Our nutrition expert Sophie Bruno helps you enjoy your food healthy holiday tips.
When we go on holiday it is natural to become more body conscious, as we want to ensure that our figures are in top condition for when we hit the beach and to be geared up for revealing some more skin in light, summer clothing. And so nutrition is once again in the spotlight, with a vast array of spurious, hyped-up diets being marketed, making exaggerated promises regarding short-term weight-loss results.
Also, we are faced with the apparent contradiction that once we have reached our bikini body goals, the challenge of sustaining the efforts with the reality of a holiday sets in, where your ultimate aspiration will be to relax, in a stress-free environment and, of course, explore and indulge in local cuisine.
Food is synonymous with pleasure, happiness, wellbeing and enjoyment. How can all these aspects be reconciled so you feel good, look great and are still able to enjoy your holidays guilt-free? Holidays should not be about turning situations that should be fun into stressful, internal battles of will.
Read on for practical healthy holiday tips that will guide you feeling in control during your holidays.
Approach holiday meals like any other meals. If you regard holiday meals as different, this will inevitably result in altered eating habits and losing sight of internal physiological cues such as hunger and fullness. It is important to remain mindful during this period, which will enable you to eat delicious, satisfying food all year round.
Nothing is off limits
If a food is off-limits it becomes more desirable. If guilt and denial are involved, you will most probably end up eating the food or feeling miserable. Give yourself the permission to view food as enjoyable and tasteful, and try to limit entering the downward spiral of guilt complexes; this will only establish an unhealthy relationship with food.
Assess which indulgences are really worth it and remain mindful
Always ask yourself whether the food or drink that you are considering enjoying will be really worth it. This does not at all mean allowing guilt to enter into the equation or that one has to assess options based on calories. Rather, you have to question yourself whether you want to eat/drink the food because you will really enjoy it and it will enhance the experience you are having. Often we indulge not because we really want to, but because we are on autopilot or need a distraction. It is easy to fall into the trap of mindlessly eating and drinking.
Indulging in food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but make sure what you are about to have is actually something you enjoy, and that you are not simply having it out of boredom, distraction or feeling uncomfortable.
Stop when you are satisfied, not stuffed
Eat slowly, chew your food and take frequent pauses. Check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Do you want more? Are you just having more because it is there? Is your stomach starting to get full? Are you thirsty for water versus another cocktail? Embrace mindful eating and stay present during your eating experience. Notice the nuances in taste and tune into your intuitive signals of hunger and fullness.