When recently being away on holiday, I was determined to not let my training and eating habits decline after all the effort I had been putting into looking after myself. Don’t get me wrong, holidays are all about relaxing and indulging, it’s a completely personal decision whether or not to worry about diet and training whilst on holiday, or whether to use the time to give your body a rest and some much needed recovery. This post is just sharing my tips on how you can stay on track whilst away if thats what you wish to do…
The first hurdle is the airport! Going on holiday is so exciting and the first thing that you do is say ‘lets have a drink to celebrate, I’m on holiday’ – well at least my family does! If you want to try stay on track, do not fall into the trap of drinking in the morning on holiday, you wouldn’t do this at home, save the drinking to the evening when you go out for your lovely meals and you’ll feel less guilt and probably much better the morning after!
The second thing in the airport is the food, my best advice is to hit up somewhere like Pret or Leon, where you know there’ll be healthy choices and take them on the flight with you – especially on a long haul. Aeroplane food in horrible in my opinion and full of processed nasties, fat and sugar. If you have pre planned snacks with you, it’ll stop you getting hungry and giving in to the temptation of the chilli con carne shortly followed by the chocolate cheesecake….and the cheese and crackers!
When you arrive at your destination, the jet lag sets in, try and get into the meal times straight away, or even better do this whilst on the flight. Don’t be ordering room service at 4:00am because its breakfast time at home, try and sleep through it or if you need a snack, have lots of water and a handful of nuts to tide you over until actually breakfast time.
The best thing about jet lag if the clocks go backwards is that you wake up earlier, this meant when I was away recently, I found it easy to get up at 5:30am and get in my daily workout before breakfast. I was bored anyway and it made me feel very satisfied and full of endorphins for the whole day – it also got it out the way so I wasn’t worrying about it. This also works the opposite way and if jet lag means you can’t get to sleep till 2:00am, save your workouts till late at night – it’ll also help you sleep!
Holiday resorts can sometimes mean buffets. Beware of the buffet. This is the time when you have to be very strict with your portion control and limit yourself from going back for 3/4 courses just because you can! You know when you’re full and you don’t need to overeat. Other meals can also be a time when you could easily fall off track, why not read up on the menus before you go to the restaurants so you know the healthy options, that way you’ll mentally have in your mind what you’re going to be eating already. It avoids listening to what your tummy wants when the waiter is stood impatiently over your shoulder.
The mini bar can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If it’s full of chocolate, booze and Pringles, why not ask if it can be locked or taken away? If it empty, you could fill it with some healthy snacks, water, nuts, hummus and carrot sticks, apples, protein bars etc. Just be honest with yourself and if you know you can resist a snack when you’ve just got in from a long day at the beach, make sure its a healthy one or at least a small portion of chocolate and not the whole bar!
Lets say you don’t have access to a gym on holiday, this can be very demotivating if that’s all you’re used to doing and it can mean you use that as an excuse not to train. Why not go for a run and explore the local area that you may never have visited before – you may discover some hidden gems! Why not do some sprints on the beach for 10-15 mins?Getting in a quick HIIT workout to get your heart rate up! Swimming is a brilliant way of staying fit on holiday, lengths of the pool will work parts of your body you’ve never worked before if you’re not an avid swimmer, or try cycling and yoga. Try everything, you may find a new activity you really enjoy!
Finally, as I said before, holidays are all about rest and recovery for both the mind and the body, try to switch off from your phone as much as you can and away from work stress. Get out and explore and do activities you enjoy doing with the people most important to you. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, or water skiing that you’ve wanted to try forever. Be happy and make the most of it. On holiday is one of the only times we truly live in the moment because we enjoy ourselves and we know it won’t last forever. Staying on track on holiday is very tricky and I am certainly not telling you that you have to do this at all, you should let your body rest and recover on holiday and I think it is good to do so. I enjoy training so much that I wanted to engage in it on holiday to keep me mentally happy, as well as eating sort-of healthy – I was partial to a few bowls of sweet potato fries!
I hope this post helped some of you have motivation to stay on track whilst on holiday if that’s what you wish to do, let me know in the comments if you have any more tips and tricks that may help me in the future!