Food is undoubtedly the best part about travelling. From Parisian cheese fondue and Belgian waffles to Italian pasta and Thai curries, we all want to eat what the locals eat when on a holiday.
But then you come back home and realize that you’ve put on 10 pounds and none of your clothes fit anymore – a particularly painful experience for those who had been on track of their fitness goals prior to the vacation. So is there a way to enjoy travelling with all the eating and the drinking while staying healthy?
Hotel Breakfast Buffets
Probably the best part about staying at a luxurious hotel is waking up every morning to an epic breakfast spread with everything that you ever wanted to eat, in unlimited quantity. Of course you’re bound to pile up your plate with everything you see, only to feel a tremendous amount of guild after scoffing down all the food.
When it comes to hotel breakfast buffets, you must come prepared with a plan of action. Experts suggest evaluating your choices and dividing the food options into different categories to enjoy on different days. For example, you might want to stick with just eggs one morning, fruit salad the next, a traditional breakfast the day after and so on until you’ve tried everything from the buffet table over the course of your stay without overindulging.
If you want to stick to your fitness goals even while travelling, it might help to choose a hotel that has an onsite gym. Even if do a quick 30-minute session every morning before breakfast, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your day without having to worry about exercising or burning excess calories.
Even if you don’t have access to a gym, consider exploring the city on foot to stay active throughout your holiday. Walking is a great exercise that has proven benefits for reducing the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and cancers.
Furthermore, walking in the sun will allow you to explore the local area more thoroughly while soaking in the vitamin D. Jumping into the ocean or the pool to cool off can also get your heart rate up and burn those extra calories. So don’t shy away from a quick swim while you’re already sunbathing on the beach.
Research shows that people are more likely to overeat when they’re distracted by other things. This is usually the case on holidays when you’re so occupied with everything around you that you don’t realize how much food you’re consuming.
An easy way to circumvent this problem is by eating mindfully and paying attention to your hunger and satiety cues. Eating slowly and focusing on your food during mealtime can really help you control your portions and avoid overeating.
Getting Enough Sleep
Traveling can be quite hectic, especially if you’re the type who likes to party till late at night but also gets up early in the morning for sightseeing and other outdoor activities.
Not getting enough sleep is the perfect recipe for weight gain since research has shown that exhaustion can increase hunger hormones causing people to eat more calories and make poor food choices. Lack of sleep also has a negative effect on your circadian rhythm, which our body’s internal clock, useful in regulating various biological functions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a holiday or not, drinking water is extremely important for regulating your appetite and improving metabolism. The general rule of thumb is to drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day, although the exact amount can depend on a number of factors including your weight, the environment and level of physical activity.
If you’re walking around a lot in the heat, you should be drinking a lot more water to prevent dehydration. We often mistake thirst for hunger which can cause us to overeat when our body actually needs water. To keep your water levels up on vacation choose snacks that are high in water content such as cucumbers, water melons and berries.