Recently, I went away with my family, and basically for 5 days we ate meals at cafés and restaurants for 3 meals a day, when I usually eat maybe 1-2 meals out each week! Needless to say, I was pretty much out of my usual routine, but somehow I managed -without too much effort – to not overeat as much as I usually do.
Here’s my top 5 tips on holiday eating, check them out:
(1) Avoid drinking all of your calories
Holidays often come with an excess of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, especially cocktails which are often overloaded with sugar. It’s really easy to get carried away with “drinking your calories” as we often don’t even think about what we’re drinking and how it contributes to our health, energy intake and also our weight. Of course, enjoy yourself, but also think about how much you’re drinking each day/night and keep it in check. If you like a cocktail here or there (like me), go for something like a mojito or caprioska that has a low soft-drink and/or fruit-juice content to keep your daily sugar consumption from sky-rocketing.
(2) Incorporate physical activity into your holiday
It’s not about hitting the gym as hard as you can after a meal, exercise isn’t a punishment for what you ate or drank the night before. It isn’t about repaying a debt that you owe to your body because you did a “bad thing” by eating this or that. Food cannot really be as enjoyable as it possibly can be if you’re thinking, “crap, gotta go on a run tomorrow to burn this off!”, it just ruins the experience of eating whatever it was to begin with! Instead, think about incorporating physical activity into your holiday, by going for a bush walk or hike to explore the local area, or visit the beach and have a swim. Taking a break from your usual exercise routine is important because its a holiday after all! But sitting all day and eating out all the time will probably make you feel less than optimal, so going for a walk will probably help you feel better and explore some more.
(3) Choose two courses: entrée and main or main and dessert
This is something I like to do personally, totally not compulsory, go for that 3 course meal if you like! I’m a huge sweet tooth, and I like to check out the dessert menu before ordering anything, if there’s nothing that really takes my fancy there then I’ll go ahead and order an entrée instead. If you’re eating something for the sake of having a “three course meal” or because everyone else is having dessert, and so you order one too, it isn’t the best way to get the best possible dining experience. Often I feel like I’ve just eaten a bit too much in these scenarios, and end up feeling TOO FULL when leaving a restaurant, which kind of ruins the whole experience.
(4) Start your day off right with breakfast
I would never recommend skipping breakfast but over-indulging on the first meal of the day could mean racking up a huge calorie and sugar and/or fat figure by the end of the day. Poached eggs and toast with roasted and/or sautéed vegetables is always a good go-to. Often the granola, fruit and yoghurt combos can just give you a sugar-overload, look for protein and carbohydrate sources and go easy on the bacon. My favourites last week were avocado and fetta on toast and buckwheat pancakes with fruit (not because I follow a gluten-free diet, I just thought some variety in my grains would be nice as I don’t have buckwheat at home).
(5) Relax, you’re on holiday!
A holiday is a great time to try new things it’s an opportunity to eat meals that you usually don’t prepare at home, whether that be a whole new cuisine or a dish you never get the time to make yourself. Enjoy yourself, let loose a little, but cut out the guilt. Eating on holidays shouldn’t be about strictly monitoring or counting calories (nor should eating ever be like that!), chill out, eat what you want and don’t get too much crazier than you would if you were eating your usual day-to-day meals and snacks at home.