Staying healthy while on holiday

Staying healthy while on holiday

28th October, 2016

There is nothing worse than getting back from a vacation to discover you have put on a stone in weight! From ice creams to cocktails, it is so easily done. However, it is important to stay healthy while on vacation. This does not mean you have to follow a strict exercise and healthy eating plan, but we have put together a few tips that will ensure you stay healthy during your holiday.


  • Don’t overindulge at every meal – One thing most of us are guilty of is overindulging. If you know you are going out for a big three-course meal in the evening, try to eat lighter throughout the day. Instead of having a full dessert, why not share it with your partner? And, whenever you feel full, stop.
  • Sightsee on bike or foot – Don’t simply get a taxi or local bus to every destination you want to visit. Instead, walk there or go on a cycling tour. This is a brilliant way to explore while also making sure you get exercise and fresh air. Not only will this ensure you do not gain weight on holiday, but you will get a better sleep at night as well, as you will feel more relaxed.
  • A treat a day – You should try to limit yourself to a treat a day. Or, you could opt for the 80/20 rule whereby 80 per cent of your calories are used on the good stuff, and 20 per cent is for treats.
  • Set aside 45 minutes a day for physical activity – It is important to make sure you are active for at least part of the day. This could mean anything from using the hotel gym, to taking a walk and seeing the sights, to having a run across the beach in the morning. You do not have to do a lengthy, gruelling workout; it is merely a case of staying active.
  • Get some vitamin D – Vitamin D boosts your immune system and keeps your bones healthy, so get outside and enjoy the sunlight, but, of course, do not overdo it and make sure you where sunscreen.
  • Don’t be too harsh on yourself – If you deprive yourself of a bit of indulgence, you will only snap and end up eating a lot worse in the end. You are on holiday after all.
  • Get active with your family – From playing football on the beach, to kayaking, to swimming in the hotel pool, there are many different types of activities you can enjoy with your family. This will keep you active while ensuring you have a lot of fun in the process.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks – Make sure your hotel room has a number of healthy snacks on hand, such as Greek yoghurt, fruit, nuts, trail mix, and alike. This will ensure you are getting some good stuff in your body throughout the day.
  • Water is your friend – Make sure you stock up on water, and take it with you wherever you go. This is so important when going to a hot climate, as dehydration can quickly kick in.
  • Avoid eating really late – Try to avoid eating carbs after 6-7 pm. Avoid the bread basket, and stay away from chips, rice, and pasta dishes. Instead, look for protein-based meals, i.e. those containing fish, metal, salad, and vegetables. You should eat your carbs during the day.
  • Watch what you drink – One of the main reasons why so many people put on weight when they go on holiday is because they drink much more alcohol. We are not saying you need to stick to water all day and night, but did you know that some frozen margaritas could contain a huge 700 calories? You simply need to be wiser with your alcohol choices. Have one of the margaritas, but then switch to vodka and slim-line tonic or a white wine spritzer, for example.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – Holidays are supposed to be about relaxing, so try to get a good night’s sleep. Avoid the temptation to stay up late every evening.
  • Try exotic fruits – Going abroad is all about trying new things, which is why we often overindulge. So, make sure you overindulge in the good stuff by trying exotic fruits you cannot usually find at home.
  • Eat when hungry and stop when comfortable – When on vacation, we tend to keep eating and drinking until we are bursting at the seams. After all, we have paid for this delicious food, and we’re on holiday! But, do you really want to feel that uncomfortable? Instead, stop whenever you feel you are satisfied, and make sure you only eat whenever you are actually hungry.
  • Be choosier at breakfast – Last but not least, we often tend to feel it is mandatory to have a cooked breakfast on vacation – just because it is simply there and we do not usually have it. But, you do not need to have a cooked breakfast and pastries every single day! Be choosier at breakfast and you will reap the rewards.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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