How to Stay Healthy on Holidays

How to stay healthy on holidays without feeling deprived?  This can be difficult as we all need a break from routine and to enjoy time with family and friends. A break from the norm and time to let our hair down.   However, having the attitude and response -‘ah sure I’m on holidays’ when any temptation comes your way will leave you feeling sluggish, tired and generally feeling worse than you did before you had your break.

So how do we find the balance of enjoying our holidays – enjoying the food and drinks on offer and still feel we have a healthy balance.

1.Breakfast:  The number one rule don’t skip breakfast. If you are self-catering eat in. Be prepared and have food in your room. You have control over the breakfast you are having each day.  even if it just a banana and yogurt it will stop you overeating at lunch.  If you are staying in accommodation where breakfast is included try and plan what you will have each day.  Healthy breakfast options could be omelets, Greek yogurt & fruit or eggs on brown bread.  If you are considering a fry up – choose bacon instead of sausages of poached eggs instead of fried and brown bread instead of white.  Go easy on croissants and pain au chocolat as they are full of sugar and will have you craving more.

2. Grocery Shop: Visit your local grocery shop.  If you have kitchen facilities you can control your breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  Buy lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, salads, eggs, chicken, whole grain bread or rice anything that is quick, easy and healthy allowing you to control what you are consuming for the majority of the day.

3. Stay Active: If you have a hotel gym use it.  Try and get it done early in the day. Many accommodations have classes on over the day- yoga, pilates, water aerobics – give them a go.   If you don’t have a gym or classes on-site bring comfortable shoes and walk – go and explore and leave on your Fitbit so you can try and hit 10,000 steps per day.  Another option is swim – especially if you are in hotter climates.  You can swim lengths in your pool or in the sea.  It is a great way to keep cool while also working out.  The more active you are you can also allow yourself that treat without the guilt.

4. Drink waterThis has to be the easiest one.  Keep yourself hydrated.  It is especially important if we are consuming alcohol on holidays.  Between heat and alcohol, we can be become dehydrated very quickly.  This can be mistaken for hunger.  Buy large 12 Litre bottles of water in the supermarket and refill the smaller  1.5 or 2-liter bottles and place in the fridge to keep them cold.  Aim to drink at least 10 small bottles per day or bring your own stainless steel bottle that will keep your water cooler for longer.


5. Alcohol choices:  For the majority of people their alcohol consumption on holidays increases dramatically.  Many alcoholic drinks are laden with calories.  So choose wisely.  Try and limit cocktail, wine, and beer.  Choose alcohol that is lower in calories such as processo, spirits with slimline mixers and try and drink water in between.  We all know the measures can be larger in different countries so be sure to buy extra mixers or split the drink across two glasses.  Drink out of a large glass allowing you to fill the glass with extra mixer, ice, and fruit.

6.  Snacks

A good rule of thumb is to allow yourself a treat a day.  So choose your treat wisely.  Portion control and knowing a healthy alternative can be crucial here.  So one scoop of ice cream instead of 2, ice cream in a cup, not a cone, choosing soleros instead of magnums can all make a big difference to your calorie intake over the week.

7. Eating out: Little things can make a big difference. Say no to the covers and avoid the bread the waiter brings to the table, share sides and choose salads with mains instead of a full portion of chips – that way you can pick a few chips of your partner or kids plates without overindulging.

Eating out staying healthy

8.  Do the things you enjoy. This may be your time to unwind and relax -read a book, listen to music or to a podcast.  Treat yourself to a massage, manicure or facial.  Do things you don’t have time to do at home.