Between airport fast food, all-you-can-eat buffets and the classic “I’m on holiday attitude”, holidays are generally unhealthy. As a result, we tend to indulge a little more than we should. Holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself but it doesn’t mean that you should forget all the good habits you’ve learned and un-do all your hard work.
We asked The Food Medic to put together a few tips to help you stay on track of your healthy diet while on the road and still have fun!
Plan ahead for the airport and plane journey by stocking up on healthy snacks. The airport is notorious for fast-food restaurants, family size bars of chocolate and bags of sweets. Pick up nutritious, non-perishable snacks such as nuts, beef jerky, protein bars and rice cakes.
Homemade protein balls and granola bars are a great snack to take on the road as they stay fresh in an air-tight container for 2-3 days. For long-haul flights it may also be sensible to take a pre-packed lunch as the in-flight meal is rarely much to be desired, nor healthy.
Regardless of whether you are travelling to a hot country or not, it is essential to ensure that you are drinking enough water. Aim to drink around eight glasses, or two litres, of water every day. Most supermarkets will stock big two litre bottles of water, which you can pick up for a cheap price to sip on throughout the day.
Fresh coconut water is also a great way to stay hydrated by replacing electrolytes, which are lost through sweating. Thirst is often confused as hunger so by keeping on top of your water intake you’ll help curb any hunger-pangs and stop over-eating.
Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets where possible. Buffets encourage over-eating because they provide such a huge variety of foods and allow you to go back for second, third or even forth servings! Most people want to make the most of the experience and get their money’s worth by trying everything on offer.
If your hotel has a buffet, load up on vegetables, fruit and lean meats before eyeing up the fries, bread and desserts. Treat it like you would an À la carte menu and choose a starter, main-course and a small dessert such as fruit or sorbet.
Have it your way
Don’t be afraid to ask for changes to your meal such as asking to have the dressing on the side or swapping chips for a salad. Most restaurants are happy to tailor to your needs and nutritional requirements if you ask.
Bypass the bread basket
Photo by Ben Dalton
It’s often difficult to resist when a complimentary bread basket is placed in front of you and you’re waiting for your meal to arrive. Continental breads such as Focaccia are often served with oils or butters which can quickly add calories to what originally seemed like a simple little appetizer. If you don’t think you’ll be able to resist the smell of fresh bread, simply ask the waiter to take the basket away.
When in Rome
Scout around the local markets and try the fresh produce that’s on offer. Be adventurous and try exotic fruits, seafood and locally sourced meats, which may not be as readily available at home. Make sure to stock up on snacks such as fresh fruit and cured meats to nibble on while out exploring or sunbathing at the beach.
Cut down on cocktails
Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and sugar which can easily undo the hard work you’ve been putting in to your Clean Eating. On top of this, as alcohol lowers our inhibitions it can lead us to make poor decisions when it comes to food such as grabbing a McDonalds at 3am. When you have an alcoholic drink, try to avoid sugary mixers such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks. Instead opt for soda water or sugar free lemonade to mix with your spirit.
If beer is your drink of choice, then how about trying a ‘light’ version which has a lower percentage of alcohol, on top of a lower amount of calories!
About the author
My name is Hazel Wallace, I’m a final year medical student and the girl behind The Food Medic!
I started my blog as an extension of my Instagram, it was somewhere I could share my recipes and blog about subjects I’m passionate about such as health, fitness and travel. I promote a balanced lifestyle and my aim is to show people that living a healthy lifestyle is possible even with a busy schedule, a hectic social life and family life.