Nutritional considerations for a healthy holiday
Keep up the five portions of fruit and vegetables a day target, as they are low in fat and calories, yet will ensure you are satiated for longer due to the rich fibre content. Fruit and vegetables will also help to hydrate you in the summer period.
Top summer fruits:
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are packed with antioxidants. Phytochemicals present in these fruits deliver anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, which can help reduce the incidence of chronic diseases.
Cherries are also an excellent choice as they are rich in Vitamin C and filling fibre. Surprisingly, they are very sweet compared to the number of calories they contain. There are only 50 calories in 10 good-sized cherries.
Watermelon is the quintessential healthy holiday fruit. Did you know that watermelon contains a significant amount of beta-carotene, and it has a lot of iron for a fruit? Watermelon is a rich source of the phytochemical lycopene, which is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Never skip meals
It has been shown that people who have regular meals are able to control appetite better and manage their weight in the long term. Establish a holiday routine and structure.
Healthy snacks can help you
If you find you are hungry between meals try fresh fruit, low-fat fruit yoghurts, wholegrain crackers, chopped salad, vegetables served with low fat yoghurt dip, low fat hummus or cottage cheese. Keep your consumption of high-fat and sugar snacks under control and consume in moderation.
Portion is key to a healthy holiday
While it is important to eat a well balanced, nutritious diet, if you fail to keep your portions under control you may struggle to lose weight. Keep a check on your portion sizes and make sure they are not overly abundant. Avoid the ’empty plate’ syndrome: stop as soon as you are full and remind yourself there is no need to finish what is on the plate.
Cut back on liquid calories
Alcohol, cocktails and sugary drinks quickly add up and make all the difference between losing weight or not. Keep these habits in check and moderate the amount you have. Drink plenty of water to ensure you are hydrated – aim for eight glasses of water per day.
Avoid at all costs going down the route of fad diets, where whole food groups are cut out in a bid to lose weight. This is excessive and unnecessary, and may ultimately put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies. Your body requires a balance of nutrients to stay healthy.
So stay vigilant and eat properly. Happy holidays!