Are you looking forward to your next holiday? You have all the reasons to do so! Travelling can take many forms. Going somewhere new offers the opportunity for untried experiences, or you may choose the comfort and familiarity of a local resort closer to home. Whatever you choose to do, there is just a thin line between relaxing and over-indulging. Stay with us to find out how you can enjoy your holiday experiences without giving up on your healthy diet!
According to studies published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, some people tend to put on weight during summer, especially when they are on holiday.
Lack of physical activity, irregular schedules, and the temptation of high-calorie foods and drinks are the main negative factors. Indulging in unhealthy foods may be more tempting in summer, which could result in overeating and weight gain. For children – but, not only them – sugary cold drinks also have a negative influence. The routine changes during holidays may result in less physical activity and more sedentary behaviour, which affects general health and may cause weight gain.
But there are ways to let your hair down and have fun without affecting your long term health goals. Just keep in mind that while the holidays are a time to relax, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness objectives. You can still eat healthily and fully indulge in your holiday days by making a few easy adjustments.
Here are our tips to enjoy your holidays fully without falling into the trap of unhealthy habits:
Make the most out of “all-inclusive”
Package holidays in all-inclusive resorts, with all meals and drinks included are a great chance to give your mind and body a well-deserved break, with minimum organisational efforts and stress from your side.
Relaxation, sun, time spent outside in nature, a good night’s sleep and, of course, a balanced nutrition will help you to refill your batteries both physically and mentally. Enjoy cuisine diversity and take advantage of the abundance of options at the buffet by picking nutritious foods that are both delicious and good for you!
Recommendations for open buffet
A simple trick to sticking to reasonable serving sizes and a balanced nutrient intake is to choose a medium sized plate. Fill about half of it with fruit and vegetables, and the other half with lean protein and healthy grains. This is an easy way to make sure you offer your body the necessary nutrients, without stressing about strict quantities and measurements. At the same time, you can help to reduce food waste by taking only as much food as you need.
Recommendations for breakfast
For a healthy breakfast, consider options like whole-grain cereals, nuts, and fresh fruit. For example, you can easily put together a banana oatmeal with fresh berries or other fruits of your choice. If you crave something sweet, avoid high-sugar foods like pastries and sweetened cereals but opt for delicious fruit tarts instead. Top your pancakes with fresh fruit and drizzle honey or maple syrup on top instead of jams, chocolate, syrups, or cream. A quiche loaded with veggies could also be a great savoury option!
A carefree holiday can also be the perfect opportunity to take a break from caffeinated drinks. Instead of coffee, boost your energy with freshly squeezed, refreshing juices. They are also great to add your liquid supplements into or to take your daily capsules with. You can do the same with herbal, floral, or fruity (iced) tea.
Recommendations for lunch and dinner
For lunch and dinner, pick sides of veggies or salads to complement the main course, which should consist of lean protein sources, for example fish, seafood, or chicken. Eat less fried food and opt for grilled, baked, or steamed dishes instead. Replace fatty sauces and mayonnaise with simple vinaigrettes, like olive oil and lemon juice.
Recommendations for physical activity
When it comes to sport, it can be fun to take part in the resort’s activities together with others, such as swimming or hiking, to help you stay in shape and burn off extra calories.
Explore places, cultures and flavours, and keep up your health game
If you opt for a more dynamic holiday – like tours – and you are excited about new local foods and sweets, it’s important to choose healthy options whenever possible.
In order to do this, planning ahead is crucial. Research the healthy eating options in the places you plan to visit before your travel, and then plan your options accordingly.
Travelling is also about socialising, meeting new people, and learning about new cultures. Ask your local host for recommendations and check the online reviews. Don’t hesitate to opt for family-owned restaurants, which will give you a taste of authentic local cuisine and maybe even the opportunity to make new friends. In any case, in order to avoid falling into tourist traps – which are not only pricey, but also unhealthy – choose to go to the places where the locals go.
Whenever in doubt, ask the waiter how a certain dish is prepared and try to avoid dishes that are fried if possible. Instead, explore original spice combinations, slow cooked dishes, and discover new fruits, vegetables, or herbs that you have never tried before, and look for traditional dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
Make the most out of your rented accommodation
Rent an apartment instead of a hotel room that allows you to “live like a local” and enjoy authentic experiences. Most places have their own kitchen where you can prepare quick meals with healthy ingredients. Pick fresh ingredients at the local markets – exploring the vibrant markets of a foreign land is not just a feast for the eyes but also a delightful way to dive into the local culture, flavours, and colours, and to discover foods that you have never tasted before.
If you are travelling from one place to another, or if you go hiking in nature, always bring along healthy snacks like fruits or nuts, as well as plenty of water.
Enjoy, but in moderation
You can indulge in your favourite holiday foods as long as you do so in moderation. Keep your intake of fatty, sugary foods to a minimum and concentrate on savouring your favourite foods in moderation.