It takes a lot of planning and self-discipline to retain a healthy weight throughout the holiday. It is much easier to buy and cook healthy food when you are at home than when you are away. Moreover, because people tend to be much more active on holiday, they tend to snack a lot more. Even worse, those sugary soda drinks are just so convenient when the kids are hot and thirsty. But it is possible to retain a reasonably healthy lifestyle throughout the holiday, the key to success is planning for it ahead of time.
Choose Your Holiday Destination Wisely
If you are worried about your ability to control your holiday weight, try picking a vacation destination that encourages a lot of exercise. This is all the more important because of being away from your local gym or your home exercise equipment. Hiking, cycling, and watersports can be enjoyable family activities out in the fresh air and summer sun. They can all bring you closer to nature to help you achieve that ‘re-charged’ feeling too.
Equally importantly, rent a house or flat with a reasonably well equipped kitchen and even an outdoor grill. There is little you can do about your weight if you live out of restaurants the whole time you are away. Hotel rooms will leave you dependent on hotel food, unless the room is equipped with a fridge where you can keep basic salad ingredients and fruit.
Pack your own blender. They are indispensable for home-made juice, smoothies, sauces, pestos and even healthy dairy free ice creams, as well as a wide variety of other healthy dishes, and you will be extremely lucky to find one at your rented holiday accommodation. Further, do not forget your alkaline water jug and a cooler bag or two to help you stay hydrated in the sun.
Break the Fast on Holiday
Pay special attention to your breakfast and ensure you do not skip it as many people do, your energy levels will thank you for it later in the day! The best breakfast contains complex carbohydrates, protein, and a source of healthy fat. A bowl of oats with some crunchy nuts will give you a perfect combination of all three to energise you for the day and to keep you feeling full for hours. You need the complex carbohydrates for energy, and the protein and fat to help slow down the rate at which your body absorbs the carbohydrates to release energy slowly and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
A whole grain sandwich with avocado, lettuce and a sprinkling of nuts will have the same effect, and scrambled eggs to which you serve with a salad and a small portion of whole grains is also a good energising, filling meal option when you are on holiday.
Unless you buy bread made from 100% whole grain flour, the bread you buy quite likely contains empty carbohydrates in the form of refined white or brown flour. This type of flour is problematic as it races straight into your bloodstream from where it is absorbed immediately, giving you a quick rise and fall in energy and no more gradually digesting food to make you feel full, which is the time snacking on unhealthy foods becomes tempting to feel full. Juices and smoothies, as refreshing and healthy as some can be these days, have such a high water content that they are absorbed relatively quickly, leaving your stomach empty and growling for a snack so cannot be used as a meal replacement.
Snacks are easy when you are at home. Smoothies are ideal for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. When you take the kids to the beach, however, especially when your kids see other kids devour crisps, sweets, and ice-cream, you have a big problem. So to avoid having to buy these unhealthy items when you are out, you must always pack healthy snacks to take with you; you can always eat them back at home if you do not need them.
The simplest snacks are fruit and dried fruit. Berries are sweet and grapes remain quite soft when frozen. They are both lovely beach snacks on a hot day. Still, with only fruit available, the kids might complain after a while.
So a remedy to this is to find a healthy energy bar recipe and make some at home. They are easy to wrap and carry out on day trips and to the beach. If you want the other kids to be jealous of your kids' snacks, use whole grain flour for fibre, nuts and seeds for crunchiness, fruit for sweetness, and cocoa flour, carob and/or chocolate nibs made from dried cacao beans for that chocolate taste they love. No unhealthy dairy, margarine or other hydrogenated oil, no sugar, and no refined flour in site. This is how eating healthy can be delicious!
A less elaborate but equally good option is to toast a variety of nuts at home. You can either mix some organic herbs and spices to sprinkle over them, or make an herb dip with any of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, herbs, and even silken tofu for creaminess. Fruit dips are also good to make a sweeter snack. Crisps are no tastier than nuts, and nuts are so much healthier.
If you will be on the road a lot, whole grain sandwiches and fruit are the easiest and the least messy to take with you and make beforehand. You can make your own vegetable burgers or even just tasty bean or kale spreads. If you have sealable containers and a cooler bag, you can make salads and pack them for sustenance.
Tackling Healthy Beverages on Holiday
Many people consume more than five hundred of their daily 2,000 calorie allowance on beverages, especially during the summer. With soda, sweetened fruit juice, iced coffee, iced tea, beer, wine, and cocktails, this is unsurprising. It is also completely avoidable. It is easy to carry water with you, especially in something like the Biocera AHA Water Bottle which gives you healthy alkaline water on the go.
If you want something sweeter, you can make your own juice at home and carry it in a cooler bag. Alternatively, carry some fruit with you to squeeze into your water for a natural sweetness taste.
As mentioned in the previous section, kids love ice cream and putting them off it can be a difficult battle to win. If this has become a war in your household, it is better to make your own non-dairy ice cream with fairly healthy ingredients at home than to buy unhealthy ice cream elsewhere.
Easy Non-Dairy Ice-Cream Recipe
The typical non-dairy ice cream involves only three ingredients: fruit for flavour and sweetness, arrowroot powder for thickness, and the thickest non-dairy milk or cream you can find. Coconut milk, thick soy milk and soy creamer work well. You can also make your own creamy milk by grinding two cups of raw cashews to a powder in a blender, after which you add two cups of water while continuing to blend. Mix these three ingredients until the mixture is smooth, refrigerate it for about two hours, and then make the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions.
Stay Health Focused at Parties During Summer
Even if you do not go away on holiday, summer at home is risky too. Many of your friends are less busy at this time than during the rest of the year and want to invite everyone for dinners and parties. When this happens, make sure you eat a carbohydrate snack that is low on the glycaemic index before you leave. A small simple tomato and cucumber salad or two pieces of fruit will do. Since your body has to work to convert them to glucose, they enter your bloodstream gradually and will make you feel full for longer. As a result, you will not be hungry when you arrive at the party and will be less likely to overindulge.
Another party tip is to concentrate on the conversation and the games instead of on the food. To prevent other people from pushing snacks into your hands, pick your own healthy snack and drink at the beginning of the evening and consume them as slowly as possible.
At buffet tables, take the smallest plate and load it with whatever looks the healthiest. Dips, salad dressings, and white sauces are probably stuffed with cream and lashings of refined salt, so avoid them if you can. If it is the kind of party where each person must bring something, you will be best off if you make a healthy fruit-based dessert and eat that once you are there.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Piling on the Pounds this Summer Holiday
The single most important tip is to plan ahead. Plan your vacation destination, plan your meals, plan your snacks, and plan your beverages. If you eat high-protein complex carbohydrates and some fat regularly enough throughout the entire day, you will not become hungry and will not be tempted to snack on unhealthy food. Also, by keeping hydrated in between eating, you will ensure that you are only eating out of hunger and not for mistaken thirst.