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5 Tips For A Healthy Holiday

Ahhh it’s holiday time. You’ve been looking forward to this for ages, counting down the days, working hard in the gym and watching what you eat, always with that end goal of looking hot in your bikini or buff in your board shorts. And why not? Who doesn’t want to look and feel good when they hit the beach and enjoy a well deserved break in the sun?

But why should this clean and healthy lifestyle, that makes you feel awesome, stop right there? Why should a holiday involve good nutrition and effective training being launched out the window? It doesn’t need to be the case and our top 5 tips will show you how.

Avoiding the Great Holiday Binge…

Fitter Food HolidayHoliday binge-ing is an issue we see time and time again with our clients. Whilst we enjoy the occasional glass of vino or beer and of course are partial to the odd ice cream, these really are a treat for us and not an every day affair. We’re happy with this because the food we eat daily is so damn tasty we never feel like we’re missing out. Don’t believe us? Check out our latest book and some of our awesome recipes for yourself!

Recently someone commented on one of our posts with:

“You’re on holiday so who cares?!”

This wasn’t intended as an offensive comment of course, more like a go enjoy yourselves”. However, it does seem to suggest that when the sun’s out anything goes and in order to enjoy ourselves we need to indulge in foods we wouldn’t otherwise. This is often the mindset that gets people into trouble, the sense that they don’t need to care about their health whilst on holiday and as far as nutritional choices go – ‘let’s just press self-destruct!’

It doesn’t need to be all sangria, chips and ice cream to have a good time (of course a little of those things if you enjoy them won’t hurt). What happened to perceiving a holiday as a time to relax? It’s amazing to not have to set the alarm each morning and fill your day with beach frisbee, hiking, surfing, hanging out with mates, catching some sun and forgetting about work. It’s a chance to ultimately replenish and repair your body from the daily stresses we subject it to.  You should, in theory, return feeling totally awesome.

Yet often people return saying “the holiday was great but I feel like crap now, I’ve piled on the pounds and need to get back on it!” Did you say, “Get back on it ? Think about that for a second. Essentially you’re saying you’re healthier at home where perhaps you’re a slave to a 40 hour working week, stuck at a desk all day, deprived of freedom, sunshine and random frisbee matches.

Within our Fitter 365 membership we often have people go on holiday and return feeling closer to reaching their goals. We offer lots of guidance and often have members come back to find they have dropped body fat and feel energised. Why? Because they know how to holiday properly.

So here are 5 tips to ensure you return from your holiday feeling amazing and don’t need to ever utter anything about getting back on it”.

1)   Do Not Attempt a Pre-Holiday Diet

fat mattA big mistake many people make is starting a calorie restricted, boring and unsustainable diet before their holiday. Whilst this may help some lose weight short term, it also negatively impacts upon your metabolism. You enter your holiday effectively in starvation mode with a metabolism running at snails pace and a f@$* it mindset, a LETHAL combination that will probably result in you returning from your holiday doubled in size. Losing body fat should not feel like a daily chore. The key is finding a healthy lifestyle that works for YOU long term and is easy to continue on holiday.

2)   Get LOTS of Sleep

IMG_7920We say this often; sleep is the mac daddy of fat loss. A holiday is a great place to get a good old dose of zzz’s in, you don’t need to be any where by any time. A good old snooze allows your body to detox, repair and burn fat.  We also secrete most of our growth hormone at night, a muscle building and fat burning hormone. Enjoy those nights out of course, just don’t spend your holiday totally sleep deprived and be sure to make the most of beach siesta’s too.

3)   Eating Out Tips

Melon Snack

The internet allows us so much freedom these days and one of them is to be able to search for good restaurants and read reviews. Most restaurants now have their menu’s online, be sure to check in advance what’s on offer. We are huge fans of Trip Advisor and always use it whilst away.

This way you avoid the guessing game and the excuse of “oh the restaurant didn’t really have anything I can eat.”  In the day we always equip ourselves with some energy dense snacks like melon, boiled eggs, raw nuts, parma ham, tins of sardines and bananas. Each morning we just fill a selection in our lunchbots. Most holiday locations will offer amazing seafood, steaks, salads and fresh fruits. Make the most of the glorious local food and experiment with traditional dishes, many of which are often really healthy; paella, tapas, cataplanas, rissotos are all fish/meat with potatoes or rice. We refuse the bread basket and usually order olives, cold meats and cheeses instead. We usually skip the chips for extra vegetables or side salads and will have an espresso or fruit for dessert.

Keris always seems to have a bar of dark chocolate in her bag so we might share that too! If drinking alcohol we stick to two small servings and always have it with food. You might think “how boring!” but any more just wrecks our sleep and has us feeling cranky and fuzzy headed the next day and that definitely gets boring!

4)   Move Daily

DSC_1060 - CopyPersonally, I love training on holiday. New environments, no distractions or time constraints, however, I know that’s not for everyone and a break from the typical routine isn’t a bad thing.  One thing we always recommend is to just move, every single day.

Holiday’s are ideal for this. Instead of lounging on a sun bed for the entire day you can catch a tan by walking along the beach, explore new cities or plan some good hikes. Pencil in some activities like stand up paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or even a swim in the sea. It shouldn’t be crazy intense exercise just effortless movement that’s enjoyable and keeps the blood flowing.

5)   Kick Start Your Day The Right Way

IMG_7213Have a nutritionally sound breakfast, ideally one that’s protein and fat based.  Starting your day on a healthy note sets your blood sugar levels up nicely and improves your chances of making better choices throughout the day. Commonly people eat a single ‘bad’ meal and think “Sod it, I might as well eat what I want for the day now and start fresh tomorrow”. A big mistake as far as we’re concerned. Starting your day with some eggs, bacon and salad or a nice omelette and of course a great coffee will have you energized and in a positive frame of mind, not to mention it tastes awesome. We often take coconut oil with us and add to coffee to boost good fats and energy first thing in the morning.

These tips can be used day-to-day but are often forgotten as soon as holiday fever kicks in. So take them on board and have yourself a great time where ever you’re travelling to this summer. But most of all, come back feeling on top of the world instead of relying on a tan to disguise all the bad choices you made.