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How to stick to your diet on holiday

I guess this post is a good advocate for the whole “make it a lifestyle, not a diet” concept. The thing is, my problem doesn’t really lie in making healthy food choices. Yes, I love my chocolate and will treat myself when I want to but I’m pretty good at ordering healthy options when I’m at a restaurant and buying healthy snacks when I’m at the supermarket. That side of this so called “lifestyle” is more about education than it is about discipline. My problem has always been quantity.

Sure, avocados are healthy, but sit and eat a whole bowl full of guac - that’s a lot of calories. Same goes for peanut butter, or actually, anything. You can push yourself into a calorie surplus eating nothing but broccoli. Fact. Sure, you’d have to eat a lot of broccoli but you see the point. That brings me to my first tip for sticking to maintenance or a deficit on holiday:

1. Keep an eye on your portion sizes.

We’re on holiday, we’re eating out all the time, the food is delish, we don’t really want to stop eating… That’s the problem. Portion size is really important here. Having the occasional not-so-healthy-or-low-calorie meal is fine as long as you don’t go overboard. I find it really helpful to size up my food before eating it (I know that sounds weird…). At a guess, one of my meals in Israel consisted of 300 kcals worth of pita bread, 300 kcals worth of hummus and 200 kcals worth of chicken breast. Which brings me to my second point…

2. If you know you’re gonna have big meals, don’t snack.

I consider an 800 kcal meal a pretty big meal, but if I have 3 of those per day that’s me at maintenance (provided I do a little exercise, which is point 3). There’s something to be said about eating 3 big meals and feeling nice and full after every one of them. I tend to snack quite a bit when I’m at home because I move more and just tend to eat smaller meals, so that’s the trade off.

3. Keep moving

Family holiday? Take them for a walk. Beach holiday? Perfect spot for a bodyweight HIIT workout. Out for dinner, a 10 minute taxi ride away? Walk home. I was lucky enough to have a pretty well equipped gym at the hotel, so I squeezed in a 45 minute upper body and abs session with my dad one evening before dinner, and a high volume leg session before breakfast one day. I also did a bit of handstand practice on the beach and lots of walking around and exploring. Moving is fun!

Hope this helps. Any questions, leave me a note and I’ll get back to you!

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