Updated: May 7, 2020
Maintaining a healthy trim diet whilst on holiday can be difficult (I tried to do it this holiday) but I have a few tips to share which are things I tried to stick to.
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If you are going on holiday with self catering facilities then this is for you. You don't have to eat out all the time, the thing with eating out is you can't see what's going into it or what your dish is being cooked in (oils, etc.), even salads can be pretty high in fat if they're just slathered in an olive oil or caesar dressing, quickly reaching the point at which you may as well have had something from the menu that you actually fancied. Local supermarkets especially in most of Europe are full of fresh local produce and your bank account will certainly thank you. In the south of Spain 3 huge tuna steaks cost just €7 at a local supermarket whereas in a local restaurant a dish with tuna steak was peaking above €20! If you're feeling really eccentric you could even check out local grocers markets in the area you are staying and see what's on offer there.
If eating out is your only option stick to fresher dishes, avoid restaurants with giant menus as that tends to mean it's all frozen (on the most part) therefore full of salt and preservatives. Fresh fish is your best bet, grilled chicken perhaps. I would steer straight toward the meats but you may prefer to go for the veggie dishes on the menu.
Watching your alcohol intake when you're out is key. It's very easy to knock back a couple of glasses of wine during a meal if the waiter keeps topping you up, it's easy to loose count (if you started counting in the first place). You may have heard that alcohol makes you gain weight but it's not so much the calories in the drink as the process in the body after drinking it. The body can't store alcohol so it begins to break it down straight away, as this is such a complex process it effectively cancels out being able to break down sugars and fats at that time. To give you an idea, a large glass of wine takes approximately 3 hours to break down, a pint of beer about 2 hours. So anything else you consume during that period will go straight into storage.
What you can take with you
Now this is providing you have a spare corner in your suitcase which I often don't but there are plenty of foods that are fine to take on holiday. I am a huge fan of tuna, I think it's brilliant and has so many benefits, John West started pre seasoned tuna in sachets and small tins a while back but now most supermarkets do the same. They don't have to be refrigerated so they're packable and transportable. This is the same for quinoa and rice. You can buy sachets that can be eaten right away, not even a microwave necessary. I carry bounce balls everywhere with me, they have so many flavours and are so filling. I enjoy them as a sweet snack or even a light breakfast. Nuts and dates are also great beach nibbles and don't take up an awful lot of luggage space.
If none of those are options to you then you know it'll be time to hit the gym hard when you return home! Life is all about balance so enjoy it how you wish.
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