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6 ways to find nutritional balance on holiday

Off on holiday and ready to indulge? Got a few days off and want to relax? Perhaps you just got back from an all-inclusive week away, holiday blues are setting in and so is the guilt. The guilt of not sticking to healthy eating habits or nutritional goals while on holiday - whether it’s a jet-setter or back-garden-retreat. Fear not, as this blog will guide you on how to embrace both aspects with a joyful heart and a well-nourished body.

When we’re on holiday, away or off work or school, we just want to let go a bit, relax and unwind, like a reward for all the hard work we’ve been doing, whether that’s parenting, in your career, your fitness or even personal growth. A chance to let go of everyday habits and enjoy a little indulgence, but whether it hits straight away or once we return to reality, guilt often follows us.

We’re no strangers to the guilty feeling that follows that indulgence, that spurs the inner critic to tell us we’re not good enough, shouldn’t be eating chips again, and denies ourselves fresh doughnuts despite that delightful smell. And that’s no way to enjoy what few holidays, or even sunny days off, we might have.

It's a challenge for many to strike a balance between healthy habits and ice creams (almost every day), alfresco dining, and holidays (or just a few days at home to relax), perhaps to explore new cuisines or for spontaneous BBQs.

One of the most crucial steps towards nutritional wellbeing on holiday is letting go of guilt. Remember, enjoying special treats and indulging in culinary experiences is a part of the journey. Give yourself permission to enjoy these moments without feeling guilty, and focus on the overall balance you've achieved.

So how do we find a balance, nip that guilt in the bud and embrace indulgence from time to time?

1. The Joy of Exploration

Holidays in particular are a golden opportunity to dive into a world of new flavours and cuisines. Exploring local markets, food stalls, and restaurants can be a delightful adventure that immerses you in the culture and traditions of your destination, or even just around the corner from your home. Remember, the goal is not just to eat, but to experience something new or different (which is good for your mental wellbeing so that equals balance!)

2. Savour with Mindfulness

Mindful eating can be your secret weapon during your time off. Instead of rushing through meals, take the time to appreciate each bite. Engage your senses – notice the textures, aromas, and flavours. This approach not only enhances the culinary experience but also helps us recognise our body's signals of fullness, preventing overindulgence. Try it with ice cream next time you have one (but maybe stay in the shade to prevent a melty mess).

3. Variety is the key to balance

Embrace the concept of balance and variety. While you might be tempted by rich indulgences, make room for nourishing options too. Try to add a colourful array of fruits or vegetables to dishes, and opt for leaner proteins, and whole grains where you can. This not only tops up our essential nutrients but also allows us to enjoy ourselves. Remember to take the pressure off each meal and do what you can.

4. Portion Power

Portion control is your ally in maintaining nutritional balance while letting go of habits. Rather than denying yourself treats, enjoy them in moderation. Allow yourself a few more snacks than usual, share meals with your travel buddies or dinner dates to try more without overeating, and listen to your body when it's satisfied. This way, you can relish the flavours without overloading your system.

5. Stay Hydrated

Amidst all the excitement of the holidays, don't forget to stay hydrated. Water is your best friend, aiding digestion and ensuring you remain energised throughout the day. Carry a reusable water bottle and sip regularly to keep your body functioning optimally. If you’re drinking alcohol at home or out try drinking water with each alcoholic drink you have to ensure your staying hydrated.

6. Move and Explore

Holidays aren't just about food but also about experiencing new environments. Take advantage of this by engaging in physical activities you enjoy. Whether it's a leisurely stroll along the beach, a hike to a scenic viewpoint, or trying out water sports, moving your body adds to your overall sense of wellbeing. It could be exercise disguised as a day outside at the park, or as transport by walking from place to place, sightseeing along the way.

Nutritional wellbeing on holiday is all about finding harmony between enjoying your meals and taking care of your body. Embrace the joy of new flavours, try mindful eating, and opt for a balanced variety of foods. Plus portion control, hydration, and physical activity will keep you feeling great. Most importantly, shed any guilt and relish the journey, knowing that a balanced approach to food enhances our holiday experience in every way.




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