One of the main challenges most of us encounter is how not to return heavier from our holidays (and I don’t mean just the suitcase). When surrounded by so many enticing temptations such as street delicacies, wonderful restaurants and less exercise, no wonder it’s more than a small challenge. I’m not even going to begin with the topic of ‘all-inclusive holidays’. Here’s a few tips and tricks that will help you enjoy your holidays without regrets.
If you are getting ready for your holidays you are likely to already come to terms with the fact that you’ll put on some weight. But you don’t necessarily have to because I’m about to give you some tips and tricks on how to maintain your diet and retain your figure whilst not having to resist all temptations. Here’s a few common mistakes that people do on holiday and how to avoid them:
- Get ready for your travel day – The day you go on holiday usually includes many hours on the road, airport security and the duty-free shop. These hours are often made more
comfortable with snacking on things you brought from home or purchased on the way.
These might include chocolate bars, crisps, candy, and other things you would usually try to avoid. And the snacking continues in the airport lounge and during the flight. To avoid this from happening, a little planning can help. Prepare and take along some healthier snacks from home. These can include some pre—sliced fruits and vegetables, healthy sandwiches, crackers and maybe some nuts. When you prepare, you stand a better chance to make better choices (not to mention saving a few quid).
- Hotels’ breakfasts – Many of us regard breakfast as the most important meal of the day. The one that sets up your energy levels for the rest of the day. However, many tend to go carbs such as croissants, cookies and other pastries, instead of nourishing food. This kind of breakfast is calorie and sugar rich and is likely to make you feel hungry again in no time. Instead, whilst on holiday, it’s recommended to consume a more sustainable breakfast, even if you’re not used to having breakfasts. This can include a couple of slices of toasted whole bread, topped with an egg-white-only omelette (most hotels have an omelette chef), made from two or three eggs, garnished with fresh herbs. Healthy proteins and complex carbs will keep you going for longer.
- Alcohol – moderation is always the key. Enough said!
- Juices – almost every respectable hotel breakfast includes vitamin C rich orange juice.
However, what you get mostly in the juice is the sugar as most of the nutritional fibres
remains in the juicer. When we’re talking calories, an average glass of juice includes 4
oranges which is equal to about 240 calories (and lots of sugar). A better choice would be
coffee, tea or water (my own personal choice). If you can’t muster up the courage to avoid the juice, try to keep to one glass.
- Sweets and desserts – one of the most fun parts of holidays (at least to me) is gelato kiosks, local bakeries and cafes. There is no reason to deprive yourself of all of that plenty. If you’re on a weight-loss diet, try to restrict yourself to one treat every few days. However, if you must have a daily treat, share it with others. It’s good to share.
- Eating out – Restaurants are an integral part of every holiday. If you are anything like me, you’re gathering popularity information from apps such as TripAdvisor, fellow travellers and your concierge. The problem starts when this becomes a daily ritual, which is likely to almost always include a flood of calories. If you’re going to eat out regularly, try to have balanced meals which include proteins, complex carbs and healthy plant-based saturated fats. Healthier choices include chicken, fish, tofu with side order of fresh vegetable salad. A few carbs on the side are unlikely to kill anyone. I personally always ask to have the sauce on the side, which makes me feel more in control of that goes into my mouth.
Perhaps the most important tip: use your legs for commuting. Walk to wherever you can. You’ll see more, experience more and of course burn more.
Udi Gon-Paz is a Licensed Functional Therapist and Wellness Coach in Monaco, specialising in clinical nutrition and Stress therapy.