Well the Olympics are over, and now everyone is moving on from London and travelling around Europe the lucky things! The down side of holidays (if there really is one) is most people tend to pile on a few extra kilos. Holidays are supposed to make us feel revived and refreshed not sluggish and overweight.
Continuing a weight loss plan while travelling is improbable, yet just balancing your intake against your output might be achievable with careful planning landing you at the same weight as when you set off. No one wants to feel deprived on holidays, and you don’t need to be with a little mindfulness of your choices of a somewhat healthy and sensible diet.
Plan for three meals a day, spread evening over the day, avoiding large gaps between meals that find your appetite growing and ravenous eating later in the day. Try to keep your meals balanced, with protein, carbohydrates and plenty of vegetables, salads or fruit. It’s all about planning, so plan what you are going to eat throughout the day so you don’t get stuck choosing fast food such as hot chips, greasy burger or chocolate bars.
Try and find out if supermarkets are close by to where you are staying so you can stock up on some fresh foods and healthy snacks. Buy some yoghurts, fruit and bottled water and put them in your bar fridge in your hotel room for snacks and drinks. When you go out for day trips put this in your back pack, saving you from buying unfavourable foods due to limited choice when out sightseeing.
Get to know the cuisine of where you are travelling and which are the healthier and lighter options. If you are travelling overseas some options could be:
Italy: Choose minestrone soup, mixed or tomato salads with a small amount of dressing or tomato based pastas (avoid creamy or pesto based ones). Choose pizza toppings of vegetables, seafood and lean chicken rather than fatty and salty meats like pepperoni or salami and avoid extra cheese. Get salads to share or vegetables as a side dish instead of butter laden garlic bread.
Greece: Choose vegetable dolmades, hummus or tzatziki with vegetable crudités, be careful of taramasalata as it is high in fat. Choose chicken or fish souvalaki, grilled fish and greek salads, rather than moussaka, as this is high in fat and calories due to the cheese. Choose the grilled fruit and low fat yoghurt for a healthy dessert, rather than the baklava.
France: Choose grilled steaks, green salads or French onion soup rather than creamy soups or sauces and aioli. Avoid the high fat breads such as croissants and chocolate based bread.
Mexico: Choose lean chicken, fish or vegetables with fajitas, rather than quesadillas/enchiladas which have large amounts of cheese in the dish. Choose bean and salsa dips, instead of sour cream, and have small amounts of guacamole and refried beans.
South East Asia – Always have bottled water. Eat at higher end restaurants so you can ask for extra vegetable in your dish. Keep rice and noodles to a fist full as you would do at home, keep clear of curries and opt for more stir fries. Avoid fried entrees and choose anything grilled or steamed instead.
Cruise - Survey buffets before filling your plate and choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables to keep your plate balanced and always fill your plate with the vegetables first so then there is only a little room left for protein and carbohydrate based foods. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. (If you overeat at one meal go light on the next).
At the airport there is a lot of temptations of chocolate bars, chips and lollies, look around for the healthier options of fruit salad, smoothies, vegetable stir fries and sushi or a skim coffee latte for a snack, remember you are most likely going to be fed on the plane also.
A lot of people let their water intake slip while on holidays. Try and maintain two litres of water each day, this will keep you hydrated and control your appetite, as many confuse your thirst for hunger. Also keeping hydrated will help you feel refreshed and energised which is exactly what you want to feel while on holidays. Fizzy drinks, fruit juices, too many coffees are not the best choices, as they are loaded with kiljoules and won’t benefit your waistline. Although extra alcohol is a given on most holidays, it will negatively impact your hydration and cost you an extra 20 minutes exercise to burn off most standard drinks (sorry to spoil the party) :)
Finally try to maintain your exercise while away. Exercise keeps you feeling happy and uplifted, exactly what you want to feel while away. A few tips to maintain exercise while away are:
- Try and book a hotel that has a gym.
- Pack your workout gear and runners.
- Swimming is a great way to exercise. Swim around in your hotel pool rather than lying beside the pool the entire day or take a swim in the ocean.
- Include in your day all the walking you can. Get to the shops and walk around picking up your souvenirs and gifts.
- In your hotel if you can take the stairs instead of the lift do it!
- Lock in a morning run, walk or swim before your day starts. You will feel refreshed and energised for whatever you have planned for the day.
- Arrange some activities while on holidays that will include some exercise. Walk to places for sightseeing or hire a bicycle to ride past landmarks.
- If you wear a pedometer at home take this with you. It will still keep you in the mind frame to achieve 10,000 steps plus per day.
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