Thalia Kardatou, Collaborator, Nutrition Department of Mediterraneo Hospital
The term “summer vacation” has been associated in most people’s minds with a period of relaxation and tranquility which often affects our eating habits and hence our body weight. Frequent eating in taverns and restaurants, eating snacks outside the home and increasing alcohol consumption throughout the day usually lead to weight gain although there are many opportunities for physical activity (swimming, walking, water sports). Do not get stressed about keeping your weight during the holidays, just follow some useful tips!
- Say “Yes” to breakfast, but with moderation: Breakfast is perhaps the most enjoyable, summer meal, especially for those staying in a hotel because the buffet is full of dishes that we rarely eat in the morning in the winter (e.g. fried eggs, bacon, sausages, bougatsa, creams, cakes etc.). Although it would be healthy eating fruits, whole grains and yogurt in the morning, you can also try some “forbidden” food, but in a small quantities. If you do not eat at a hotel, but on the way to the beach, instead of paying a visit to a bakery for pizzas, cheese pies, donuts, etc. you can opt for fresh milk and a sandwich with whole grain bread.
- Eat something on the beach: Do not stay withot food all day, considering that you can eat safely at night in the tavern. Try to eat small and frequent meals that will provide you with the right energy for the sea and beach games. Beach canteens usually have foods of high caloric value, and if you eat every day from there, there is a risk of gaining weight without even noticing. Before leaving the hotel room, make a pack of bottled water, sandwich with whole grain bread, yogurt and lots of fruit.
- Pay attention to alcohol: Prefer wine or beer that have fewer calories and alcohol and, in order not to exceed the indicated quantity for each glass, drink a glass of water respectively. Also make sure you drink plenty of liquids (coffees, juices and tea) to hydrate your body while detoxifying it. Beware also of nuts and crisps commonly served with drinks at bars: if possible, ask them to take them back and bring you fruits and raw vegetables (eg carrots), otherwise eat a minimum of nuts and no potato chips.
- Consume plenty of fruit, natural juices and vegetables that not only reduce appetite but also provide you with antioxidants and fiber, reducing fat absorption. Some of them will even help you naturally tan).
- Say “Yes” to ice cream, but with moderation: Although an ice cream now and then doesn’t hurt, it contains many fats and calories – and the more “rich” (for example, chocolate, caramel, nuts, creams, etc.), the more fattening they are. The ideal dessert is, of course, frozen yoghurt with fruit, but if you can not resist an ice cream, choose the simplest one you can find. If you’re getting ready-made ice cream, always read the packs to know how many calories you eat. Another alternative is to eat whenever possible, water ice (without adding sugar).
- Do not miss the opportunity for exercise: Increased physical activity is also a good way to save yourself from excess weight. Swimming, racquets, beach volley and simple walking is really helpful.
- Goal maintenance: Set your goal of maintaining your body weight as a loss during summer vacation is a lot of pressure while trying to relax. “All in good measure“!