How to Enjoy Your Holiday and Stay on Track with Your Weight Loss
By Rebecca Walton, wlr team, and Shauna Reid (aka Dietgirl)
Holiday eating can put paid to your hard-earned weight loss. Check out our tips and tricks for healthy holiday eating – so you can enjoy your holiday and minimise weight gain.
It's almost summer and we're daydreaming about holidays... warm white sands and turqouise beaches await...
The thing we love most about a holiday is the chance to try yummy new foods. The problem is that after all that holiday eating, we often return home with extra pounds for souvenirs instead of postcards and perfume.
So this year, why not try some healthier ways to holiday... Check out our top healthy holiday eating tips and tricks that have worked a treat in the past to reduce the holiday weight gain!
Research Your Destination
Find out what's good to eat so you know exactly what's worth the calories. Scour food blogs for insider information on local delicacies and restaurant gems as well as healthy holiday food ideas.
Where can you get a good pub lunch in the Lake District? Where's the yummiest hot chocolate in Paris? Where's the best pizza in New York?
Tracking down these places is an adventure in itself, and means you don't waste time, stomach space, or calories on average food in touristy areas when eating out.
Create a Buffer Before You Go
The strategy to use here is to ramp up your exercise and healthy eating in the weeks leading up to your holiday.
If you're feeling fit before you go, and on top of your holiday weight loss goals, that groovy feeling will stay with you and you're less likely to go overboard.
Go Easy on the Plane
It's obvious when you think about it... you don't have to eat every meal they give you! Down on the ground we don't eat crappy pretzels and snack every half an hour, so why scoff them in the sky? It all adds up to a holiday weight gain!
If the trolley comes round and it's 2AM your time, skip the meal because you wouldn't eat in the middle of the night if you were at home. If you can, have one of your own snacks at a more appropriate time. This way you don't end up eating more than you need to.
Pack healthy holiday snacks like fruit, low sugar cereal or protein bars, or crunchy veg. And, if you're on a long haul flight, set your watch to the local time zone so your stomach can start adjusting right away.
Choose One Meal a Day to Indulge
You're on holiday, so accept that you'll probably be eating more calorific foods than normal. But, be careful not to go too far - viewing EVERY holiday meal as an opportunity to go food crazy will probably lead to more extra lbs than you'd like!
The best tactic is to allocate just one indulgent meal per day, or two at the very most (and not every day). For example, eat a simple, healthy fruit and yogurt breakfast and a light salad for dinner, but with a long and slightly boozy lunch in the middle.
If you have a big, plentiful breakfast, keep lunch and dinner light. Or keep brekkie and lunch light (which is normally fairly easy to do abroad), and have an indulgent evening meal.
Walk, Walk, Walk!
There's no better time for a good wander than when you're in a new holiday location and it helps compensate for the extra eating.
Try alternate days to get up a little early and head out to snap photos in the lovely morning light, or swap the 1½ mile taxi to the restaurant for a gentle evening stroll.
Whatever you choose, try to keep as active as possible as part of your day, that way you won't feel like your trying to fit in a workout to burn off those extra cals.
Raid the Local Supermarket
Snooping in foreign markets and supermarkets is great fun – whether foreign means the next town over or the other side of the world.
There's always some weird but healthy vegetable or wacky new holiday food brand to admire.
And when your wallet and belly are tiring of giant restaurant portions, it’s easy to pick up some fresh salads, bread and cheese to assemble an affordable makeshift dinner and minimize the weight gain while on holiday. Which brings us to…
'Have Fork, Will Travel...'
Pack a sturdy plastic knife, fork and spoon, so you're ready for a hotel supper or an impromptu picnic. Or, just keep the cutlery set from the plane.
If you’re bringing your own, just make sure to put the knife in your checked luggage to avoid having to explain that sharp object in your hand luggage!
Get Back on Track as Soon as You Get Home
It's so easy to let the holiday drag on when you get home. The key is to resume normal service as soon as possible, but try to ease in gently.
You'll be tired, possibly jet-lagged, and moping around with back to work blues so the last thing you want to think about is what's for dinner.
Make sure there's a few meals in the freezer and place an online grocery order before you return so it appears on the doorstep like magic the day after you get back.
Use the diet tools in Weight Loss Resources free - you can keep an online food diary and find out how many calories you need to lose weight. Try it Free for 24 hours.