The Holiday Diet

Many of us are on a diet for a period of at least two to three months. Sometimes a family holiday or travel plan comes up within this period. It is important that we don’t give up on our diet and do the best we can to keep the program going even through the trip. If we are careful we can at least keep our weight maintained till we get back.

The first point is to get your focus right.  Holidays are not only about eating and drinking uncontrollably.  Yes, when we think of relaxing we don’t want any restriction But being so relaxed may cause a great waste of all that you have worked so hard to achieve. So mentally, prepare your self to enjoy some delicacies of the place you are visiting but don’t plan to just over eat from morning to night.

It’s like you winning a lottery today and going out on a shopping spree with your kids and you spend, spend, spend, and after a week you don’t even have money to buy their food.  It’s being totally stupid.  We need to be more responsible and sensible than that with our bodies. We can’t say I will just eat whatever I want and come back and go on a diet. 

Believe me one can easily gain 3-5 kgs in 10 days. So before you set out, make a decision to be sensible and cautious.  How, is the question?

The common practice that we see if you are living in a bed and breakfast hotel is to eat as huge a breakfast as you can, skip lunch or just have a juice and sandwich lunch and then eat a huge dinner of all the goodies the place has to give you.  This is the most harmful practice.  In the morning if your body needs 3 slices of bread but you eat 6, the other 3 are converted to fat and stored.  Eat a sensible breakfast like 1-1 and a half cups cornflakes and 1C skimmed milk.  Or 2-3 slices of toast and an egg or 3-4 idlis and sambar. Avoid fried bacon, sausages and heavy pastry or croissants or vadas. Avoid butter. A little jam or honey is not harmful.

Take the fruit served at breakfast along with you and munch on this at 11am instead of a packet of wafers or chips.  Lunch should be the main meal of the day.  The specialties of the place are to be enjoyed now and not at night. Make sure you eat whole wheat bread or rotis or rice along with a dhal or beans.  Some vegetable and curd or non-veg can be eaten.  The meal must be accompanied by a fresh salad which is filling and gives you a supply of vitamins and minerals that are lost with all the walking around and sight seeing. .Any dessert can be tasted after lunch and avoided after dinner. 

Tea at teatime and a fruit at 6 or 7pm is again refreshing.  At this time a cup of yogurt or a glass of skimmed milk will keep you from overeating at dinner.

Dinner should be a light meal.  A clear vegetable soup along with whole wheat bread and baked vegetables or rotis with dhal or pulses and lots of salads is a balanced but light dinner. A glass of skimmed milk or a fruit at bedtime is permitted if you are still hungry.

Any fatty food eaten after 6pm is converted to fat in the body at 12midnight and it is stored away in the fat cells.  If you starve the whole day and eat fatty foods in the evening it is useless. You may think you are eating only one meal in the day, but as you sleep all the fat in that one meal will be stored as fat.  In 10 days once or twice you may eat a good dinner but if you do so all 10 days you will be fat again.  So out of 10 days and 30 meals if you eat only 10 lunches heavily you may come back with no weight gain or only 1kg up and that you should take off as soon as you are back.  Besides this you can’t stop walking for 10 days. Try to squeeze in a 20minutes walk in your hotel driveway in the morning or even after dinner.  Finally drink plenty of water whenever you can.

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