There’s a wonderful sense of freedom and an element of excitement when you have crossed the final “T” and dotted the final “I” and there’s nothing more to do than relax and let the vacation begin.
If you have been looking after your health and fitness all year, but are fearing the “what if I let my guard down and put on weight during the holidays” concern, then my following tips will get you through your vacation feeling even better than before you left.
If your vacation involves flying, then you know you will have time to fill while waiting for your flight to board. The worst thing you can do is go to the airport hungry because boredom often leads to filling time with food and drinks.
Not only is airport food expensive, the outlets and choices available are usually “fast foods” which are higher fat and processed carbohydrate foods.
Try to pack a zip lock bag with fresh nuts and seeds so you can nibble on these while waiting for the flight to be called, or in many cases you will be able to take them on-board your flight.
Take a large water bottle to the airport with you to help avoid buying coffee, hot chocolates, or alcohol. Try bringing a few herbal tea bags with you to the airport. Any of the outlets will gladly provide you a cup of boiled hot water and when on the plane, flight staff will be happy to do the same.
Whether with children or not, pack a back-up sandwich into a disposable paper bag. If hungry, you have something to fall back on immediately.
ON ARRIVAL - SHOP WITH HEALTH IN MIND
No matter where you go on vacation, it’s highly likely you won’t be eating out three meals a day - every day, so a visit to the local supermarket will be a necessity. If you’re in a location that’s warm and alive or cold and cosy, shopping for groceries will most probably be your responsibility.
The best tip I can give here is to be organised for meals. Know how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners you will be having while away, and how many of those you will be eating away from your home base. Then shop only for the foods you need for the other days and meals
Depending on how long you are away for, aim to have one or two breakfast choices as your daily “go to”. Most people stick to the same style of breakfast each day, so breakfast shouldn’t require too much thought. Some wholesome breakfast choices are free range eggs, loaf of gluten free bread, avocados and fresh lemons to make an avocado smash, gluten free oats, bircher muesli, berries, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, and Greek yoghurt
There’s a good chance you will be out and about when your tummy reminds you that it’s lunch time. Again, being planned and knowing how many evening meals will be enjoyed at restaurants or around a BBQ, and the time of night you will be sitting down to dinner, will allow you to arrange or buy foods that are low GI and will slow release to keep you satisfied and energised until dinner time. Foods like a grainy bread sandwich (without butter) topped with loads of fresh salad, a tub of pumpkin and kale salad (or similar) either home made or purchased from a fresh food salad bar, Vegetable smoothie or vegetable juice (add a scoop of quality protein) from a juice bar, or a cup of fresh, hot soup potato and leek soup, vegetable or pumpkin soup – yummo!!
The evening meal is usually when everyone comes together to talk about their day. It’s the meal many of us are not mindful of, with the goal to “keep it simple”. Pizzas, burgers, deep fried fish and chips, restaurants that serve heavy or rich foods may be base meal options when on vacation.
My first tip is to avoid “all you can eat” outlets. The name itself spells out the problem. The chance of overeating and “getting your money’s worth”, is very high so it’s just best to not step foot into these venues. Another tip is to avoid meals that are deep fried or topped with thick, rich creamy sauces which will go straight to your waistline. My final tip is to only eat one serve of food if ordering off a menu. An entrée, main and dessert is not necessary. You might think you are hungry but your body not need that much food. Order a main meal only. You will be satisfied.
Whether a warm or cold destination, keep hydrated with fresh water. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is not only good for managing weight, but it’s excellent for brain stimulation and energy.
Dehydration will cause physical sluggishness and internal sluggishness possibly resulting in headaches and constipation, and neither are wanted when on vacation.
I recommend you constantly sip from a large re-fillable water bottle that you take with you on vacation or buy one when you arrive. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will be able to consume your much needed 6 to 8 glasses of clean fresh water.
ACTIVATE YOUR MUSCLES
If your planned vacation involves lots of daily walking and very little sitting, then your holiday would be classed as active however, if your holiday activities involve lots of sitting to sight-see or laying around for relaxation, then you should consider adding specific strength or cardiovascular activity into some of your days.
Some hotels and resorts around the world offer gymnasiums equipped with cardiovascular machines as well as barbells and dumbbells for strength training. If this is the case, aim to factor in a 30 minute workout at the least, every second day.
Take a look around your environment when you arrive. Are you in the mountains, on a beach, have access to a pool, able to hire bikes or canoes? Vacations are perfect times to try taking part in activities you would normally not have time to do, nor be able to access when home.
If traveling to your destination by car, factor in revive stops every few hours so you can stretch your body, breathe in some fresh air, have something to drink and visit the bathroom.
Stay safe, courteous and mindful when on vacation, and have yourself a fantastic break away from routine with loads of new experiences.
Helping Women over the age of 40, re-shape their Mindset, Body, Health and Confidence – inside and out