here’s not a whole lot of damage that you can do in a week or two so just relax and eat like a normal person. If you’re on holiday, I think you can safely unclench for a bit and have a few cocktails and a slice of chocolate cake every now and then because god damn it, that’s what holidays are for. However if you’re planning on travelling for an extended period of time over the Christmas break it can be a bit of a strain on the old waistband if you never say no to cheeky treats. Here are a few tips to stay on top of your healthy eating over the holidays.
Ditch the treat breakfasts
If you’re away for Christmas and you’re staying at hotels, those hotel breakfasts can really do some damage. If you have a giant ham and cheese croissant for breakfast every morning with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a few slices of bacon you’ve just about had a days worth of calories in one meal. Same goes if you’re staying with friends or family who don’t eat as healthily as you do. If your hosts keep serving you sugary pancakes and fry ups for breakfast, you must take matters into your own hands. The best option is to buy some cereal, fruit and low-fat yogurt from a local supermarket and have a breakfast that’s similar to the ones you have at home.
Don’t drink on weeknights
If you don’t do it while you’re at home, don’t do it while you’re away. Have a glass of wine with your family if you feel like it but hitting the booze hard every time you leave your home state is not going to help your head or your waist line.
Protein bars, little packs of dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit or a boiled egg are all excellent and very portable snacks to carry when you’re travelling. If you pre-prepare little nibbles to stow away in your handbag it will stop you from snacking on nasty service station packaged snacks and will prevent you from feeling sluggish and slow. It’ll also stop you gaining kgs on foods that are so not worth it, like discount chocolate bars and salty, fatty nuts.
Book serviced apartments
Hotel rooms are the devil when it comes to healthy eating. Often you can’t even make yourself a piece of toast, so you’re forced to eat greasy chinese takeaway or whatever unhealthy snacks you can find at the local 7 Eleven. Try to book a serviced apartment with a kitchenette. That way you can boil an egg, make some toast or even throw together a simple salad so you can at least eat a few decent meals in between all your other socialising.
Make sensible choices when dining out
By the time you’ve had a few too many plates of hot chips and afternoon bevvies with your family and friends you’ve already upped the calories you would normally eat by about 1000. If you then order a giant burger with a side of onion rings and a glass of wine for dinner you’ve eaten a few days worth of calories in just a few hours. The best thing to do is to adopt the 80/20 attitude. Eat as best as you can 80% of the time and let yourself have a few treats 20% of the time and maybe hit the running program or yoga studio a little harder when you get home. Just play the weighing game. Would you rather have a few tasty macarons with your afternoon cup of tea? Or a glass of red with dinner? Choose one, not both. Easy.
Keep up with your exercise routine
Even just a short session on the hotel treadmill or a quick spin around the streets of what ever city you’re in will do you the world of good. It will up your metabolic rate for the day meaning that your body is in good shape to cope with extra calories and you’ll feel amazing knowing that you’ve kept up your fitness routine.
Stop treating travel as a special occasion
When I started travelling regularly for work and pleasure I would splurge every time I went anywhere. Champagne on the plane, cheese board at the hotel, fancy dinner that’s being sponsored by a big brand – and I would eat all the things. It took a few months of constant travel and several pairs of too tight pants before I realised that travel calories are actually real and that what goes in my mouth while travelling, ends up on my midsection just like all the other calories. It’s not the last trip you’re going to stay take, it’s not the last glass of wine you’re going to get offered and it’s not the only time a French pastry master is going to give you a double chocolate extra chin. Just choose your treats and eat sensibly. Simple.
Do you travel a lot for work? What are your tips for staying in shape when free food and alcohol are in abundance?
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