Holland & Barrett wellness specialist stores take on the role of our friend and advisor, offering us a variety of options and knowledge for a healthy lifestyle. In this context, Maria Pieridou, Holland & Barrett Wellness Consultant and Dietitian – Nutritionist, shares with us important tips for maintaining a healthy diet during the summer holidays.
Summer is already here and we are all getting ready for our holidays! Not without any concern, however, about whether we will return from holidays without any weight gain and how we will manage to follow a proper and healthy meal plan during our holidays. Well, let me assure you that it is certainly possible with a little extra effort to follow a healthy eating plan during your holidays. It goes without saying, and applies to everyone without exception, that holidays include eating in restaurants and taverns, nights out, alcoholic drinks and lots of ice cream! Truth be told, with a little good will, you can manage to return home from holidays without any weight gain!
Here’s a list with some advice and tips to follow:
1. Start your day with a healthy and well-balanced breakfast.
A good breakfast will help you with the feeling of satiety and give you the energy needed for the day schedule’s activities. It can be a toast with turkey, cheese and vegetables, or cereal with milk and a fruit. If you have the opportunity, you may opt for low-fat cheese, as well as whole grain bread which can promote feelings of satiety and reduce hunger due to its high fibre content.
2. Extremely important… DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Try to stay hydrated by drinking water as often as possible. Specifically, during your summer holidays, you need to consume at least 2 litres of water per day.
3. Will you be spending the day at the beach?
Stock up on healthy snacks such as fruit, crackers, natural juice or unsalted nuts, so that you eat every 2 – 3 hours.
4. Planning to have lunch at the beach at noon?
Choose something lighter, such as a seafood salad or a sandwich of your choice with wholemeal bread, and leave your main meal for the evening.
5. And because summer is not summer without ice cream…
Stock up on low or 0% sugar ice cream, or choose 2 scoops of ice cream with the flavour of your choice in place of your afternoon snack.
6. The sun is coming down and you fancy a dinner in a beach tavern or restaurant?
It is important to avoid starting your meal with bread. You rather start with the salad. Vegetables have a high fibre content which, as I’ve mentioned above, will increase the feeling of satiety, resulting in you consuming less of the rest of the meal that may not be the best choice for your health. You could choose seafood or white – lean meat with rice as a side dish and salad.
7. Avoid frequent consumption of pasta or shrimp-based dishes, as well as foods with cream sauce. You better opt for foods that contain vegetable sauces.
8. Will you be having a night out that involves alcohol consumption?
There are no holidays without night outings. Although we should always opt for water, if you are going to consume alcohol, go for a glass of wine instead of beer. Beer is quite refreshing and contains less alcohol, so you will definitely not stop at one glass…
9. Cocktails… yet another temptation… that you may encounter during your holidays.
Cocktails clock in at around 200 and can reach up to 600 calories depending on their composition, so it would be better to avoid them or consume a total of 1 – 2 per week.
10. And let’s not forget that nutrition and exercise always go hand in hand. Walk as much as you can, it’s also an opportunity to enjoy the sea view at night.
After each bite, you should put your knife and fork on your plate. As funny as it may seem, still there is a reason. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. So when you chew slowly and put your fork down, you help fill the 20-minute gap in order to avoid eating more than needed.
Dietician – Nutritionist