Staying Healthy on Holiday
Many of us worry how trips will affect our resolutions to eat better and exercise more. Lots of people use a holiday as an excuse to eat rubbish, drink too much, and be lazy. While a holiday should be restful, we shouldn’t let ourselves go. There’s no need to get fat and lazy on vacation; use it as an opportunity to give your healthy self an extra kick and return back looking and feeling even better!
A sun-filled holiday in destinations like Costa Rica, Thailand, or South Africa is the perfect opportunity to indulge in lots of fruit and vegetables. Relish the abundance of healthy food available in these warmer, tropical places. Enjoy fruit for breakfast and indulge in fresh pineapple and watermelon throughout the day. There are usually lots of salad options for lunch and fresh fish with vegetables make a great dinner.
In the heat, it’s important to stay well hydrated. This is a great reason to drink lots of ice cold water—it will ensure you come back with a glowing complexion. Obviously, we are all tempted by the naughty treats available at hotels and restaurants, but try not to overindulge. Enjoy an ice pop, sorbet, or fresh fruit for dessert. Limit or avoid beers and cocktails as they are loaded with calories and can dehydrate you. If you crave an alcohol, refreshing beverages like vodka mixed with fresh fruit juice are lower in calories (around 65 calories) and also feel cooling in the heat.
All-inclusive buffets are dangerous. Try a soup or salad as a starter and avoid creamy dressings. Pile your main plate with vegetables and salad to accompany fresh fish or grilled meat. Eating slowly and drinking lots of water will prevent you from going back for seconds or thirds. As previously mentioned, there are normally lots of fresh fruits available at buffets and they make great options for dessert.
Tropical holidays don’t mean the end of exercising either. Many hotels have facilities offering a variety of fun activities. If you don’t want to get involved in sports like tennis or volleyball, go for beach walks, snorkel in the sea, or swim a few lengths of the pool each morning. A walk or swim will lessen the guilt of lounging for the rest of the day!
Did You Know?
Unlike beach holidays, gaining exercise during a ski or snowboarding trip is not an issue. You are out all day exercising and burning lots of calories. However, nutrition is important. Many people come back feeling fat and unhealthy despite the fact they have spent days exercising in the fresh air. Snow holidays are a minefield for those trying to eat healthily. It is important to have a good breakfast before hitting the slopes. Exchange pastries and white french bread for hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, or fruit and yogurt. Enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice, water, and herbal tea instead of rich hot cocoas and coffees full of cream and sugar.
At lunchtime, it is important to keep your energy levels high and refuel yourself for an afternoon of more activity. Avoid greasy burgers with fries and creamy pastas. Fill up with an omelet and salad or roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables. Pack dark chocolate, unsalted nuts, or fruit in your pocket as an afternoon snack and always carry a water to prevent dehydration.
Evening meals in ski resorts are often three or four-course affairs—strive for two courses each evening. Soups are excellent starters (without too much french bread!), followed by grilled meat with salad and vegetables. Vegetarian alternatives such as ratatouille and three-bean chili are also good main courses. By keeping your diet healthy, you will notice huge gains in your fitness and will return home looking and feeling fantastic!
Lastly, enjoy every moment of your holiday. Relax and come back glowing.
Kathleen is a contributing editor to En Route Traveler. From a young age, Her parents took her and her sister on many adventures all over the world. Kathleen has lived in South Africa, London, and Paris. After five years of being a stressed corporate lawyer, she gave it all up to move to Nicaragua where she trained as a yoga teacher, learned to surf, and worked at the eco-lodge, Buena Vista Surf Club. Kathleen loves fitness, vegetarian cooking, contributing to the wellness blog, Hip and Healthy.