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Staying slim on holiday: 12 thinking shifts to help you on holiday

In my previous blog I looked at why we tend to overeat on holiday. I asked the question "what does holiday mean to you?". We looked at getting all the things you love from your holiday without needing to over eat or drink and breaking free from the mad panic about losing the weight back at home. Here are some shifts in thinking that will help you make food and drink on holiday a source of enjoyment rather than a source of guilt. 

You CAN have it

An all or nothing mentality is not helpful so leave that at home. When you deprive yourself of food you just want it more. It's not the case that you're either managing your weight or you're not, there is a middle ground. Tell yourself you can have nice food and drink, you just don't need all of it!  

Taste is better than a stuff

I once heard someone say a 'taste is better than a stuff. If you see something you like and you want to try it, try it. If you want to satisfy your curiosity or taste the lovely things on offer do exactly that, just have a taste. I like trying new beers when I'm away. I've learnt that a third, a half pint or even a sip will give me a taste. I've realised I don't always need a whole pint of a beer to 'try' it. 

Sharing is caring

If you want dessert or a starter why not share it with your partner or travelling companions. You can still enjoy what's on offer but do you always need one to yourself? By sharing the food you share the calories too. 

Plan ahead

If you tell yourself you can enjoy the food and drink on holiday, plan how much you want and have an idea of when your meals out are going to be. You don't need to plot it on a calendar but know in your own mind what you want and stick to it. Plan ahead so you know you're eating healthily. For example, if you know are going to have a big meal in the evening, what about making yourself a light packed lunch while you are out sightseeing? You can use local ingredients to make something healthy but enjoyable. At the all-you-can-eat buffet walk the length of the buffet to see what you really want rather than just starting at one end and piling up your plate. 

Feast not famine

Don't skip meals, telling yourself you're saving calories for later. It usually leads to feeling absolutely ravenous and either snacking on sugary things or eating more when you do eventually dine. 

How many?

You can let yourself have cooked breakfast but ask yourself: how many fried breakfasts does a good holiday need? What number do you need to 'be on holiday'? Most people get fed up of fry ups after a few days anyway, why not switch to poached eggs on toast or fish? 

Snacks are good

Keeping your energy levels up throughout the day is a good thing. It avoids having a big blow-out in the evening. When you are abroad you have access to loads of lovely healthy snacks you don't see at home. In bars, nibble on olives rather than peanuts. Each one only has three ­calories, compared to peanuts, which have 150 calories in a small handful. 


Value for calories

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you need to 'get your money's worth' of food on an all inclusive holiday. It's true you want value for money but food has a value as well as a cost. You also place a value on your body. You might want to get your moneys worth but how much will it cost you in time and money spent on diet products to lose weight when you get home? If you want to 'treat yourself' consider value for calories. What is the calorie to enjoyment ratio of the foods you are choosing? 

Walk the unbeaten path

One of the best things about a holiday is enjoying the scenery and taking in the local atmosphere. Why not combine it with some exercise by exploring by walking or cycling? A holiday is a great way to up your activity levels in a fun. But remember, additional activity does not mean you can eat whatever you want as I explained in my previous blog post here

Take control

Avoid free pour measures of alcohol. Ensure you are able to keep track of what you consume so that you stay in control of your decisions. Self-catering for at least some of your meals will allow you to be in driving seat most of the time. 

Try new things

Just different, healthier things. One of the great things about going abroad is the opportunity to try more unusual dishes. Many of these are healthy such as exotic fruit and veg and different types of fish. 

Every dawn is a new day

If you do have a very food and drink heavy day don't think "Well that's it I've blown it. I might as well eat whatever now".  Ditch the 'screw it all mentality' I described previously and start afresh the next day.

What do you think?

I hope you've found these useful. What tips do you have for keeping on track on holiday? Please leave your comments below.

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