Healthy Holidays

Summer holidays are approaching and many of us will be jetting off for some much needed sun, or like me packing up the car with everything but the kitchen sink and driving to one of the UK’s beautiful coastal resorts.  This year, as for the past 7, it is my beloved Cornwall for me! It is my favourite place on the planet!

Holidays often mean a time for over indulgence (and why shouldn’t they be?) but they don’t necessarily mean that you gain a stone on your fortnight away, and undo all the good work that you have put in, in the weeks leading up to your much needed break.

In fact, we know that a lot of our members will still continue to lose weight whilst they are away, using the free time, to do a little more exercise and eat really well, whilst still enjoying the odd ice cream, and maybe a few glasses of wine and the odd cocktail.

Active holidays

Holidays give us time out, time to rest and time to ourselves to do what we love doing. So if you have found a new type of physical activity that you enjoy doing, then take your kit on holiday with you and take advantage of the extra time that you have.

I can often be found in the local gym on rainy Cornish days.  While the kids chill out playing in our holiday rental and the husband has a lie in, I pop round the corner to the gym for a quick hour on the weights. I often run too – a run along the seafront on a beautiful summers morning, is one of the most wonderful things to do, in the cool sea air. It can be difficult when you don’t know the area that well, but if all else fails just run for half your intended time or distance in one direction, then turn around and run back!

Holidays abroad with a pool are a great excuse to get in the water.  Swimming is a great all over exercise, toning your arms, legs and core.  It has very little impact on your joints too and burns some serious calories. An 11 stone person swimming breast stroke for an hour will burn around 500 calories (more if a person weighs more than 11 stone). That’s almost as much as running.  When we go away abroad with friends we swim daily, taking it in turns to go off for a 30 minute swim, especially if there’s a nice quiet adult pool away from the kids!

Food indulgence

Wherever you go away, there will be the local delicacies which are no doubt highly decadent and brimming with calories. For me in Cornwall, it would be rude not to try the occasional pasty and cream tea, and of course the clotted cream ice cream, but I just don’t do it every day. There are lots of less calorific delicacies too, and we love, for at least one night of our holiday to do a fish barbecue from the local fishmongers, that is literally just below the house that we stay in. Lots of delicious salads, new potatoes and fresh fish barbecued in a splash of lemon juice and black pepper, and may be a bit of chilli and garlic too. The fresh flavours are incredible.

We also go fruit picking too, and often pick way more than we actually need, but this makes a great excuse to have lots of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries every day for puddings and snacks.

If you are off on a more exotic holiday than mine, there will be lots of interesting local food to try.  Any coastal resort will undoubtedly have lots of fresh fish restaurants to try, and warmer climates will have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables for your delectation, so why not make the most of it and experience as many new fresh flavours as you can?

All inclusive advantages!

If you are off on an all inclusive break, these are the perfect place to eat lots of delicious, healthy salads, and fresh griddled meats and fish. I know when I go on holiday to all inclusive hotels,  I love filling my plate with the massive variety of salads, without the hassle of preparing them, and the abundance of fresh fish that we just don’t get at home.

Breakfast is often the place where I see over indulgence, when I am at an all inclusive resort. There is so much variety available, we are almost compelled to eat something of everything. But I use the first day to work out what’s available (because it’s more than likely going to be the same every day) and then every day try something different, rather than giving in to the piles of bacon and eggs along with the chocolate croissants and muffins every single day.

Then of course there’s the alcohol, if you enjoy a cocktail or two, go for those without cream and lots of sickly sweet fruit juice in them and save yourself some calories.

Live a little

A little bit of what you fancy certainly does do you good, so we definitely don’t think you should go on holiday with the intention of restricting everything and having a right old miserable time. We talk so much about lifestyle change being a long term thing and having holidays is part of that. Holidays are absolutely the time to let our hair down, relax, rest and enjoy ourselves.  If you want to go on holiday and sit on a sun lounger for two weeks and read, then that’s great, do it and enjoy it!

And if you do over indulge be prepared to come back and face the scales, acknowledge the good time you have had and the effect it has had on your weight, and then draw a line under it and get back to your usual good habits.

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