As part of being a travel writer, I often get to eat out at some amazing restaurants. Over indulging sometimes becomes part and parcel with this gig (although I am not complaining) and that can lead to piling on the kilos fast. This is especially so if I am on extended time away. Unfortunately, my wonderfully fast metabolism left me some time ago, once I got over a certain age (damn you hormones) and now I have to really think about how much I am eating when I’m away. I know that I’m not alone here either, many struggle with this very same problem.
When on holidays, most of us will see it as a chance to relax and more often than not a chance to relax the diet too. A buffet breakfast here, out for dinner there, a sneaky cake with coffee, a cocktail by the pool, late night ice creams and before you know it you have tripled your normal kilojoule intake in one day.
Now fast forward two weeks later and you have found that you have relaxed a little more than you thought. It’s quite easy to loose track of your eating but you don’t have to deprive yourself whilst on holidays. You just need to go in with a plan, so that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Here are some easy to manage tips on how not to get fat on your holiday.
Avoiding the buffet breakfast pitfall
If you are like me and find that when you come up against an amazing breakfast spread, your mind just goes a little crazy on all the options on offer. It’s easy to justify having a big breakfast with the premise that you will be on the go all day and may not get lunch. I’ve said this many times myself and then I end up having that lunch anyway. So instead, plan out what you are going to have to eat prior to entering the breakfast room or cafe and stick to it. Some hotels offer some delicious healthy choices that are still indulging. Choose some bircher muesli or an omelette, load up your plate with an array of fresh fruit and some yogurt. Give the cakes, croissants and pastries a miss, along with anything fried.
Have a food management plan
Being on holidays doesn’t mean you have to be strict on all your food choices but you should have a strategy on how much you will treat yourself. Rather than choosing to indulge at every meal like it’s your last, you can treat yourself here and there. Plan a day where you can relax your food choices a little without going overboard. If you know that you will be having “free” day, you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself. On the other days endeavour to stick with healthy choices, to keep you on track.
Little pickers wear big knickers
Little pickers wear big knickers is a saying for absent minded eating. That snacking you tend to forget about, a couple of biscuits here, a bowl of nuts there, the dips and chips, those opportunistic choices than we didn’t plan on having. When you are out and about it’s easy to forget what you have snacked on during the day. Doing this a few days in a row is going to help you expand your waistline in no time. Keep track of your snacking when out, limit how many snacks you will have each day. Carry a bottle of water with you to keep you feeling full. Once again have a day that you will treat yourself to an afternoon tea or look for a healthy snack. Low fat ice-cream or gelati are easily grabbed on the go and are far less laden with calories.
Resist the urge to super size
Just because there is a smorgasbord of food on offer and you have paid for it, doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything in sight to get your money’s worth. You have actually paid for a normal sized meal, so keep a watch on that portion size.
Walking it all off
As a tourist, you will be doing a lot of walking. If not then you should be, it’s a great way to see the sights and ensures you don’t miss anything on the way. So ditch the train, bus or taxi and plan on walking to see the sights of the city. You will keep fit and work off what you have had at breakfast or lunch. It can be an incentive to have that cake at afternoon tea, as you have already burnt up some energy walking from place to place.
Most of all enjoy that holiday, after all what’s a holiday without a little bit of indulging – just keep it realistic.
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Love these points and I work to practice them, plus eating small portions or not finishing the full portion. There’s no shame in sending half your entree back or sharing with a colleague. You just need to set that up before it arrives and you dig in. I do hate wasting food but have noticed that tasting menus – lots of fun and perfect bite-sized bits – help keep the pounds from piling on. They’re so beautiful too!
I think that’s what most people worry about when not finishing a meal – the waste. On the other hand when you can help yourself like at breakfast, it can be hard to resist some options. I am totally with you on the tasting or degustation menus … they are small, divine and are kinder to the waistline! 🙂