For a small number of people, holidays are the times where they can eat more regularly, sleep-rest-move more and therefore lose or not gain weight at all. For most people, holidays are “let go” periods where one tends to “indulge” more with little or no restrictions. It can also be very challenging if you are visiting another country or town where the food is different and interesting and you want to taste and experience a new cuisine!
So here are 10 tips to stay fit during the holidays, to stay fit, not gain weight and keep the holiday mood! You can also try these before you go out for dinner or if you are invited, any occasion where it is difficult to keep up with healthy eating.
10 Healthy Holiday Tips to Stay on the Track
1. Start your day with warm water
Especially if you had alcohol the night before, your body will need some alkalizing. Add just a few drops of lime juice or ideally Aloe Vera to warm water.
Also avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach, instead have some herbal tea first and enjoy coffee after breakfast.
2. Skip or Start the day with a healthy breakfast
The new trend in nutrition is to skip breakfast and have 2 meals, lunch and dinner, and have intermittent fasting. The healthiest way of eating, holiday or not is to skip dinner or have a very early and light one. This way your body will have time to digest the food and even burn fat during your sleep. So if you do not have a dinner party, and can have a light meal, the next day, start with a healthy breakfast, with oat or quinoa porridge (you can add some vegan organic protein powder to boost) enhanced with seeds and nuts.
You can also have a whole wheat toast with avocado, grilled halloumi or other fresh cheese, with seeds and herbs. Eggs are usually heavy for mornings but if you are having a late breakfast, cook your egg in ghee or olive oil and add some digestive spices like cumin, black pepper. Do not mix egg with milk or cheese as it slows down digestion. Try to stay away from carbs like cakes, croissants, white breads with jam and nutella…. However, don’t forget to indulge yourself from time to time!
3. Carry some healthy snacks
Although snacking is not good for digestion, nuts may save your life when you are in need of a quick fix in between meals- as exceptions. Make sure you have some mixed nuts in your bag such as, almonds, walnuts and even some dried fruit! A seasonal fruit can also save the day and keep you away from that first unhealthy snack you see when the craving starts!
4. Remember to CHEW YOUR WATER AND DRINK YOUR FOOD
Hydration helps in many ways and even helps keep your appetite under control. Drink in between meals (not during) and carry your bottle everywhere. Drink it warm (not cold, not iced, a bit warmer than room temperature), and drink very slowly, sip by sip. One of our teachers in Ayurvedic Chef training taught us this strategy, which means drink your water so slowly, as if you chew. And eat your food so slowly that you can almost liquify it and drink!
5. Keep Lunch bigger than Dinner
This is not easy but try to have your main meal of the day at lunchtime. Eat well and indulge then make dinner as light as possible. Stay away from carbohydrates like rice, pasta, pizza, bread, etc at dinner. Focus on vegetables, lean and healthy proteins. Use your “carb time” at breakfast and lunch! This way you will also do your digestive system a favour and sleep better which in turn helps the hormones to work properly at night for detoxification and fat burning!
Choose 1 or 2 nights per week, especially after big outings or meals by either skipping dinner or make it really small and just have a bowl of soup, or a plain salad or grilled fish with steamed veggies.
6. Limit your desserts and drinks
The big trap! Decide a weekly limit for yourself and stick to it! Maybe 2 desserts per week, or 1 glass of wine per day and make sure you stick to it. Don’t ruin your pre holidays efforts by regaining the weight that you lost, it really is not worth it.
7. Exercise and move more than usual
Holidays are much better when you keep moving! We all need some down time but try to keep those lazy moments for the evenings! Go for a walk before or after breakfast, or even after dinner, try new sports like pilates, yoga, zumba, canoeing, etc if you can.
Sweating out the toxins from daily life will make you feel much more rested then lying around all day doing nothing. Be active all day and you will profit from a long, deep well rested sleep at night.
8. Stay away from the bread basket
Enjoy the delicious food you choose, just be careful not to overload your body on empty calories! Put the bread basket away, ask the waiter not to bring it to your table at all! Enjoy what is on your plate and put the bread
9. Eat up to 80% of your stomach’s capacity
Overeating and filling up your stomach over capacity can really put pressure on your digestive system. Listen to yourself, use your gut feelings (literally!) and stop before you are “fully full”! You can always top up with some healthy snacks later, so don’t worry!
And share your big meals or desserts with others, do you really have to eat all that pizza or tiramisu…really?
10. Slow down and enjoy the moment and things around the food!
At the end of the day, this is your holiday and you must enjoy every moment. It is scientifically proven that if you slow down, breathe enough, and be mindful of what you are eating, you actually burn more calories than if you are stressed, rushed and not paying attention to what you eat!
Stay Healthy & Fit During Holiday
Remember that holidays, parties and special gatherings are actually not only about the food but more about the people and our connections. Enjoy the conversations, the laughter-tears-dances-hugs… as much as you do with the food and even more!
Wishing you great holidays where you can relax, have a break, recharge your batteries, energize yourself and stay fit and on top form!
Check Out Our Upcoming Events
When you come back, here are my post holiday programs that will give you a boost in your motivation for healthy living, starting with a great Winter Cleanse and Reset 10 day online program. Our Immunity Boost Workshop will give you tools and tips for healthier winter, for yourself and family. And finally our Winter Retreat on 1-3 March will help you to slow down and reset for a weekend on the magical Swiss Alps with yoga, meditation and Ayurveda.