‘Go on, you’re on holiday!’ - we’re all guilty of saying it at some point and whilst, yes, it’s true there’s no better time to indulge than on a well-earned break, our holiday behaviour can start to tip the scales and make us feel worse for it.
No matter how you choose to vacation, food is undoubtedly an exciting part of your trip, especially when exploring far and foreign lands. Trying local delicacies and sipping on a cold schooner of beer is a highlight of any holiday, but if you’ve worked hard all year to stay fit, healthy and trim, then those tasty temptations can start to sabotage your efforts.
It’s important to remember that indulging in your favourite food and drink is perfectly OK; we all deserve a treat from time to time but resisting the urge to splurge is key to avoid overdoing it. To help you stay on track we’ve put together our top tips for making good choices on holiday.
Make the most of breakfast buffets
An all-you-can-eat buffet might sound like a recipe for disaster but try to use these popular hotel eateries to your advantage. A buffet allows you to choose exactly what you eat, your portion size and helps you control the nutritional balance of your plate. Feel free to give in to the temptation of a freshly baked pastry on occasion but ensure you load up on fresh fruit, natural yoghurt, seeds, nuts and protein to go with it. If you fancy something heartier then why not grab an omelette? Or, if you’re craving a fry-up, try swapping sausages for a small portion of bacon and add plenty of tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and eggs to fill you up. Tip: If there’s a choice, choose poached or boiled eggs with your brekkie as there aren’t the hidden calories of oil or butter.
It sounds obvious but even an hour of exercise per day is better than lying horizontal for the duration of your trip. Jump in the pool and swim some laps, sign up to a volleyball game, enjoy local hikes or long walks on the beach, try your hand at horseriding or rent a bicycle and explore a nearby town. There are plenty of ways to combine physical activity with sightseeing and doing the things you enjoy. If you prefer to get your activity in before you leave the hotel room, then pack something simple like a resistance band to help you work up a sweat bedside before breakfast.
With the distraction of a relaxing holiday, it’s easy to start eating out of routine and snacking more often. If you think you’re feeling peckish, try reaching for a bottle of water first. Often, we eat out of boredom or by mistaking thirst for hunger, particularly in hot climates. Sip on a glass of water and give it 15 minutes before deciding if you do in fact need a snack. Chances are it was just the rumble of dehydration!
Swap your snacks
Most of us indulge in too much ice cream or sangria whilst on holiday but the good news is there are a few small swaps you can make to lessen the impact of all that sweet stuff. Opt for one scoop of ice cream instead of two or a big slice of watermelon instead of an ice block; swap ice cream for frozen yoghurt, chocolate toppings for fruit, or if cocktails are your vacation vice then try and reduce the sugar by avoiding juice-based drinks. Alternatively, why not swap your second blue lagoon for a rum with diet coke? Alcohol is packed with empty calories and it’s easy to get carried away, but cocktail menus are usually full of options, so try and choose drinks that will cause the least damage to your diet. Mojitos, white wine spritzers, martinis… they’re all much lower in calories than the likes of creamy piña coladas and sugary margaritas.
Protein to go
If you still plan to hit the gym – or the pool – on your trip, then don’t neglect your protein intake. True’s Sample Box sachets are individually wrapped and measured to give you a dose of your favourite protein flavours on the go, so there’s no excuse for sacking off your supplements!
Choose any flavour from the WPI range
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Treat yourself in other ways
We love food as much as the next guy but there are plenty of other ways to indulge yourself on holiday. Why not book a massage, get your nails done, treat yourself to some retail therapy or simply take time out to do absolutely nothing? You’ll be surprised how satisfying it can be.
Don’t deprive yourself
You’re on holiday, you deserve to blow off some steam and enjoy yourself. If you spend your days telling yourself not to have something, you’ll end up craving it and bingeing or, worse still, not having a good time. The old saying ‘everything in moderation’ shouldn’t be underestimated. The trick is to sample foods, not feast. Savour a little of what you love each day and you’ll feel sated and satisfied whilst staying in control.
If you’ve got a trip or activity planned for the afternoon, then make lunch your biggest meal of the day to account for the exercise and have a light dinner when you’re back. If you’re faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet for supper, then try to make breakfast and lunch a little lighter. You could even head to the local supermarket to pick up a selection of healthy snacks and enjoy a picnic on the beach. A little planning goes a long way.
Eat like a local
Chances are wherever you choose to vacation there’ll be plenty of fresh seasonal produce to tuck into. Local lobster, meaty monkfish, king prawns, sweet cobs of corn, tangy olives, vibrant capsicums… take the opportunity to fill your plate up with this fabulous healthy produce. Look for dishes that have been grilled instead of fried and use tomato instead of creamy sauces. You’ll experience authentic local dishes whilst getting your daily dose of oily fish, veggies and protein.
Mix it up
Don’t get bored with the same old salad every day. Healthy options can be similar between restaurants and you might end up feeling like you’re missing out, so don’t be afraid to mix it up. If you’ve had a grilled chicken salad one night, then why not splurge on steak and fries the next? You can always ask your server for a leaner piece of meat or ask to leave off any dressings to make it healthier. Making good choices doesn’t have to mean missing out.