New research has discovered that more than a third of holidaymakers fail to stick to their pre-holiday healthy eating plan while on vacation. We picked up some expert tips from Helen Bond, consultant dietician for XLS-Medical Fat Binder’s ‘123 hello me’ programme, on how to keep your beach body in top shape.
Avoid side orders
Don’t be tempted to order extra side dishes such as chips. Choose lots of salad or vegetables to help fill you up and get you on your way to your five-a-day. But go easy on creamy salad dressings or mayo or you could end up with more calories than if you’d had chips. If you fancy a little dressing to liven up your salad, you can always ask for the dressing on the side. One teaspoon of mayonnaise adds around 80 calories and nine grams of fat!
If you still feel hungry after your main course, try drinking a couple of glasses of water. Not only will this hydrate you, it will fill you up and reduce the amount of alcohol you are drinking (plus reducing the chance of a hangover!). We often think we’re hungry when we are actually thirsty.
Be wary of food buffets
Portion control can be difficult for even the most determined healthy eater at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The sheer variety of foods available is hugely tempting and you want to get your money’s worth. If you’re out for a buffet meal, rather than trying a little of everything, stick to a few healthy choices. Studies have shown that when we are presented with a wider variety of foods, we tend to eat more without even realising it.
[Related: Five foods you think are healthy but aren't]
Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter
You never know what’s gone into your food, and even apparently ‘healthy’ looking meals can contain high amounts of fat and calories. As a rule of thumb choose vegetable and tomato based sauces rather than cheesy or creamy ones and opt for dishes that have been grilled, poached, steamed, stir-fried or boiled rather than fried, roasted or battered to cut down on unwanted calories.
Take fresh fruit to the beach or poolside, so you’re less enticed by unhealthy snacks and keep hydrated with plenty of water (bottled depending on where you are) so you aren’t tempted to tip into cocktails too early.
You might not be able (or want) to hit the gym every day of your holiday, but there are plenty of fun holiday activities that require a bit of physical exertion. Hire a bike or go for a long walk to take in the scenery and local sights. If you’re by the sea, try a water sport or even just dive in for a dip every day. And jogging along the beach will not only keep your legs looking fab, it’ll give you a much more even tan that you can achieve on the sun lounger – just remember to slap on the suncream.
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