Healthier eating on Holiday/Avoid the Summer Blowout.
Lets face it we all have fat days on holidays where you bring too many dresses just in case the other doesn’t fit you. Ya I’m guilty of that.
For some of us, the word bikini makes many of us shudder and for those watching their weight the stress of eating in an unknown envir…onment can be overwhelming. I’m certainly not one to skimp food-wise when travelling so I’ve set out below for you some tips and tricks to avoid the bulge on hols and it works. We all want to peel down to our little bikini and feel confident and indeed the fellas want to feel good with their tops off as we all have the perv on the beach right?
I appreciate better than anyone the role food plays in the cultural experience, and I’ve traveled the world at this stage sampling some of the nicest foods. I also know that overdoing it can leave a bitter taste of the holiday in ones mouth.
I went backpacking over a year ago for three months to Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines & Thailand so I’ve put together my top tips to ensure you remember this summer break for the relaxation, the golden tan, cultural experiences and comfortable indulgence… rather than the excess kilograms you returned home with (and I’m not talking about the shopping).
Beware of the buffet. Before you remove that booking website filter “breakfast included” consider if you can do the following. Opt for the muesli, the natural yoghurt, the boiled or poached eggs with whole grain toast, or let’s cut a deal with just one plate or bowl of food rather than buffet revisits that leave you feeling very sorry for yourself and returning to bed rather than venturing to the beach.
At one stage I thought I was going to grow feathers over there I was eating so many eggs but they are just so filling and guilt free.
As a general rule the pastry selection on offer in most buffets will rack up the calories but leave you craving something substantial in only a few hours time which defeats the purpose of the most important meal of the day.
Cancel the cab. How often do we jump into a taxi to reach a destination in a foreign country only to find that it would have been easier (and cheaper) to walk. Obviously there are times and places where public transport is the most sensible and safe option, but perhaps brush up on those map-reading skills and make your first question from now on “is it walkable?”. That 20 minute walk four times in one day could burn off that Nutella crepe you couldn’t resist earlier on. Additionally, on the topic of exercise, make the most of that beautiful ocean or pool at your doorstep and engage in one of best forms of exercise for your heart, swimming.
H2O in hand. When away from home it can be a pain to buy a bottle of water five times a day I know, but in the warm temperatures not only is it important to keep hydrated to replace losses, it will also assist with your hunger cues. Too often we confuse hunger with thirst and end up over eating as a result, or with dry mouths head straight to the ice-cream fridges and if you are like me ice-cream gives me spots big huge massive Unicorns on my face that take ages to go away (Its all the sugar) its the ENEMY.
Sharing is caring (for your waistline). This is my tip for ensuring you get to sample the often high calorie ‘must-eats’ for your destination without resenting the dish once you realise you’ve inhaled it in the blink of an eye. The majority of restaurants can often be very generous in their portions, therefore use this in your favour by sharing. Trust me the first half of the paella or pizza tastes the same as the second half and if you share one of these and a salad, you won’t be left tasting it for hours afterwards if you know what I mean. This way you also get to try more than one dish in a sitting which by my books is winning.
Caution with the cocktails. You knew it was coming. Alcohol for many goes hand in hand with holidaying, but if in excess can easily lead to weight gain. As noted in previous blogs the creamy and high volume cocktails are the ones to watch out for, but to be honest you’re better off with a light spirit and low calorie mixer. Beer and cider drinkers you don’t get off lightly either! Two 330 ml Efes beers are the equivalent to a standard sized croissant. If you drink beer like me when I start that would be like way to many croissants. So Top Shelf it has to be you’ll be drunk but isn’t that the whole idea?
Careful of the complimentary calories. That delicious basket of fresh white bread. You don’t think you can wait for your meal so two thick slices and two tablespoons of olive oil later you’ve consumed more than 50% of the calories of your meal. By no means am I anti-bread but there does come a point when you begin to resent this offering with every meal for making you feel like you’re carrying an extra suitcase home with you around the waist.
Spain- Olives, vegetable-based tapas, fresh fruit and seafood dishes won’t hurt you as much as the chorizo and patatas bravas will. The sharing style of tapas if done right can lead you to consume less.
Italy- Pasta can be your friend, but not every day and night, and not with a mountain of extra cheese added. The Mediterranean is also famous for its salads so be sure to make the most of these.
Croatia One of my Personal favourites Ive been over 30 Times!- If you’re struggling to go past the greasy lure of burek, just remind yourself the restaurants that follow the Adriatic coastline serve some of the best grilled seafood you’ll ever have. Plus, on a 30 degree summer’s night grilled calamari with vegetables often goes down better than pastry and meat.
Greece- Gyros is (sadly) not an everyday food. Salads and grilled meats in the form of souvlaki are smarter options on the menu however.
Barbados – I ate so much fish in Barbados I thought I was going to grow a fin. Endless amounts of fresh fish absolutely delicious & totally fat free. Pile up on the Salad with this.
Paris – The French don’t eat big breakfasts, and this is especially true in Paris. The typical Parisian breakfast consists of a croissant and a cup of coffee – and not only will this smaller breakfast help save you a little money each morning, it will also give you a chance to eat something very French every single day. I’m talking, of course, about the croissant. Avoid it its full of calories opt for a nice fresh omelette and a coffee instead you’ll feel much better for it.
Rome – If you’re traveling to Rome… then you’ll be eating in Rome! And there’s lots of great food in Rome, so that’s a good thing.
While you’re here, though, you’ll notice that Rome has so many visitors, not all of its restaurants are truly “Roman.” Many cater to tourists, serving up “Italian” food like spaghetti bolognese that aren’t Roman at all… and that, sadly, are often microwaved.
As a rule in any country stick to chicken or fish with veg for mains and omelettes or poached eggs or scrambled for breaky. You won’t go wrong. Pass on the desert menu. Minute on the hips and all that!
So good luck, but most of all enjoy and embrace the wonderful contribution food can make to your trip if you have a healthy relationship with it. Most of all enjoy every second you’ll be back to reality before you know it xx