Let’s face it, when we go on holiday we tend to indulge and try new things – especially food.
That restaurant dish that looks deliciously low carb might have a sauce which is full of sugar – so how do we stay on track?
I’ve spent the past 2 weeks in Hong Kong where rice, noodles and “mystery” dishes abound, so these are my top 7 killer tips to staying on track.
1. You might end up eating High Carb Foods – Deal with it
Maybe it’s because your host prepared you an extra special (but high carb) dish and you simply can’t say no for fear of being rude, or perhaps there are no low carb alternatives at the restaurant you’re dining at. Whatever, the reason, the key here is to reduce the impact – if you know you are going to an evening meal full of carbs, be extra strict with yourself for breakfast and lunch. This might be the perfect time to try fasting.
2. Educate the uninitiated and make the right choices
If you’re among friends you shouldn’t worry about taking your time when choosing what to eat – with a few choice questions you should be able to quickly determine which foods are safe to order. Don’t be embarrassed about explaining your diet to your fellow diners – once they know about your diet, they can help you choose the best dishes.
3. Can’t Escape? Put down your fork (or chopstics)
Sometimes you will be stuck between a rock and a hard place – you don’t want to offend your host but at the same time you don’t want to go off your diet. If this happens, it’s time for a bit of sneakiness – focus first on the obviously low carb items in the meal, and then take a few bites of whatever remains – after that you can easily feign fullness (and anyone looking at your plate won’t be the least bit suspicious). Unfortunately I made the mistake of clearing my plate when I ate with a Chinese family – the result was an instant refill!
4. Eat slowly
This links with the previous tip – if you let other people finish eating before you they’ll feel as if you’ve eaten just as much as them. If it’s a meal where you share dishes, this works even better as the other dinner guests will probably eat twice as much as you!
5. Keep Active
Eating more carbs doesn’t mean that you’re going to instantly get fat – as long as you can burn most of it off, you’re going to be safe. Go on extra long walks, take the steps instead of the elevator, do a few extra lengths in the pool – and if you’re with a significant (or not so significant) other there are plenty of things you can do in the bedroom to burn off those carbs!
6. Do your research
The first few days of my holiday were tough – I’d never even heard of most of the food I was being given, let alone knew its carbohydrate content. Do a search for local supermarkets and restaurants and see the types of dishes and foods that are on offer – if you know what will be a safe bet, you can order and eat food without asking hundreds of questions and making yourself the odd one out.
7. Relax, you’re on holiday
Some people have “cheat days” on their diets where they fall so far off the wagon they’re rolling down a hill into the next valley. But the next day, they’re back on track and are still shedding pounds. In the worst case scenario you’ll put on a couple of pounds while you’re on holiday, but as long as you’re prepared and have a strong will you can get straight back to losing weight when you get back home.
Bonus Tip: Enjoy trying new things
So far on this holiday I’ve eaten jellied chicken blood, chicken feet, balls of meat with unknown origins and some pretty bizarre looking things. Sure, I might have kicked myself out of ketosis for half the time I’ve been here but my weight has been stable. Stop worrying about it and try something new, you won’t regret it!