Holidays are for a time to relax, eat dessert, drink a few cocktails by the pool and let go of the structure that comes with everyday life. But is it possible to have fun on vacation without packing on the pounds? Excess baggage can be a drag, especially when you return home from your European vacay and your favourite skinny jeans are feeling a little snug. Never fear, you can still enjoy a little holiday treat with a few simple tweaks…
Don’t go ham at the buffet
You start with a small bowl of cereal. You go back for seconds because the pancakes were looking straight at you. Then in the corner of your eye you notice the apple Danishes in the pastry section and all of a sudden you’re four plates deep, your top button is undone and you’re getting the food sweats. Hotel buffets are an easy calorie trap, but ask yourself this question - would you usually have muesli, eggs, bacon, a hashbrown, some fruit and a croissant for breakfast at home? If you know temptation will get the better of you, opt for the continental breakfast when booking your hotel and eliminate the option of a hot buffet all together. Or if you like your eggs in the morning, skip the pastries and cereals and stick to one plate of food.
Walk the walk
Step 1: Delete your uber app. Step 2: Pack your runners. Step 3: Walk.. anywhere and everywhere!
The beauty of holidaying is the ability to explore, so why not burn a few extra calories while you’re at it. Walk to and from dinner instead of catching a taxi, take the stairs instead of using the hotel lift and take the long way home from the beach instead of the sneaky shortcut.
Don’t bank the calories
Starving yourself all day so that you can indulge later is not only setting you up for a major pig-out, it’s reeking havoc on your metabolism. It’s easy to lose control and eat more than you usually would when you’re feeling hangry, so be sure to eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks, that way when dinner rolls around, you can indulge without overindulging.
Slow and steady wins the race
Eat slowly and savour the delicious cuisine – not only will this aid digestion, it will also ensure that you don’t eat more than you actually need. Eat to the point of feeling content, rather than the point where you’re wishing you wore your drawstring pants instead of jeans!
Don’t mistake thirst for hunger
Sun lounging, walking and exploring the streets of a new city and you guessed it - alcohol consumption - can all contribute to dehydration. Not only is maintaining water intake important for your health, it can prevent you from overeating when you’re actually not that hungry. Feeling peckish is often your body’s way of telling you to drink more water, so rather than reach for that cannoli, try downing some H20 instead.
Choose your booze wisely
It would be wrong to deny yourself of a cheeky wine here and there, after all, holidays are for letting your hair down!
The trick to have a sip without it hitting your hips – choose your booze wisely!
Many classic cocktails can pack a punch in terms of sugar, so steer clear of the margaritas, pina coladas and anything mixed with soft drinks. Instead, consider wine, any basic liquor mixed with soda, spritzers and light beers.
Have your cake and eat it too, just not all of it
Fancy a sweet? Sharing is caring! Rather than hoovering a whole piece of tiramisu to yourself, share with a friend and automatically cut your portion in half. Not only will this save the calories, it will also allow you to enjoy a little dessert without going overboard. Instead of ordering two scoops of gelato, settle for one and savour the flavour! And if you’ve got the willpower to say no, order a fruit salad and enjoy the benefits of a little sweetness coupled with fibre and antioxidants!
If you know you’re going somewhere where the options for healthy snacks are scarce, add some to your packing list! Keep a snap lock bag of nuts and seeds in your carry-on luggage - not only are they full of healthy fats, they’re highly satiating and perfect if the plane food just isn’t up to scratch.
A few packets of Krumballs are an easy add-on too - full of protein, guaranteed to stay fresh and small enough to still leave room for those sneaky holiday shopping trips!
The yoghurt aisle is probably one of the most confusing to navigate. There are so many options, an abundance of flavours, low-fat, no-fat, Greek, natural – yikes! Plain and simple – opt for plain and simple! Flavoured yoghurts are packed with sugar and artificial flavourings, highly processed and unfortunately lacking the healthy fats and protein that make yoghurt such a healthy option. On the flip side, full-fat greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and satiating fats, and can be so easily naturally sweetened with a handful of fresh berries or a drizzle of honey. Our go-to brands are Tamar Valley Full-Fat Yoghurt and Farmers Union Greek Yoghurt – both super creamy and great for your gut too!