Sunday 22 July 2018

I want to start this post by stating that, you shouldn't go on holiday to stick to a diet because you're on holiday and you're there to enjoy yourself and try new foods and not worry about macros. Instead, being mindful of the things you eat and do can mean you can indulge but also not ruin all the hard work you've put in in the weeks coming up to your holiday. I've just returned from a week in Portugal, and by some miracle I've come back weighing the same as when I left, and I definitely haven't been skipping any meals and was being ruthless with my ice-cream intake. When I go on a city break for a couple of days like Copenhagen or Barcelona, I don't watch what I eat at all because I spend so much time walking that it all balances out, and in my head I'm just imagining that all the extra fat is going to my butt. However on slightly longer trips, if I'm eating burgers everyday I end up feeling bloated, lethargic and bleh. Here are some of my tips for staying relatively on track whilst on holiday/vacation and what to do after you've returned if things haven't gone to plan.

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1. Be realistic.

It's all well and good to tell yourself you're not going to eat after 9pm, or only have 1 ice cream in the whole trip, but when everyone else around you is doing the opposite it's the last thing you're going to want to do. Chances are you will gain a bit of body fat and you will slip up, but know that in the same way you didn't get to where you are now in a day you're not going to undo all your hard work by eating 1 Oreo cheesecake. Have a good time, make healthy choices where you can and know you can solve any slip ups when you get back home. 

2. Choose lower calorie ice-creams.

So that way, you can still have two a day and not feel an ounce of guilt. If I fancied one during the day then I can always count on Solero! They had this peach flavoured one in Portugal with like a jelly centre that was only 50 calories and tasted delicious. The evenings were another story, there were chocolate orange, honeycomb and after eight milkshakes all round. 

3. Buy a refillable water bottle.

Aside from helping the environment, you'll be a lot less tempted to buy other drinks if you've got water already on you! Just make sure to check the quality of the tap water first. I bought an aluminium water bottle off amazon and they're so great because you don't have to worry about keeping it in the shade as it keeps your water nice and cool (or hot if you want to make a cuppa at the beach). 

4. Have your heavier meals at lunch time. 

I don't know about you, but whenever I'm on holiday we end up having dinner at 9pm and then if it's a heavy one wake up feeling bloated and like a boulder. A lot of the time for dinner I opted for piri piri chicken, fresh fish or any sort or protein with veg and potatoes. Bearing in mind that lots of places in Albufeira were offering 12 euro menus which included wine, soup, salad, bread, your main and a dessert. I've got a massive sweet tooth so I'd rather eat healthier starters/mains and then indulge a bit more later. 

5. Walk where you can!

Admittedly, we didn't do much walking on this trip but there were a hell of a lot of steps to get to one of the beaches. But when travelling through Europe, it's very easy to walk around most places so you can feel less guilty about everything you're consuming and you get to explore as well. A 40 minute walk at home is a lot more boring than when you're in new surroundings and it goes by a lot quicker.

6. Buy healthy snacks. 

Since I practice intermittent fasting 80% of the time at home I don't really have an appetite when I wake up. So instead, I was carrying these very handy Nutreelife protein bars in my bag so I could have 1 during the course of the morning if we were heading out to the beach or for a walk. Each bar has over 21g of protein and are completely natural, vegan and gluten free. The bars are over 250 calories so they're definitely filling (probably not best as a snack before dinner), and have more of a powdery 'jaffacake cake bit' taste than a crunch. They kindly sent me over a box of 12 to try and my favourite flavours were the chocolate orange, chocolate mint and maple syrup. If you have space in your luggage, then you might also want to bring along some of their pea protein powder so you can have a quick shake in the morning with your breakfast to reach your protein goals for the day. Each serving has 26g of protein and unlike some other protein powders, are very low in fats and carbohydrates.

nutreelife protein bars

7. Use the hotel gym (or pool).

So me and my sister started off the week really motivated, and were at the hotel gym by 10am ready for our 30 second sprints on the treadmill. Sadly the treadmill had other plans and every time you took your feet off the belt it stopped. It was humid as it was next to the indoor pool so after day 2 we kinda gave up. Instead, we went and did water aerobics woo! 

After your holiday.....

8. Don't panic.

It's perfectly normal to go on holiday and come back a bit plumper or with a different body composition to when you left. As I said, in the same way you didn't get to where you are in a week you're not going to lose all your hard work in a week either. Most likely you'll be back where you left off after a week or two of adjusting your diet. 

9. Don't weigh yourself straight away.

If you're feeling bloated and heavier then you probably are, but a bit of ignorance is bliss. Weighing yourself straight away will just piss you off and you're probably carrying a lot of water weight that will disappear once you start eating clean again. Stick to low sodium meals and drink plenty of H20, moving on to my next point. 

10. Increase your water consumption.

If you've had one too many mojitos or G&Ts then getting your 8 glasses in a day is vital now to rehydrate your body and flush out all that alcohol (and regrets). 

11. Revamp your eating/fitness schedule.

Sometimes your body needs a break to eat whatever you want to claim back your sanity and then come back pumped and ready to get into it again. Take some time to plan out your workout schedule for the week and your eating plan. If you want to find out a bit more about intermittent fasting and how it can work for you head over to my post. Additionally, you may want to use all those extra carbs you've consumed to implement a carb cycling routine. The key here is to eat cleaner, work out what your maintenance calorie intake is and then subtract 200 or so if you're looking to lose the weight.

As always, I'm not an expert and I'm only speaking from experience here and what works for me! Are you guys going on a summer holiday or have you been anywhere lovely recently? 


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