Holidays are usually filled with lots of food and drink and relaxing and that is what makes them so amazing, but it can be easy to overdo it. Take a look at my tips on how to stay healthy, but still enjoy your holiday.
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I am all for taking time away from your regular eating and workout routine when you are on holiday, as that is what a holiday is, a break away from what you usually do. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to be eating 5000 calories a day or to be totally inactive. Looking after your health is important at all times. Also, I took a few trips during my weight loss and for me to just totally take a week or 2 off would have had a huge impact on my weight loss. In the past, I have been on trips where I have gained 10lbs+ and it has taken me so long to get it off again. With some small changes, like the ones below, I can still fully enjoy my trip, but come home just 1-2lbs heavier, rather than 10lbs.
- Eat at home before you get on the plane – Most people start their excess holiday eating before they even arrive at their destination. Airports are full of unhealthy choices (although airports are getting better) like fast food and fat filled sandwiches and let’s be honest, they usually taste like crap anyway, so I just see that as a waste of calories. Either take your own food to the airport, or for shorting flights, you can eat at home before you leave and you won’t need to eat again until you arrive. Also pack some healthy snacks like nuts, seeds and fruit in case you get hungry on the flight, so you are not tempted by the overpriced and tasteless sandwich or a pot of Pringles.
- Drink lots of water – Chances are, you are going to be having your holiday in a hot country. This means your body will require more water than it would at home. Your body often confuses hunger for dehydration, so when you start craving yet more food, have a bottle of water and wait 20 minutes to see if the hunger pangs go away. Keeping hydrated will also keep your skin looking great, which will go well with that tan you will be coming home with.
- Avoid fizzy drinks as much as possible – Fizzy drinks are full of sugar and are just wasted calories in my opinion. You will be drinking because you are thirsty, so during the day, stick to water to keep you hydrated and save the fizzy drinks for the mixers to your cocktails later that night. Diet drinks are no better either, as they are full of artificial sweeteners.
- Sightseeing is a workout too – Grab a guide book, get off that sunbed and go explore the area you have travelled on holiday to. If there is a castle on top of a hill, go hike to the top of it. The view alone will be worth it, and your legs will thank you for it too. Whilst on holiday, try to walk everywhere. You will get to see lots of new places, get some fantastic photo opportunities and you will burn off lots of calories so you can treat yourself a little bit more.
We always try to go on some kind of walking tour when we are away, as it is a great way to see the destination and stay active at the same time. We have used Attraction Tix to book walking tours and I would really recommend them. The tours are interesting, the guides are really knowledgeable and some of the tours allow you to get in to the attractions early, which means you beat the crowds.
- Make use of the hotel pool and the sea – Swimming is a fantastic workout and with most hotels having a great pool, you should make the most of it. As well as being a great way to cool down after sitting out in the sun, doing 20 minutes in the pool each day will compensate for that 10th cocktail you had the night before. As well as swimming, buy some inflatables for the pool and have fun. Jumping on and off of an inflatable crocodile and having an inflatable lilo battle with your friends has to burn off some calories!
- Try new sports – Chances are, there will be lots of opportunities to try new activities whilst on holiday that will definitely help burn off a few calories. Are there water sports available at the beach, like surfing, windsurfing or canoeing? Has the hotel organised volleyball or tennis matches? Get involved!
- Don’t overdo it on the ice creams – The first thing I think of when the weather turns warm (apart from applying lots of sun lotion, of course) is ice cream. Whilst you should satisfy that craving on holiday and enjoy a treat, be careful not to overdo it. It is easy for eat 4 or 5 of those a day on holiday, especially if you are all-inclusive. It’s hot and you are thirsty and you think an ice cream is the perfect thing to help that. At around 300 calories each, it can soon add up. Water will cool you down much more, but if you really want something cold and sweet, go for a fruit juice based ice lolly instead.
- Be careful of the buffet – If you have meals included at your hotel, there will most likely be a buffet. Chances are, the food will be a little different to what you are used to eating at home, so the desire to want to try all the new things can be tempting and lead you to eating 7 plates piled with food each meal. There is also the need to “get your moneys worth”. Again, you are on holiday so eating a little more is fine, but do you really need a 3rd plate of food? Holiday or not, there is only a certain amount of food that your body needs.
Try to fill up on salads and vegetables at the buffet and have a little bit of all the things you want, rather than full portions.
- Make the most of all that fresh food – Being in a coastal resort means lots of fresh fish. Make the most of it and enjoy it with a big salad. Also take the opportunity to sample local fruits and vegetables you might not have at home.
- Choose your indulgences carefully – You are going to splurge, that is a given, so choose wisely. Make sure what ever you are treating yourself too, is something you really want. There is no point overeating for something you didn’t overly enjoy, just because it was there.
- Keep your skin protected - Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat and your workouts. Make sure you are using sun cream and keeping your skin protected too. Healthy skin is important!
The most important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Just make a few healthy changes, don’t eat for the sake of it, and stay active with fun activities. Don’t beat yourself up if you get home and have gained weight. Just look back at your holiday photos and remind yourself what a good time you had, and then get yourself back into a healthy routine and start preparing for the next holiday.
What are your tips for being healthy on holiday? Leave a comment below.
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