The summer is here, which for many of us means jet setting to a place of sun and relaxation, leaving the worries of work behind us for a couple of weeks. As beneficial as holidays are for our health in general (opportunity to relax, take part in activities, and eat wonderful local fruits and vegetables and fish) they may also generate a rather unhealthy opportunity to overindulge. While a little treat eating is okay now and again, two weeks of it can leave your body feeling a little worse for wear. What can you do? It's easier than you think to not overdo it too much!
Follow these tips below for a healthy summer holiday.
1.Travelling – Don’t you find that every airport is full of temptation? And when you step aboard the plane, you’re offered all manner of treats! If you’re heading to the airport during the day, avoid the fast food joints and seek out a restaurant that sells light meals such as salads, soups or fish. Avoid any alcohol before a flight (or minimal, at least), and keep as hydrated as possible. If you’re flying at night, eat a healthy meal at home several hours beforehand; it avoids eating too late, and helps you resist the plane food temptations.
2. Watch Out For the Buffets – One of the greatest – and worst – things about many holidays, is the all-inclusive ‘all you can eat’ buffets. Breakfast especially; when you arrive at the bustling open trays with a completely empty belly, they look incredibly tempting, and it is very easy to pile your plate several inches high. To stay on the healthy side though, walk past the tempting croissants, muffins and sizzling bacon, and go for the nourishing options. Some fantastic things to consider are whole grains (such as the cereals or rye breads), as well as some proteins that are found in oats, fresh fruit, probiotic yoghurts, eggs and smoked salmon. The same can be said for buffet choices for lunch and dinner; keep your health in mind, and stick to the nutritious options.
3. Be Mindful During Main Meals – It’s true that we do eat a lot more when we’re on holiday, but you can still eat more of what’s good for you, rather than gorging on mountains of what’s not so good in large amounts. During a main meal, avoid the bread basket and snack on olives instead. Instead of juicy garlic bread for a starter, head for a small salad or bowl of soup. For the main course, a rough guideline for portion sizes would be half plate (or more!) of non starchy vegetables, a fistful of carbs, and a palm sized portion of protein. Chew food slowly and savour every bite!
4. Share Your Dessert – Desserts are so tempting wherever you are; you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love at least a small dessert. Instead of eating a whole one to yourself every day, why not share it with your friends or family? Half the calories and you’ll feel a lot better. Instead go for a fruit platter, or something such as dark chocolate which is healthier for you.
5. Have Snacks With You – To avoid snacking on too many treats while on the go, have some snacks with you as you travel. Nuts and seeds, goji berries and Nairn’s oatcakes are ideal for when hunger hits on the move. You'll find some snack options at your local supermarket.
6. Work out on holiday - Introducing – or continuing – a regular exercise routine while you’re on holiday is a great way to stay in shape and to work off some of additional food you may be eating. If you’re in a hot country, work out on a morning before the temperature hits, or check out if your hotel has a gym. Some resorts offer acqua aerobics or yoga on the beach!
If you do overindulge a little on your holiday, don’t forget that holidays are a break from your usual routine. Don’t feel guilty, we are all human after all! If you have an indulgent day, just try to have a lighter day the following day. Bon Appetit!