STAYING FIT ON SUMMER BREAK
By Nutrition Team
Friday, June 19, 2009.
Holidays are a time for relaxing, unwinding and leaving your worries at home with the rain! But does that mean you should leave your diet resolve at home, too? Okay, so holidays are not necessarily the time to follow a strict diet, but that doesn’t mean you should forget all the good habits you have learned. Just a few simple steps can help you come home from holiday feeling as fit and fabulous as you did before you left. Here's how:
1. Modify your goals
Before your holiday, you may have aimed for weight loss of 1-2lbs per week. But on holiday, aim for weight maintenance instead of weight loss – or weight gain! Making healthy choices wherever you go is the secret to staying slim and doesn’t mean you will miss out on any of the fun!
2. Be prepared!
Start as you mean to go on and be prepared for travelling. If you have a long journey ahead, pack plenty of healthy snacks. Snacks are important to keep your hunger at bay, to keep your motivation high and to avoid impulse snacking. Pack a bottle of water, fruit, rice cakes or vegetable sticks – this will help you resist tucking into those duty-free giant Toblerone!
3. Portion size!
Following your healthy eating plan, you’ll have learned that watching portion sizes is the ultimate key to keeping the weight off. With buffet style eating it’s very tempting to pile your plate full with food. The solution to this is simple - don’t! Or at least pile it with the right foods!
4. Spice of life!
Make the most of the deliciously different varieties of fruit on offer at breakfast and skip the croissants, Danishes and fried or butter-loaded dishes. For lunch, take full advantage of the refreshing varieties of salad available. Remember to steer clear of the creamy, fattening dressings and full fat hard cheeses.
Many countries don’t offer the low fat or reduced calorie options available here, so fill your plate instead with plenty of salad vegetables as a base, and small portions of healthier, less fattening sides, such as lean meat, poultry or fish and stick to oil-free dressings. You could also have small portions of soft cheeses and nuts but make sure you skip those evil little croutons! You know how to do this at home - so why change your good habits on holiday? It will only make it harder to change again when you return home, and how can you show off your lovely tan if you don’t fit into any of your nice summery tops!!
5. Be smart…
If you’re staying in a hotel or at an all-inclusive resort you’ll probably be offered endless amounts of food. And it’s only natural to make the most of this – it is paid for, after all. But remember how hard you worked to get that bikini body – you don’t want to undo all your hard work in a week! So look for the healthy choices on the menu and stick to those.
6. Appealing appetisers!
Baskets of bread and bowls of creamy dips might be very tempting but they will just add extra calories to your meal - a 2 inch slice of bread and a tablespoon of creamy dip will set you back over 160 calories and 7g of fat, while an average serving of olives will cost you only 12 calories and 1g of fat. You know it’s your best choice. Vegetable based soups and healthy salads are also good starter choices.
7. Keepin’ it lean
Stick to lean cuts of grilled meat and poultry, and make sure you order plenty of vegetables and salad on the side. Remember, you’re in a new place, so make the most of their traditional cuisine - tomato based pasta dishes in Italy and fish dishes in Portugal. And ask for sauces or dressings on the side - allowing yourself a spoonful or two of a creamy dressing will do you much less harm that a dish full!
8. You don’t have to ditch the dessert!
Desserts don’t have to be fattening either. If you fancy something sweet, most restaurants in exotic destinations have a large variety of fruit available, so stick to this - it will certainly kerb that sweet craving. If it’s a special occasion or you really want something creamy, share a dessert with your partner to cut the portion size and then take a long walk after dinner!
9. Move on up!
Holidays are a great time to try new activities – if windsurfing or diving aren’t for you, how about doing a few laps of the pool or walking the length of the beach before breakfast?
10. Have fun!
Now you have the basics to keep off those holiday pounds and make the most of your holiday. So go on - have a great time and use your holiday as an excuse for looking and feeling 100% fantastic the whole time!