A NUTRITIONIST has revealed her genius tricks to avoid gaining weight on holiday – including sipping drinks from your left hand.
Harley Street nutritionist Kim Pearson is an expert in weight maintenance – which many of us fall short of while away.
GettyCocktails on holiday? Ask the barman to create something low sugar, Kim says[/caption]
A break is the perfect opportunity to relax, indulge, and not feel guilty about it.
We don’t just eat three meals a day on holiday. We eat snacks, desserts, extra drinks and nibbles.
But if you’re keen to have a healthier holiday, and prevent overeating, follow these tips to enjoy treats while away without coming home several pounds heavier.
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AVOID PLANE FOOD
Kim wrote in Daily Mail that plane food may be higher in salt and sugar than usual because “being at altitude on a flight affects our ability to taste sweet and salty food”.
And has anyone actually enjoyed their plane meal?
Kim said: “What I always advise my clients is to pause and consider ‘is it really worth it?’ before eating something that isn’t nutritionally optimal.
“Are you honestly going to get any enjoyment from that salty, soggy lasagne and rock-hard bread roll?”
You can always look for healthier options in the airport to take onto the plane, or simply wait until your destination.
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A day on holiday usually starts with a huge continental breakfast, despite the fact you’re still stuffed from last night’s dinner.
Kim said: “If you do go to the dining room, make sure you start with protein — such as an omelette. This will fill you up and stop you over-indulging.
“If you start your breakfast with a refined carbohydrate such as toast, or fruit juice, your blood sugar will spike, making your body less efficient at burning fat — so save the fruit plate for the end of the meal, if you need it at all.”
To really avoid temptation, order room service to your hotel room instead.
CHOOSE ICE CREAM
If you think sorbet is a healthier option than ice cream, think again.
Kim said: “Sorbet is pure sugar. If you want ice cream then have the real thing, which will contain fat and some protein that will slow the release of the sugar.”
Try to avoid getting a cone, and take a walk after so your body uses the sugar for energy, rather than storing it as fat, Kim said.
DRINK WITH YOUR LEFT HAND
Kim has a nifty trick for those who like a drink on their holiday.
She said: “Order a glass of water and, if you’re right-handed, place the water on your right side and the alcohol on your left.
“It will slow down your drinking as you’ll naturally reach for your glass of water more often.”
If you’re left handed, just put your alcoholic drink on the right hand side.
Kim said if you are offered nibbles with your drink at a bar, it’s easier to avoid it all together because no one ever stops with one pretzel or peanut.
“Once they’re there in front of you, chances are you’ll just mindlessly keep dipping into the salted snacks and won’t even register that you’re eating them,” she said.
“So, do yourself a favour and ask your waiter to take the tray away.
“On the other hand, if olives are on offer, help yourself! They’re high in good fats but don’t have the moreish factor of crisps or salted nuts, meaning you won’t eat dozens of them.”
Kim said: “No one wants to feel deprived on holiday but, equally, no one wants to return home a dress size larger.
“Giving yourself a daily treat is something you may want to try.”
Kim said allowing yourself a limited number of treats means you are not depriving yourself, but get to experience the delights on offer without excess.
She said this may reduce guilt and you falling off the wagon entirely.
“Settle on something you’re going to love — savour every mouthful and stop eating as soon as you start to feel full. Avoid eating to the point where you’re ready to be rolled out of the restaurant.”
BEFRIEND THE BARMAN
If you’re sticking around the pool all holiday, you’re likely to get familiar with the barman.
Kim said this is a bonus because you can ask them to make something special for you that is lower in sugar than the classic cocktails on the menu.
She said: “Some classic cocktails, such as pina colada, can contain more sugar and fat than a slice of chocolate cake. Instead, ask your bartender if he or she can make something without sugar, juice or syrup.
“Mixologists love a challenge, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to enjoy a refreshing cocktail that isn’t loaded with sugar.”
IN CONTROL AT THE BUFFET
Many package holidays include an all inclusive feast almost all day.
If you’re trying to watch your weight this can be overwhelming, and the temptation to “get your money’s worth” often wins.
Kim said: “Rather than heading blindly to a restaurant, study the menu beforehand, choose what you’ll eat and stick to it. This will save you from feeling overwhelmed by choice.”
She advised taking time to eat your food, savouring every bite, rather than “mindlessly grazing” when you’re not even hungry.
DON’T BRING IT HOME
When we get back from holiday the last thing on our minds is a healthy salad.
Kim said it’s common to “arrive home to an empty fridge and order a take-away or carry on having wine with every meal”.
You may be in holiday mode for a couple more days, but “draw a line in the sand and settle on a day to get back to normal eating and drinking”, she said.
Plan a food shop, with a shopping list, to get nutritious ingredients into the house as early as possible.
So you’ve felt your waistline expand a little while away.
Kim says don’t jump on the scales as soon as your home, and wait at least a week if you want to know if you’ve put weight on.
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She said dehydration, constipation and water retention from flying can all impact your weight.
“Instead, wait five to seven days for a more accurate reading,” Kim said.