Embarking on an all-inclusive holiday will not immediately bring worries of how much weight might be gained, but rather how little spending money will be necessary. When spending all day at the resort, the wallets and purses can be left locked in the safe back at the room whilst enjoying the freedom of helping yourself to all the delights freely available.
It is always wonderful to come on holiday and have a break from food shopping, cooking and cleaning up, but the extra treat of an all-inclusive resort is that breakfast, lunch and dinner can all be enjoyed without anyone having to worry about the bill. On top of all this, there are free drinks all day, snack bar, and very often ice-cream, tea and cakes available.
Around about day three of your holiday, as you put your book down for a moment and observe your fellow holiday-makers lying around the pool, you may get the sudden realization that this is remarkably like being in a zoo! People move when it is ‘feeding time’ and in between they laze around and sleep. As you slip into your shorts to go and discover what is being served for lunch today, you pull in your tummy just that little bit harder to get that button to fasten. As you look at the vast array of foods on offer, you wonder ‘should I go for salad today?’
So how can we strike that balance between enjoying a good range of foods and drink (after all, we have paid for it), yet not gain unwanted extra weight? Well, here are six simple tips on how not to gain weight whilst on an all inclusive resort without depriving ourselves of the fun and enjoyment we have earned:
* First of all, we need the right mindset. Just because a whole variety of food and drink is available all day, it doesn’t mean we have to over-eat and over-drink. Usually with all-inclusive, we have actually paid very little for the food after you calculate the return air fare and the accommodation, so we need to stop telling ourselves ‘well, we’ve paid for all this!’
* Eat little and often. In other words, as food is available so often – eat little. When you don’t allow yourself to get too hungry, it is much easier to eat smaller portions. Take a small plate, rather than a large plate and take small samples of all the foods that take your fancy. Drink plenty of water, as this will help you to feel full. You can always go up for a little more, but this is better than piling up your plate then feeling that you have to finish it all up.
* If purely salad dishes are not what you would normally find satisfying, then don’t be tempted to just take salad. It may seem a good idea at the time, but when ice-cream and afternoon cakes arrive, you will want to make it up on these foods instead.
* If you are a person who enjoys your sweets, then it’s unlikely that a banana or an orange alone will thrill you. Do remember you are on holiday and not a health farm, but balance this with a sensible choice. Don’t feel you have to sample every sweet available. Very often, similar sweets are dished out daily, so you can try something different tomorrow.
* Alcohol. Remember that this is just as bad for putting on the weight. The measures are often larger as well, so again remember to always drink plenty of water. This will help to prevent dehydration as well as preventing you from drinking alcoholic drinks to combat thirst.
* Exercise. Again, remembering this is a holiday and not a health farm, but some form of exercise will be required if you definitely do not want to have to go on a diet when you return home. Choose the things you most enjoy that will get your body moving. Swimming in the pool several times a day in between your lounging in the sun, a run along the beach at sun down, a few sessions in the gym if one is available, dance away the night, walking and cycling – all these can be fun and will burn off excesses of the day. Some resorts have staff who offer fun exercise sessions, so consider these if it is something you are going to enjoy.
In conclusion then, it’s about setting the right mindset, eating little and often, drinking plenty of water and maintaining some form of daily enjoyable exercise in between your relaxation. Holidays are to be enjoyed, so it is important not to spoil it by worrying all the time about weight gain. These few simple steps should ensure that very little, if any, extra baggage will be taken home from your holiday.
(Article based on my own observations from a recent all inclusive holiday – see holiday diary)