If you're like the rest of the world, you're likely to be galavanting across Europe, basking in the sunshine, splashing in the Mediterranean or lounging with an Aperol. If you're not, you're either about to embark on travel or kick it local with a seaside or ski escape of sorts.
Either way, there's bound to be some form of health hiccup to show up uninvited, so here's some tips to ensure it doesn't overstay its welcome.
Resist the temptation to ‘stay on track’
Vacation is not the time to worry about your diet. You should focus on eating nourishing foods, 85-90% of the time when you're at home and in your routine so that a few weeks of the year isn’t going to make much difference. This doesn’t mean that a holiday needs to be an all out binge, but you shouldn’t be worried about eating out, having fun & gaining a few kilograms. Most of the time, that weight you put on is not fat (your clothes getting tighter 5 days into vacay is in your head), it’s water and glycogen and as soon as you get home and back into your normal routine, things are going to return to normal and you won’t even remember those extra kilos (you will however remember the amazing food you tried from different cultures).
If eating all the vegetables and goodness is something you love and enjoy, that is cool too, but don't let stress around food affect your holiday. Trust in the fact that you look after your body enough year round that a few weeks of the year of sub optimal eating are going to make absolutely NO difference to your overall health (in fact, enjoying amazing food with loved ones with no stress or guilt is probably going to improve it).
Skip the pre vacay shred
This is one of the most important points. You know the usual 4 weeks out from a beach based holiday embarking on some form of ‘pre vacay shred’ without realising how potentially damaging this can be. For one, it sets up a ‘diet’/ all or nothing mentality. It's also a lifestyle change based solely on the way you look which is damaging in itself. Additionally, a more obvious and talked about point is that extreme dieting in the ‘shred’ leads to feelings of deprivation, which makes it all the more likely to binge when you get to your holiday. ‘Shredding’ for holidays also encourages yo-yo dieting which is something that not only can be incredibly damaging to one’s mental health but studies show yo-yo dieting is likely to result in weight gain in the long term.
So what should you do instead? Nothing. Eat reasonably well before your holiday & after your holiday, as best as you can. Allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love without sweating about it too much. Changing your mindset and getting away from the ‘diet’ is everything and will see far greater results than any ‘pre vacay shred’ ever will.
Moving on holiday is a big one. Don’t stress about it if it doesn’t happen but try to do something when you can. If your idea of a holiday staying as far away from the gym as humanly possible that is completely fine - just move! Walk instead of getting a taxi. Walking is a great way to effortlessly incorporate exercise and a great way to see the city that you're in. Bike tours, snorkelling, kayaking or hiking are all great options to accidentally exercise while on holiday so take advantage of these opportunities.
Take a good quality multi or greens powders with you
This can be a game changer if you know you may not be eating as optimally as you do when at home so it ensures you are getting all of the essential and secondary nutrients your body requires to feel great. We swear by Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff. Travel can be incredibly draining and in planes we are often exposed to other people’s illnesses so this is also a great way to support your immune system. You don’t want to be that person on holiday that winds up with a cold having to spend a few days cooped up in a hotel room, so this is an important one!
Pack your own snacks for the airport and plane
It’s particularly easy to fall into a mindless eating trap on the plane, as food can become an occupier or an activity. I cannot encourage you enough to simply eat when you are hungry and turn down any other meals you are offered. Often, you will be offered far more food than is needed. If you aren’t in it for the long haul, chances are you will survive by avoiding the food all together. For longer flights consider packing some good quality snacks that will help you to feel your best at the other end.
Eat lightly, stay hydrated and avoid coffee or alcohol if you’re on long-haul flights – as these will only dehydrate you further making it that much harder to bounce back when you do arrive.
Drink plenty of water
Traveling can dehydrate you. Staying out in the sun longer than your body is used to can also dehydrate you. When you don't take in enough fluids, it's easy to mistake dehydration for hunger. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can cause you to believe you need food when you may just need to drink some water.
Lose the guilt
So many people worry about putting on weight on holiday. They are torn between not wanting to get ‘fat’ but also not wanting to be ‘that’ person who is conscious about their eating on holiday and still wanting to have fun. Often this brings about so much internal stress they end up throwing the ‘yolo’ card out there, bingeing, regretting it and putting a damper on their holiday with feelings of immense guilt. Whatever happens on holiday, don’t feel any guilt. It’s a finite amount of time, and you will be back into your normal routine before you know it (unfortunately).