How to Eat Healthy While on Holiday

The holiday season is upon us and many may be planning trips away over the Christmas/New Year season. It's easy to start dreaming of all the food and drink 'must haves' in the holiday location and forget about maintaining good eating habits. I will be going away to Taiwan and Hong Kong and I am already searching up all the famous food stalls and restaurants I will be visiting! A day or two of this may be harmless  but mindlessly eating my way through Taiwan and Hong Kong can mean coming back 5kg heavier! With the summer weather in Australia, I can imagine how coming back heavier from a holiday may not be ideal for most! Here at 6 tips on how to keep on top of weight gain during a holiday:

1. Plan!  
Plan your food and exercise like you would the locations you're visiting! Although many elements will be out of your control there will always be things you can plan for. For example if you are going on a tour ask the travel agency for the list of hotels and restaurants you'll be visiting. This way you can see if the hotels have a gym or a swimming pool and what the specialties are at the restaurants. If you're planning your own holiday make sure to factor in when and where you are eating so you don't end up starving on one leg of the trip and overeating when you find the nearest store selling food. Setting some rules during the planning stage is important as you'll most likely be blinded by all the delicious food when you're there. This can be simple things like "I will always take the stairs when possible" or "I will only have dessert every second day rather than every meal of every day." 

2. Share your food to portion control
If you're like me, I will search high and low for where to eat the best local food. In fact I have gone through all the night markets I am visiting in Taiwan and taken screen shots of blog posts featuring stores I want to visit so I won't forget which foods I must try! The problem though is most foods may be quite energy dense! If you're travelling with others this is the time to share. Sharing is caring! Like I've mentioned before, I think we eat food not just for the nutrients but also for enjoyment and there's no greater enjoyment than being able to share good tasting food with others! 

3. Only have what you can't get at home 
When I'm on holiday I choose my food based on this mantra. For example if the place is known for their fresh seafood, it's probably unnecessary to have a side of chips and soft drink with my fish.  

 Egg tarts at KFC in Fu Zhou count as food we can't get here =P! 

Peking duck in Beijing! 

4. Stick to water most of the time 
Liquid kilojoules is something I normally restrict even when not on holiday. It's so easy to consume a meal's worth of kilojoules in one beverage without feeling even the slightest bit full. I will choose water 90% of the time and the remaining 10% will be for drinks I can't get in Australia or celebrations involving alcohol ;)    

5. Exercise as much as possible. 
I probably get in more exercise when I'm on holiday than when I'm at home... This is because I make an effort to walk everywhere. I believe walking or cycling through a city is a better experience than being stuck in a car or bus. I've made hiking, swimming, snorkeling, cycling and jogging part of my plans. I prefer to do my exercises outside but if there's really no way to do those things a hotel swimming pool or gym does the trick too. I'm also quite a fast walker (or so I'm told) and tend to walk at a pace where my heart rate is elevated. I'd like to thank all those years rushing for the train to school and uni! 


These stairs were a killer but the view at the top was amazing!

That's my cousin! We climbed all the way to the top of that tower in this pic! It was -12 degrees in Beijing that day but we braved it to climb a tiny section of the great wall! 

6. Eat your veggies
5 serves of veggies! No exceptions! I try and stick with this even when I'm away as it is a simple thing to do. As I'll be having buffet breakfast every morning I'll be squeezing in my veggie serves first thing in the morning! Mmmmmm roast mushrooms....

Also sticking to the plate model of half a plate full of veggies, 1/4 protein source and 1/4 carbohydrate source is also another way to ensure you're eating a balanced diet. 

Bonus 7! 
Don't feel guilty. A holiday is meant to be enjoyed and I think for most, eating a bit extra is the norm. Despite planning, many factors can still be out of your control. Many people will find themselves putting on a kilo or two during the festive season and this is OK to acknowledge and move on. If your new years resolution is to lose 5kg yet your holiday made you put on 2kg it's easy to feel discouraged, feel it's unachievable and ditch weight loss altogether. But DON'T! Strength is when you persevere despite the set backs!    

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season! I'll be back with lots of photos of yummy food from Taiwan and Hong Kong soon!


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The information presented on this blog acts as general nutrition advice and is not tailored to meet individual needs. It should not be used as a replacement for any medical advice you have recieved from medical practitioners. Please discuss any concerns for your health with your doctor or Accredited Practicing Dietitian before starting a new dietary or exercise regime as they can give more personalised recommendations.

I make every effort to ensure information on Nutrition with Wendy is correct and up to date however nutrition is an evolving field and discrepancies can arise. If the information here appears incorrect or out of date please let me know and I will do my best to update my posts.