Tell the truth – how many hot cross buns have you eaten over the past month? And are you hatching plans to devour your kids’ chocolate bunnies even before the Easter egg hunt ends? If you’re like most Australians, you’ve probably looking forward to a 10-day break thanks to the Easter long weekend and Anzac Day. Ah, bliss!
Typically, we eat more and exercise less during the holidays. While it’s all too easy to ditch the diet and exercise regime when everyone’s in holiday mode, we’ve got some handy hints to ensure that you don’t totally hop off the healthy living bandwagon.
Everything in Moderation
Yes, it’s good to indulge every now and then, but remember to exercise restraint and not fall into the “I deserve a treat” trap. Eat slowly and mindfully, savouring every bite, so that your brain gives your stomach the signal it needs to realise you are full. Don’t automatically go for seconds. Instead, take a 10-minute break and then check if you are really hungry.
If you know you’ve got a few get-togethers coming up, ensure that you pay attention to your calorie intake prior to this. Offer to bring a healthy dish to the party. Make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy snacks. If you’re going away for the Easter break, make sure to pack your exercise gear and running shoes as well as look up trails and tracks before you travel.
Stand as far away from the snacks as you can or you will end up mindlessly filling up on chips and dips. If there’s a buffet or dessert bar, choose a few of your favourites and skip the rest. Make protein and vegetables the main component of your meal rather than starchy carbs. Enjoy what you eat, guilt-free.
Manage Your Injuries
From a health and safety perspective, it is so important not to neglect your prescribed exercise program that our physios have planned for you just because you’re on holidays. It’s part of your healing process so that you can get fit quicker. Go on and just do it!
Make Exercise Part of Your Day
While it might be tempting to sleep in and hit the snooze button, make sure to keep active. This can even be through incidental daily activities like walking the dog, cleaning your car, spring cleaning your home, gardening, or even playing with the kids.
Set Exercise Goals
All too often, exercise falls by the wayside during any break. To avoid forgetting about your workouts, pencil in exercise appointments on your calendar/phone, and keep these appointments just as you would any other. Be realistic with your exercise goals and be consistent. If you miss a turn, shake it off and start afresh tomorrow.
…and we don’t mean with alcohol! Drink adequate water throughout the day so that you don’t mistake thirst for hunger. Track your H2O intake with a marked water bottle or even an app.
Catch Some Zzzs
More and more studies show that getting adequate sleep is very important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Try to go to bed at a fixed time every night and stay away from the temptation of scrolling through Facebook. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for 7-8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.