It’s holiday season – finally! While one of the best parts of our holidays is to relax and take a break from our usual routine, the over-indulgence at the all-inclusive buffet can leave us feeling out of sorts and out of shape on our return home. However, you can enjoy all the delicious food (and drinks!) on offer while you’re on holiday, without sabotaging your health – read on for our top tips on staying healthy on holiday.
Navigate the buffet
If you’re going on an all-inclusive holiday this year, there’s no denying that the temptation is real. The buffets on holiday can be overwhelming, and the huge choice of delicious options, combined with a relaxed attitude, can lead us to overindulge. However, going in with an action plan can help you to enjoy what’s on offer, without overdoing it.
Generally, what’s available tends to be the same each day – especially at breakfast. Taking the time to remind yourself you’re coming back to the buffet tomorrow is a great way to stop feeling like you have to tackle all of the options today. If you do want to try a little bit of everything, or think you’ll go back up for dessert, then being aware of portion sizes is an easy way to manage your intake. Just having small amounts of everything that you fancy, rather than a full portion means you can have (a little bit of) your cake and eat it too!
Take opportunity for activity
While many of us relish the thought of lying by the pool all day and moving very little, holidays are actually a great time to introduce some leisurely activity into our lifestyles. Most of us will take a dip in the sea or pool to cool off during the day, so why not take the opportunity to swim a few lengths each time? This can really add up over the day and not only will keeping your body moving benefit your health, it will benefit your mood too.
Walking is another a great way to stay active on holiday, as well as being fantastic for exploring the local area and topping up your Vitamin D. If you are going for a walk and you’re somewhere sunny, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat, and always take plenty of water with you.
Get some sleep
While holidays are an opportunity for us to rest and relax, they’re also full of experiences that we don’t want to miss out on. This can mean staying out late and enjoying the night life and rising early to make the most of the day. However, getting enough sleep while on holiday is vital if you hope to come home feeling refreshed. What’s more, not getting enough sleep leaves your body looking for alternative energy sources, which can lead to overeating. A lack of sleep could also leave you feeling sluggish and affect your mood – the last thing you want when trying to enjoy your holiday!
Aiming for at least six hours of sleep each night is a good place to start, so if you do have a late night, consider getting up that little bit later the next day. Likewise, plan the early rising, sightseeing days for those mornings when you’ve managed to get to bed earlier. If you are burning the candle at both ends, why not get in the holiday spirit and squeeze in a siesta?
Drinking more water is something we all know we should be doing, but this is even more important when holidaying somewhere warm. That’s because excess sweating and increased alcohol consumption both increase the risk of dehydration, which can result in headaches and a lack of energy. What’s more, thirst is often mistaken for hunger, meaning that dehydration could lead you to eat more than you usually would.
If you are indulging in more alcoholic drinks than usual, make sure you remember to rehydrate with water in between drinks. Choosing foods with a high water content is a great way to stay hydrated - this includes foods such as cucumber, strawberries and watermelon. Not only are they hydrating, but a refreshing and nutritious snack too!
While these simple tips can help you to feel your best and make the most of your holiday, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself. For many of us, our summer holiday comes only once a year, and is a chance to escape routine and relax – so make sure you do. It’s great to try and make healthier choices where you can, but it’s important to remember that a week or two of indulgence won’t undo the healthy habits that you work on throughout the rest of the year.