If you’re watching your weight, going on holiday can pose a major challenge. A change to your usual routine can threaten to scupper all your hard work – especially if holidays have been a cause of weight gain in the past.
A summer in the sun, barbecues and days out entertaining the kids during the long school holiday are all lovely disruptions, but can easily scupper healthy eating habits – a 2kg weight gain during a two-week break is not uncommon!
But Emma Clarke, nutritionist at food tracker app Nutracheck says: “Going away doesn’t have to mean piling on weight and nor does it mean you have to deprive yourself. Eating out is a part of any holiday, and should not cause added stress.”
“Although many people do put on a few pounds, there are some easy tricks to avoid this. We’ve got some great tried and tested tips from a member who’s happy to share what she’s learnt.
Real life experience from NC member ‘Sprog’:
“For me, typical holiday eating normally included treats at the airport, pastries at the breakfast buffet; ice creams on the beach, wine at lunch, lots of eating out and nibbles with cocktails and alcohol in the evening.
“We self-catered and generally had one meal out a day. I decided I could cut out the pastries for breakfast easily – I can get these at home any time. I love fresh fruit and I knew there would be an abundance of fruit – and plain yogurt is always available – so my first easy switch was to eat fruit and yogurt, instead of croissants with butter & jam, for breakfast.
“I decided to have salad for lunch whether we were eating out or not. I like bread, but I didn’t need it every day, so I planned to have it only every other day with lunch.
“I realised that nibbles with a drink in the early evening were non-negotiable. Normally these would be crisps, nuts and alcohol, so I decided to try a few substitutions: I cut up carrot and cucumber and also had little gherkins, silverskin onions and a few olives. That way I got a nice crunch and lovely sharp tastes, but far fewer calories.
“I started the night with a glass of sparkling water, then had a low alcohol lager before moving onto alcohol and alternating alcohol and water.
“With a bit of thought – and making swaps, not sacrifices – I saved around 1000 calories a day.
“All of this meant that I had the calories for whatever I fancied from the menu once a day, including a cocktail, and I tried loads of new foods and ate plenty of fresh fruit.
“I had an ice cream or a cocktail most days – and occasionally both – and one alcohol free day. I swam for 30 minutes each day, and got in my 10,000 steps minimum daily. I wore a bikini for the first time in decades and relished walking in the heat without my thighs chafing. Those two things are good reasons to stay the weight I am now!
“I didn’t weigh anything, I didn’t agonise about calories (though I estimated for the diary) – I just stuck to my plan.”
7 tips to stay on track on holiday
1. Both airport days are diet days – not eating airport food is no loss!
2. Swap breakfast pastries for fruit and yogurt
3. Only have one meal out a day
4. Always have salad for lunch – and take the bread basket every other day
5. Have one alcohol free day
6. Swap calorific savoury nibbles for vegetable sticks
7. Start your evening meal with water and alternate between water and alcohol
- Nutracheck is a calorie counter and food diary available via an App and website
- Super-fast and easy to use, the barcode-scanning App lets you add food to your diary in just 2 clicks
- Nutracheck’s unique search shows photos of food to make it easy to spot what you ate from over 180,000 products in the UK food database
- Top rated diet website on www.reviewcentre.com
For more information, please call Karen Veness on 07968 049528