After all that self-discipline and hard work – the work-outs, the carb-free dinners, the total lack of chocolate – it can be a battle between relaxing back and enjoying ourselves on holiday or forgoing the fun and keeping that hard-earned flat stomach and firm bottom. Or there’s an alternative; follow this sensible, do-able advice from top nutritionist Ian Marber, and you still get to have fun, eat well and fit into the clothes you flew out in at the end of the holiday.
Travelling can be stressful and although airport food is better than it used to be, it’s all too easy to have over eaten before you even board the plane. Whatever time your flight, make sure you eat breakfast, don’t skip meals and take a few packs of nuts (unsalted to stop water retention) or seeds on the plane or train with you.
But don’t eat the coffee-and-pastry Continental breakfast that’s usually inclusive – starting the day with caffeine and carbohydrates is more likely to increase hunger mid-morning so that you pick all day. Head for the breakfast buffet and have eggs with a little toast or plain yoghurt with some fresh fruit – protein helps balance blood sugar levels so that appetite is minimised until lunch.
You deserve a rest but regular laps of the pool, will go some way to ensuring that your metabolism doesn’t get sluggish. Take advantage of the hotel gym, and if there are some interesting walks, schedule a few in so that you don’t become too laidback and lethargic.
Find the local food store and stock up on fruit, nuts, sliced ham and cheese so that you have something to snack on between meals. Eating later than you usually do is more likely to leave you feeling extra hungry, and that coupled with the ‘go on, you’re on holiday’ attitude means that it’s easy to overeat.
Cocktails and snacks can easily add several hundred calories to your daily intake – and that’s before you’ve even got to dinner. Avoid the sugary cocktails for those based on soda water, lime and vodka, and try to have a few nuts or olives instead of the carbohydrate based snacks – they are more filling and help control the appetite.
You can easily reduce your sugar intake by swapping sweeter fruits, such as mango, pineapple and papaya, for red berries, grapefruit and apples.
Holidays mean loose, lighter clothes, making it more difficult to gauge if you are putting on weight. Half way through the holiday, try on the clothes that you travelled out in; if they are tight, then at least you know you could be cutting back a little.