As half term approaches and the summer holidays within sight on the horizon, staying healthy on holiday isn’t always as difficult as you may imagine. With healthy habits already established and bearing in mind the 80:20 rule, there’s no reason to deny yourself a fabulous holiday that still includes your favourite treats!
Here are my 10 top tips to help you keep a balance (as that’s ultimately what we’re aiming for!) and stay healthy on holiday:
1. Be prepared
Your good intentions can disappear in an instant when searching for good options at the airport. Unless you’re at a large airport with plenty of choice, it can be difficult to find a nutritious meal. You can actually bring food through security and packing your own healthy lunch or dinner can be a perfect way to ensure you eat the food you want to eat, whether it’s at the airport or on the plane.
2. Eat one big meal a day
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, decide which will be your main meal and try to make good choices the rest of the time.
3. Go local
Try to find out what the local delicacies are and experiment with different foods; after all, this is part of the holiday experience. Aim for the fresh vegetables and fruits on offer.
4. Stick to your healthy ‘rules’ when ordering
Restaurants can be very accommodating; you don’t have to abandon your usual healthy eating habits just because you are ordering from a menu. Scan the menu for vegetarian or the grilled meat or fish choices and if these don’t include plenty of vegetables, order a side or two of salads or vegetables alongside. Perhaps even swap the rice, pasta or potatoes for a vegetable instead. Restaurants and hotels can often be very accommodating for specific dietary requests.
5. Choose when to have dessert wisely
If there is an unusual dessert that really appeals, go for it. Otherwise, think about whether you really want to eat this sweet dessert and if not, don’t bother!
6. Go easy on the alcohol
Consider whether you really need an alcoholic drink and if so, perhaps opt for a lighter beer or a vodka and soda rather than a sugary cocktail.
7. Don’t eat out every meal
Apart from saving money, this is a wonderful opportunity to investigate what the local supermarket has to offer.
8. Stay active
One of the best things about arriving in a new destination is exploring the local area; its history, culture and sights. Try to do as much as this on foot or even by bike, as far as possible. Not only will you enjoy a more local perspective but you’ll also be incorporating exercise into your day in a fun and rewarding way.
9. Look after you gut
Boosting your good gut bacteria whilst on holiday can help ensure a healthy immune system and avoid unnecessary debilitating gut symptoms. In the first instance, limit sugars and carbohydrates that the bad bacteria thrive on and increase fibre to allow the good bacteria to proliferate. Taking a good quality probiotic that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge can also help to maintain a healthy gut flora and promote healthy digestion.
10. Consider a magnesium supplement
Travelling can play havoc with many of your normal body functions, including bowel movements and sleep patterns. Magnesium, the body’s aid for naturally calming, can help to relax your muscles and provide a gentle relief from constipation or muscle aches after a day’s sightseeing and can also help fight jet lag and promote a better night’s sleep.