When you’re away on your holidays, no-one is expecting you to be as strict or rigid as you are when you are at home, during a regular week. But at the same time, we don’t want to go away on holidays and ruin all of our progress from the rest of the year. So, here are 10 tips on how to stay a little bit healthier while away, and hopefully maintain the progress you’ve worked hard for all year:
1) Change the goal:
Don’t go away with the idea you are going to make progress or continue to lose weight. Go away simply aiming to maintain what you already have.
2) Be active whenever you can:
Keeping in some structured exercise is a great way to increase your calorie burn on at least some of the days you are away. Yet even if structured exercise does go out the window entirely, it doesn’t mean you can still have a reasonable energy expenditure. Opportunities to do physical activities will arise, and if they don’t, walk whenever you can or borrow a bike and cycle.
3) Drink a pint of water before every meal.
This will keep you hydrated and fill you up a little bit before you eat.
4) Start the day off right.
Try to have a healthy, high-protein breakfast to start your day. This will help you feel fuller for longer, but also give you more flexibility later in the day.
5) Aim to be smart, not strict with your nutrition.
You don’t want to go through your summer holidays missing out on the food and drink you really want. Instead, set yourself some guidelines to keep you mindful of your nutrition. For example, every second time you eat out, make a healthier choice, or aim to have a healthy, lighter (but nutritious) breakfast and lunch before indulging more in the evening. Similarly, try and stick to two courses (most of the time) as opposed to three when eating out.
6) Stock up on healthy snacks.
Whilst we enjoy more indulgent meals on holiday, if we keep our snacking to healthy and low-calorie options as opposed to a bag of crisps every day, it will help us to keep overall calorie intake lower.
7) Keep eating 5+ portions of fruit and veg per day.
Eating 5-8 portions of fruit and veg daily will help you get the necessary vitamins and minerals in, but also fill you up more. This could help you avoid filling up on more calorie-dense foods. This will help you to avoid overeating and reduce the number of overall calories you consume.
8) Stay hydrated.
You see, staying hydrated is important for so many things other than just 'feeling thirsty'. If we are dehydrated, we find it tougher to focus, we feel less energised (meaning we move less) and we can even develop headaches. Moreover, sometimes when we are dehydrated we end up reaching for food instead of water. Lack of hydration can also lead to increased water retention, making us feel less comfortable in our own skin, and dehydrated skin also burns more easily in the Sun! So - drink plenty of water throughout the day and at mealtimes. Think of this ratio – for every alcoholic drink you have, have a glass of water, to help you stay hydrated all day.
9) Keep sugary drinks to a minimum.
This goes for both alcoholic and soft drinks. We all enjoy a cocktail or two, or a can of coke, but if we can limit the number of sugary cocktails we have each day and reach for coke zero instead of the regular stuff, we can limit the number of excess calories we are consuming.
10)Enjoy the break.
A few weeks off regimented nutrition and training is going to be good for you both mentally and physically (for recovery). Make the most of your holidays and the time with your family and/or friends. Maintain the balance when you can, and when you want, but also accept you may not be able to do it all the time.