Holidays. I love holidays. Whether it’s just being off for a few days on my own or with the kids or going away to relax in the sun or explore somewhere new, I love them.

My husband enjoys holidays just as much as I do. We both see them as a total treat and something we didn’t do often as kids. We both eat and drink far more than we do at home and are definitely more relaxed with what we let the kids eat.

We often feel we need to let go when on holiday. Temptations are literally everywhere. We are almost programmed either by nature or by society to believe that you need to eat and drink to your heart’s content because you’re on holiday. 

Sometimes we have worked so hard to get in shape for our holiday that we undo it all and then experience guilt, right? Other times, we arrive on holiday far from our goals and return home with the feeling that we are now even further from where we want to be.

Over the years I’ve noticed that my other half doesn’t suffer from the same level of bloating and lethargy I do towards the end of the holiday. He never seems to have the same worry about fitting into his ‘normal clothes’ for the flight home and has never considered taking a pair of trousers 1 size bigger for the return journey. Yet, seems to enjoy himself just as much as I do, if not more. He doesn’t miss out on anything he wants to eat or drink but he definitely goes about it in a more balanced way.

Of course holidays should be indulgent, we deserve it but we should try and remain mindful that we can enjoy ourselves without giving up all momentum on the tyre we have started pushing. 

Balance is the key to a happy, healthy life. 

Balance is not, for me and easy concept but I’m sure this is where the biggest health benefits for me lie.

So, this all got me thinking and this holiday I made a few wee changes to see if I can feel better without feeling like I’m missing out.

Here are a few of the things I’ve tried:

I’m not a great water drinker. In fact, I’m not great at drinking fluids in general. I’ve tried to start every meal with a large glass of water. I’d say I definitely better for it and think it has also helped me eat a bit more reasonably.

  • I’ve chosen to pick up a smaller plate at the buffet. I would usually pick up the large plate but this time round have gone for the smaller option. I have always struggled with portion control and self control and would be tempted to fill my plate no matter how big it was. This way, I end up with a generous rather than gargantuan portion.
Same food, different size plates

  • Eat fruit before dessert. I’ve made a conscious effort to eat a plate of fruit either instead of, or before dessert. To be honest, most of the time I’ve then been too full for dessert and haven’t really missed it.
  • Share things. Share!? Not an easy concept for me. I don’t really like sharing. Sure, I enjoy going for ‘tapas’ type food that’s ‘meant’ to be shared but I, without exception over order there too. But when my other half usually suggests sharing (especially dessert) just picture Joey from friends and the French fries scene. I’ve been working on sharing for a good while now. I think it was an alien notion for me growing up. Perhaps because I grew up in a restaurant/cafe and chip shop where food was all around. I don’t think my attitude to sharing has helped me develop good eating habits so I’ve been trying to bring my kids up thinking sharing pizza/pasta/starters and desserts as normal and they rarely challenge it. This holiday we did more sharing as a family than ever. We were never hungry, got to try lots of things we wouldn’t have ordered ourselves and really food became more of a family event than ever.

The kids still managed the odd Nutella filled crepe on their own with ease!

  • Be a bit more active. I’m happy sunbathing dawn till dusk if truth be told. When the kids are tiny This wasn’t an option but they are now ‘pool safe’ so I am once again tempted to lie and do nothing. My husband likes to be active so rarely sits/lies down for more than 20 minutes at a time. I’ve made a conscious effort this time round to get up and go for a wander every half hour and have gone for a long walk either in the morning or before or after dinner. I’ve really enjoyed it and think the kids have too despite the initial grumbles. I’ve seen much more of the local area than I normally would. I’ve also tried to do a few lengths of the pool when I’m in cooling off rather than my usual 30 second dip. 


  • Spurred on my my other half, we found a local gym. It was an experience in itself with a huge area on the top floor housing both a weights area and boxing area with an open top roof. It was a short walk from the beach and a wee crepe and ice cream place so I decided a visit there after would count as a win-win situation. 
Very cool gym
  • I’ve had a light lunch. Most days I’ve had either a salad or some fruit and have felt I have enjoyed my dinner far more as a result as I am actually hungry and looking forward to it. I came across a wee fruit and veg shop on one of my walks which was a great find.
  • I’ve not  had any alcohol before 5pm. ?. I do enjoy a drink or two on holiday. It all adds up though and I didn’t think I would miss alcohol during the day. On the whole I didn’t apart from one lunch time when we went out to a really nice wee local place and had some tapas. So I had a drink and really enjoyed it. I have also opted for drinks with less sugar like gin and tonic rather than calorie laden cocktails for the main part.

I didn’t set out to make any changes before I went on holiday but when I got here I just thought I’d give it a go. I can’t say I enjoyed this holiday any less and think I’ll be returning home feeling happier and healthier and looking forward to my next holiday! In the meantime, I’m off to enjoy the last of the sun before returning home. 


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