Healthy holiday mealDo you have a habit of over-indulging on holiday and then regretting it on your return? If those extra pounds are hanging around longer than your tan then maybe it’s time to rethink how you eat and drink on holiday. Here are my top tips for enjoying your vacation while staying on track.

1. Don’t make every meal a splurge: while eating out is part of enjoying a new culture, country or city, it doesn’t mean you have to over-indulge at every meal. If you’re going out for a big meal in the evening, have lighter meals in the day – order a starter rather than a main, order extra veg or salad as the fibre will fill you up and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and curb unhealthy snacking when you mistake thirst for hunger.

2. Eat mindfully: you’re on holiday so take in the new surroundings and all they have to offer. When eating, take time to savour your surroundings, the new sounds, aromas and textures as well as the taste of the new cuisine you’re sampling. Chew slowly and mindfully. Not only will this enhance your enjoyment of your holiday meal, it will also mean you’ll eat less before you get full so it’s a win-win!

3. Stay active: it’s not hard to get active on holiday compared to at home when you’re often sitting for hours on end. Sightseeing usually involves a lot of walking which helps to burn off the extra calories from eating out. Even if you’re on a relaxing holiday lounging by the pool or beach, you can go for long, leisurely beachside walks to get you moving. Swimming, cycling or just throwing a ball around on the beach are all great activities for the family and can keep you moving.

4. Be treatwise: you want to indulge in local delicacies and enjoy an ice cream, cocktail or local wine and that’s all part of the holiday experience. But try to limit your treats to one a day. So if you’re going out for a 3 course meal in the evening then maybe save the ice cream for another day. It’s tempting to sample all the cocktails on the drinks menu in one go but pace yourself! Alternate alcoholic drinks with still or sparkling water and on some nights, go alcohol free or opt for vodka and soda with lime

5. Make healthier menu choices: simple menu swaps needn’t feel like you are denying yourself. Opting for a tomato-based sauce rather than a creamy one is healthier when eating pasta and curry; lean meat or fish with vegetables can be a super healthy AND tasty option, particularly where the fish is freshly caught and delicious. If it feels too much like you’re depriving yourself then go for something more indulgent but remember, there are many delicious and healthy local dishes so have a wander round the restaurants looking at menus before you decide where to eat.

The bottom line is to enjoy your holiday and that includes indulging yourself more than you would at home. Just remind yourself that calories eaten on holiday still count, so these simple tips can help you make the most of your break without paying the price when you get home.

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