By Nutrition Team
Monday, July 19, 2010.
Holidays and travel have a tendency to throw healthy eating and exercise habits off track, but there are measures you can take to at least minimize the harm when you are taking life easy if you have decided to travel this July.
1. First things first, it’s your attitude that matters. Healthy eating is not all about lettuce and lentils, missing meals and missing out. It’s about what you eat, not what you don’t. Going on holidays determined to eat as healthily as possible is not about depriving yourself. You’re there to give yourself a well-deserved break, why put extra pressure on your body while you are there by eating badly? It’s about taking care of yourself.
2. Focus on all the hard work you have done to lose weight leading up to your holiday and vow not to undo it in the space of two weeks or so. Do not go on a crash diet the week before your holiday to make room for weight gain while you are away. You will gain it back twice as quickly.
3. On a more practical note, when on holiday, food is usually on offer more often than at home, whether from the kiosk near the beach, from the friends you are staying with, or in your hotel. You don’t have to accept food every time it is offered. Listen to your hunger signals.
4. Balance high and low calorie meals throughout the day. That mixed grill for breakfast is fine ... if you cut back at lunch or dinner.
5. Carry foods with you if you'll be traveling for long periods of time or through mealtimes. That way you will not be tempted by high fat snacks or meals at the airport or on the road-side cafes.
6. Avoid eating while driving. Take a break and sit down for your meals. It’s very easy to mindlessly munch your way through a whole bag of sweets or chocolates due to boredom.
7. Be aware when ordering meals at the restaurant and choose wisely. Avoid any of the fried or fatty foods and try not to eat a starter AND dessert. Plan ahead and order one or the other.
8. Bring fresh fruit with you to the beach as a snack. The only snacks available are often ice creams or crisps. If you leave it to chance you might find yourself filling up on fatty treats mid-afternoon.
9. Use your holiday as an opportunity for extra exercise. You have the whole day to enjoy yourself so taking an hour or two to walk the beach shouldn’t be seen as a chore but a way to add to your enjoyment. Walking in soft sand can be a great work-out. Why not take the plunge and get involved in some of the water sports available at many resorts – water skiing, wind sailing, canoeing etc.
10. What you drink is just as important as what you eat when it comes to watching your weight in holidays. Water is the best option for staying well hydrated during the day, and stick to diet drinks if you want to have a soft drink. A can of fizzy drink will add around 130 needless calories to your daily intake. It’s also a good idea to limit your alcohol intake by alternating between water and your drink of choice through out the evening.
Remember, a holiday won't ruin a healthy lifestyle if you give some thought to the foods you choose BEFORE eating them and make an effort to get active every day. When the holiday is over, you can face the scales knowing you have not done too much damage and get right back on track, refreshed and ready to start again.