How to Have a Healthy Holiday

Avoid a Holiday Dilemma – Set Your Stall Out Now!

With all year round holiday seasons, most of us will be taking advantage of the beautiful locations around the UK and abroad. So, like some of us you will probably be packing up the car with everything but the kitchen sink and driving to one of the UK’s beautiful resorts. Others will be boarding boats, trains and planes to explore further afield.

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.

It is fair to say that we will all be ready for a good holiday, to take a break, rest, recuperate and enjoy time away from home with our loved ones.  

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 in the last few months, 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 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!  This year I will most definitely be running as my holidays fall right in the middle of marathon training, so I have already set my distance and planned my routes for my long runs while I am there – and I have to say I am excited to get out on the Cornish coastal paths and experience the best that my beloved Cornwall has to offer.

If you stay in a hotel with a pool, what 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. 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… and best of all ‘If it swims, it slims!!!’

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.

This is how we live our lives forever, so holidays have to fit into that.  We don’t want you to spend your entire break worrying about making good choices, or how much weight you might be gaining. Whatever happens on the scales it is never irreversible, so we just get back to it on our return, and reverse the damage. This is how those people who don’t have a problem with their weight live their lives, remember!! 

Enjoy Your Well Earned Break

Tell us where you are off on holiday and what you plan to do when you are there. Will it be a period of total relaxation and enjoyment, a continuation of your healthy lifestyle, or will it be somewhere in the middle, where you enjoy yourself, keep moving and accept the number on the scales on your return?

Whatever it is, we hope you have a fabulous time!! We have all earned it!

Rachel Wilcock – Be Strong

One reply on “How to Have a Healthy Holiday”

Loved the “if it swims it slim” made my laugh.

Actually tried all of the various approaches over the years. And strangely short breaks have put on the most weight, I think because I didn’t approach them seriously. Because what harm can a few days do? Right? Wrong. City breaks of 3 nights have seen an increase of upto half a stone and yet 3/4 weeks away have resulted in zero gain because I planned and commitment to not gaining weight by swimming 100 lengths breast stroke at every place we stayed with a pool or a 3 mile run. Only skipped the days we were on the road. The family were pre warned that this was my plan.

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