It’s been a while since I last posted, but what a crazy year it’s been. Final semester of university really took a toll and although I still gymed and ate consciously, University was my main priority and I have since completed my degree with a first class honours. All the hard work really paid off, but that’s the end of that chapter and I can now focus on building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I have recently come back from an amazing trip to South Korea and challenged myself to maintain my healthy lifestyle as much as I could, whilst trying new things. It was difficult and I found myself eating food I completely cut from my diet, but these little tips might help yourselves (and future me) to try and stay on a steady path of indulgence, so it’s easier to snap back into shape post travelling.
1. Food on the plane!
The challenge starts at the point of transport. Me and my sisters to this day have always been ridiculously excited about airplane food – something about the little bread roll, desserts and plane snacks fill us with excitement. I soon realised airplane food is mainly a lot of carbs and low protein, and when combined with a 12 hour flight of purely sitting, its not the most healthiest and doesn’t aid well to dealing with jet lag.
Most long haul flights have options of ordering ‘special meals’ in which I took this advantage and ordered a low calorie meal (after doing my research against ‘low fat’ ‘high protein’ etc meals). It was everything I would usually eat and cook at home including a high protein source (Salmon or Chicken), a lot of vegetables, fruit for dessert, chickpea salads and healthy snacks. Give this a go if you’re travelling far, or try and make healthy conscious decisions in terms of airport food.
2. Plenty of water and fruit!
This one probably makes an appearance in all of my tips and is self explanatory. But trying to drink enough water on holiday, especially when you’re travelling around and sightseeing a lot like I was, can be difficult. Just ensure you carry a refillable water bottle on you at all times because there’s nothing worse than dehydration on holiday. It can also help with feeling hungry as I found I was so busy exploring I couldn’t always eat as much as I usually would.
Most supermarkets nearby didn’t have a whole lot of fruit (they’re usually sold fresh). And as we had to buy our own breakfast, I tried to stock up on bananas and oranges in my room to snack on after dinner or quickly in the morning. I also get hungry regularly or need to snack on something every few hours and I did eat junk food out there (I just had to try all the Korean snacks!) but I tried to balance it with healthy alternatives.
3. Choose high Protein, green veggies!
When there were opportunities and where I could (I found everything to be too spicy, sweet or salty) I always prioritised in choosing high protein sources (lean pieces of pork, chicken or fish) and a lot of salad which there were plenty of. Usually Korean BBQ is combined with lettuce, cabbage and kimchi. I was even craving a salad one day after we just indulged ourselves with fried chicken wings and so I ordered a feta salad at a fast food place, but it was the best thing I did as my body just needed something closer to home.
4. Increase daily NEAT
NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and it’s all the activity we do that is not related to exercise, sleeping or eating. Increasing our NEAT can be done through any movement we do in our day to day life. It’s great to increase this as much as we can, especially if you’re someone who spends your day in the office. I tried to increase my NEAT (this wasn’t hard as we did a LOT of walking) by ensuring I was moving regularly, especially during long coach journeys. As I wasn’t getting any resistant training for the duration of my trip, walking up steep hills by pushing through my heel helped to keep those glute and leg muscles activated! So give NEAT a go as every little movement helps.
I know the main concept of a holiday is to enjoy yourself by lazing around and eating as much as you can, which is great – to some extent. But if you’re trying to incorporate a more healthy lifestyle whether it’s eating right or exercising, these little tips should help you reach those goals whilst still enjoying your travels. Happy holidaying!