Holidays are a time to relax and explore new places, so it’s understandable that many people typically eat more unhealthy foods than they normally would. Trying local cuisines and eating out is all part of the fun, but it’s important to continue to be mindful of how much sugar you’re consuming – especially if you have a health condition or you’re worried about weight gain. A high-sugar diet can also raise your cholesterol levels, contributing to a higher risk of heart disease and strokes amongst other issues. Here, we list some things you can do to try to manage your sugar intake whilst on holiday.
Fill up on vegetables
A great way to avoid eating too many sweets or desserts is to fill yourself up with some healthy foods during your main course. The safest option is vegetables, particularly if you’re concerned about your weight, as they will fill you up whilst also providing you with lots of essential nutrients.
Adding some protein can also help, but make sure to opt for lean meats such as chicken or cottage cheese (paneer). When it comes to dessert, you’re less likely to be tempted if you’re already feeling full. This makes meal times a great opportunity to cut out some sugar.
Most people like to drink alcohol on holiday. A little won’t hurt, but try to avoid excessively sugary drinks where possible. Cocktails are notorious for this, with an average piña colada containing 63g of sugar – that’s around two thirds of your daily allowance in one drink.
Making the swap to a low-sugar alternative, such as a gin and tonic, is a much healthier option if you do choose to drink alcohol. If gin isn’t your kind of thing, there are plenty of other cocktails with a ton of flavour but less sugar. A great example is the Cucumber Collins, which contains only 7g of sugar on average. It would be the best if you could choose fresh fruit and veggies juices over aerated ones.
Drinking plenty of water does wonders for your body – preventing dehydration, keeping your skin healthy and even helping with your blood sugar. Drinking water dilutes the glucose in your bloodstream, lowering your sugar levels. This can be helpful if you suffer from diabetes or other medical conditions, helping to get your body back to normal if you’ve overdone it a bit with sugar.
Try not to be tempted by any fizzy drinks, particularly sugary ones like cola. They make it easy to consume high quantities of sugar without even realising it. It’s much better for your body to stick to water, but if you absolutely must have a fizzy drink, pick one that’s diet or sugar-free.
During long roadtrips or when we visit colder places, we miss on water often. Make a mental note that you must remind your body to keep having water. It is the best way to return healthy and refreshed from your vacation/holidays.
Many people get hung up on consuming as much food and drink as they can when they’re on holiday, but this isn’t all that a trip away is about. Try to plan activities throughout the day to distract yourself, helping to minimize the sugary snacks and drinks you might usually pick up if you were just sitting around. Limiting yourself to eating at just the main meals of the day can be helpful in itself.
Holidays are about relaxing, so don’t expect to maintain your normal diet whilst you’re on holiday. Being mindful is one thing, but stressing yourself out over a bit of extra sugar isn’t worth it. Try to use a couple of our suggestions to help minimise your sugar intake slightly if you’re worried, but the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. Travel more, relax more, meditate more, read more and keep yourself distracted from unhealthy food.