We are into the holiday season now and I know many of you out there, especially my clients, have been trying really hard over the last few months to shed those few extra pounds in order to be in top shape for the upcoming holiday. We spend so long waiting for our holidays to come round, that we want everything to be just perfect and that includes our bodies, which can put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
By the time the holiday has come round, we are often so hungry due to the last minute panic starvation diet we have forced on ourselves that we run straight to all the unhealthy foods at the all-inclusive restaurant, and feel bloated for the remainder of the holiday. This bloated feeling usually hits us at day 1 or 2!
On top of this, our holidays are often a time for us to unwind and have some down time. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a bit lazy on your holiday, after all you work hard all year and deserve a good break. However, if you intend to spend the whole fortnight stuck to a sun lounger with your only exercise bobbing to the pool bar and back then you may wish to reconsider your daily schedule.
Does any of this so far sound like you?
Whether you are going abroad on a beach holiday, or are visiting places in the UK, there are ways to ensure you keep your healthy progress on track and stay healthy while on holiday. This doesn’t mean you will not enjoy your holiday and are not allowed to treat yourself because where is the fun in that? However, if you follow these quick tips to stay healthy, you can be sure you won’t return from your holiday being back to square one with any of your weight loss goals and undoing all the good work you achieved before you went away.
Engage yourself in activity – Wherever you are on holiday there are always activities you can get involved in to stay healthy. On a beach resort there is always the option of beach volley ball, scuba diving, football, tennis, swimming, the gym and even daily exercise classes that the hotel normally put on for you, such as aqua aerobics. If you are in the UK, get outside in the fresh air and go for a hike, hire out some bikes for the day with a picnic, take the children swimming or even go for a swim in the English sea! Aim to do at least one activity a day and it will make you feel so much more energised.
Always walk where you can – Ditch the habit of getting straight into the car or dialing a taxi where you can and walk instead. Even a 15 minute walk can do wonders for your energy levels and mood. Plus, think of all the scenery you can take in and the places you may have missed if stuck in a car. If you are on a beach holiday, I always take a 20-30 minutes stroll along the beach every day after lunch. Not only is this extremely relaxing, it also helps to burn off some of the calories I have consumed during lunch, which sets me up for the afternoon.
Resist the urge at meal times – When we go out for dinner it is always nice to treat ourselves every now and then. On holiday though, we tend to eat out daily and this can really build up our calorie intake, which is where the weight piles on. Try to think of the holiday itself being a treat and not the eating out part. This way you will encourage yourself to stay healthy and not over indulge by resisting the urge to order all the unhealthy foods on the menu. Also, finish your meal when you are full, not when you have cleared your plate. Restaurants tend to give larger portions than what is needed, which again leads to unnecessary additional calories.
Step away from the all you can eat buffets! – If you are on an all-inclusive holiday then this may be harder to do. All you can eat buffets are great as they offer enough variety of foods to cater for everyone, but the problem comes when you see so much food in front of you and you want to try it all. If you are on an all-inclusive holiday and you have a buffet style meal for most of the time, to stay healthy try to stick to one meal per visit and don’t pile the plate up high with bits of everything. For the healthier choice avoid anything that has been deep fried, anything that has a creamy sauce or texture and don’t overload on the carbs. Always add enough salad and vegetables too so you can fill yourself up on these whilst getting your recommended 5 a day allowance. Also, if you are abroad stick to local fresh fish, which is full of omega 3. Not only will it keep your skin hydrated, but it also encourages healthy digestion and aid weight loss.
Water is key – When you are on holiday, especially in warmer climates, you can become dehydrated. When we are dehydrated we can sometimes confuse this with feeling hungry and so eat more. Ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the day and always make sure you have a bottle with you at all times. When we are in the sun, our body dehydrates even more than usual so you need to make sure you keep yourself topped up.
Allow yourself a treat – You are on holiday and you have worked really hard to get there so you should be allowed to enjoy yourself and allow yourself a treat. The trick here to stay healthy though is not to go over board and allow the treats at all times. Do what suits you best, but I would recommend either having one treat a day and then healthy choices the rest of the time, or if you are being even stricter then allow yourself one treat a few times per week.