused and I have lots of conflicting thoughts about flour, sugar, IF, wine, exercise, and my protocol. I’m dithering mentally about getting back on my protocol, changing it to reflect more of how I ate on the trip, to really increase my activity each day rather than focus so much on diet, maybe I felt good because I was less stressed, etc. These thoughts are driving me in circles and I can’t decide what to do next. Any advice would be appreciated.