A big motivator for many to get themselves in shape and start taking a more serious look at what they are eating and how often they are exercising is their summer holiday. I’m not a big fan of purely aesthetic goals, but there is no arguing that they can provide a shot in the arm for some short-term focus. So you don’t want to be putting all that effort in during the months leading up to your holiday to have it all ruined within 48 hours of landing. Remember, holidays can be fun without resorting to food and drink excesses. Here are my top tips for damage limitation on your summer holiday.
Beware the All-inclusive Buffet
It may offer fantastic value, but there is no need to try every single dish on offer every night. The sheer amount of food that is piled onto plates in the all-inclusive buffet is staggering and the bizarre combinations are slightly stomach turning.
Whether it’s water skiing or swimming… you will be using elements of fitness such as strength, balance, and co-ordination.
I would estimate (purely based on observation) that the average person eats two to three times more food every day than they would normally consume if they go all-inclusive, guaranteeing that they will be going home with some unwanted poundage. My advice if you are going to an all-inclusive resort is to pace yourself and have a good look round the options before you choose your meals. That way you won’t get food envy and want to try everything and anything.
Explore by Foot and Potter About
One of my favourite things about being on a summer holiday is not needing a car. I really enjoy exploring the area by foot and depending on where you are this may include coastal walks, exploring city sights, long walks along the beach, or just getting from your resort to the local town and back. It may not be a huge calorie burner, but cutting back on taxis or ditching the hire car will allow you to stretch the legs out, bask in the sunshine (soaking up that vitamin D), and take in the local scenery and atmosphere.
Make a Bee-line for the Omelette Station at Breakfast
The breakfast buffet is probably the best thing about hotel food. Those who relax their Paleo rules on their summer holiday may be tempted by the pancakes, waffles, bacon rolls, cured meats, and much more that’s on offer – making it easy to go overboard. For me, the best way to approach a hotel breakfast is to go for eggs. There is almost always an omelette station, which ensures a freshly made meal with a good selection of fillings available. This breakfast is full of protein and good healthy fats, satisfies your appetite, and gives a feeling of self-righteousness that can be rewarded with a little treat later in the day.
Give Water Sports a Try
If, like me, you are from the UK, then it’s not often you get to go in open water without needing a wetsuit or emergency treatment for hypothermia, so it seems a shame to not take full advantage of the aqua-based activities available at most summer holiday destinations. Whether it’s sea kayaking, water skiing, swimming, surfing, coasteering, or climbing back on the banana boat after being thrown into the drink for the umpteenth time, you will be using elements of fitness such as strength, balance, and co-ordination. So ditch the hotel gym for your holiday workout and head down to the beach to try out some of the awesome and fun sports on offer and turn your holiday into an active adventure.
Look out for Local Patrons
Unfortunately the view of many resorts is that Brits like to eat burgers, chips, and beans and have very unsophisticated palates, so the quality of food available in the more touristy zones is ropey at best. I have found that the best way to get decent food that the locals would eat is to ask the locals themselves. Take the time to get some inside knowledge about the best restaurants outside of the tourist areas and you will most likely experience better quality, better value, and food that doesn’t destroy your gut leaving you bloated and smelling of fried oil.
Coconut Water is the Perfect Hangover Cure
After a night dancing away until the early hours and sinking a few too many cocktails, there is no better hangover cure than a cold glass of coconut water. It’s full of electrolytes, which is great for hydration, and packed full of nutrients such as potassium and magnesium, which can help reduce the inflammation in the body. If you’re lucky enough to be staying on an island paradise, then a fresh coconut is perfect – but if that isn’t available, then a carton full of non-concentrate coconut water will more than do the job, leaving you refreshed and ready to face another day.
Moderation doesn’t have to mean boring. All of these tips recognise that being on a summer holiday is about relaxing, having fun, and trying new experiences – but it doesn’t mean that you need to completely compromise your healthier, more active lifestyle.
Have you got any tips that you put into action on summer holiday to keep yourself from completely falling off the fitness wagon? Feel free to share them with us.