Face off with the all-you-can-eat buffet and win.
Last week, I spoke about staying on a healthy track while enjoying your summer holiday. I touched on nutrition (and overindulging on the vino!) but this week I wanted to look at vacation eating in a little more depth. No, this is not the time for a strict diet. After all, a little bit of what you fancy does you good! But it doesn’t have to be a full-on explosion of empty calories and refined sugar. With a little planning and a little structure, you can enjoy yourself on holiday without feeling stuffed, uncomfortable, and just plain unhealthy.
I brought together my best strategies for curbing holiday overeating, below.
Check Your Hunger
On holiday the urge can be to eat, eat, eat regardless of what our bodies are saying to us. Listen to your stomach, are you really hungry or perhaps a little thirsty? After all, it’s easy to become dehydrated quickly in the sun. If you are sure that you’re hungry, then eat slowly and understand that its ok to stop when you are feeling full. There is no prize for eating more than everyone else, even if you are at a resort where the food is free and unrestricted. The lesson here, whether you are home or away, is to be more conscious of your hunger levels and what ‘full’ really feels like.
Enjoy the Local Cusine
If you’re in France, treat yourself to some pastry. Italy, well it has to be a bowl of really great pasta. Spain, an amazing seafood paella! Local cuisine tends to have fresher ingredients and be healthier (most of the time) than fast food or convenience options. So, enjoy the local speciality, just keep an eye on portions and remember to stop when you’re full. Eating healthily on holiday should still involve some culinary exploration!
Pick Healthy Options (Most) Of the Time
Make a deal with yourself to go for healthy foods and drinks, 70% of the time. Fill up on lean protein sources and fibre packed veggies and fruits. Then for that 30% indulge your inner foodie with a glass of great wine or a scoop of to-die-for ice cream. No one should have to give up on life’s eating pleasures but learning how to moderate them will help to keep your healthy lifestyle on track for the long term.
Eat Little and Often
Choosing smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will keep you fuller for longer and reduce the chances of you feeling so famished that you lose all control come dinner time. Eating hungry is one of the biggest reasons for falling off the healthy-lifestyle wagon. With an empty stomach and lots of options, we tend to splurge on several foods at once, not realising until later that we are completely stuffed and have eaten far too much. So, take a conscious decision to never go hungry. Your belly and your body will thank you for it.
Go off for your summer adventure and enjoy every food your exotic escape has to offer. Just try to do it mindfully and in moderation. I’ll be back next week with a back to basics look at walking. The amazing exercise that too many of us take for granted. After all, for most of us, our fitness journeys start with a single step. Until then, stay amazing.