Are you sick of people assuming vegans never have any weight issues? Have you spent the weeks leading up to your summer holiday watching what you eat and slaving at the gym to get that "beach body" but fear you will undo all your good work once you actually get on holiday? Or do you struggle with your weight at the best of times and know that all the temptations on holiday will mean you pack even more pounds on? If this applies to you, read on for my top tips for keeping healthy while away.
Keep up your usual routine: if you are active at home, keeping up your routine, even if it means doing less than you would normally, will help. For example, you could go for a morning run along the beach or do half an hour yoga in your hotel room. If you are staying somewhere with a gym, why not check it out?
Try a new sport: holidays can be a great opportunity to try a new sport such as water sports or tennis, why not give something new a go?
Make use of the pool: if you are staying somewhere with a pool, make use of it for more than just splashing around in. Challenge yourself to do a certain number of lengths before breakfast and again before lunch. If you are not a swimmer, even walking up and down in the water will burn calories. Swimming in the sea is a great option for strong enough swimmers too.
Walk: if you are visiting a city, walking is the best way to take in the sites. Outside of the city you could opt for country walks or hikes or how about a romantic stroll along the beach?
Play with the kids: don't just watch them, join in! Games such as beach volley ball or rounders are a great way to keep active and have fun with the kids too.
Get up early: if you are holidaying somewhere hot, the mornings, when it's cooler, are the best time to exercise, plus you will likely get the pool / beach / gym to yourself. Then you can relax for the rest of the day knowing you've done your hard work already. Act like a local and have an afternoon siesta if you need more sleep.
Watch what you eat
Keep up your fruit and vegetable intake: it is now recommended to get 10 portions of vegetables and fruit daily and this still applies while on holiday! If you are visiting a Mediterranean country this will be easy with so many delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables on offer. Salads can make a refreshing lunch when it's hot and are an ideal vegan option. Just remember to adhere to the usual food hygiene advice.
Watch what you eat at the buffet: if you are staying in a hotel with a buffet restaurant, remember that "all you can eat" doesn't have to mean eating as much as you can until you make yourself sick! It can be tempting to "get your money's worth" by eating as much as possible, especially if there are good vegan options available, but is this really more important than your health? Keep your portion sizes the same as you would at home.
Limit sweet treats: so you've discovered the ice cream parlour that sells vegan ice cream, but just because you can have something doesn't mean you should! Enjoy it as a treat without over indulging.
Keep up your supplements: if you take vitamin supplements at home, take these with you and keep them up while you are away to give yourself a boost. Taking a green supplement such as barley grass powder before breakfast is perfect for holidays as it contains chlorophyll which helps to rid the body of toxins: handy if you have over endulged a little.
Watch what you drink
Keep hydrated: don't forget to drink plenty of water while on holiday especially if you are visiting somewhere hot or doing physical activity. It will also help to flush your body of toxins and is a much healthier option than sugary fizzy drinks or even "diet" drinks that still raise your blood sugar levels.
Don't go too mad on the booze: it's lovely to enjoy a cold alcoholic beverage while on holiday but don't forget that every gram of alcohol contains 7 calories so try not to go too mad. Perhaps save it for meal times and evenings or perhaps aim to have some alcohol free days during the holiday. Limit your alcohol by opting for lighter drinks such as spritzers with soda. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks and watch out for sugary cocktails and mixers too.
Rest and rejuvenate
Finally, remember that holidays are really important for resting and recovering from all the hard work you do at home. Don't feel guilty about making the most of this valuable opportunity to let your body and mind have a break. And despite the above, don't feel guilty about treating yourself while on holiday or beat yourself up if you do endulge a little, enjoying it is far better for your mental health than feeling guilty about it!
Picture: a delicious fresh salad with gazpacho in a Spanish restaurant