Summertime is coming and people are slowly preparing for the vacations. Many enjoy being in a warm environment, seeing friends and/or families and also tasting cultural cuisine. Some people bring back beautiful souvenirs, whereas others come back a bit more disappointed due to accumulated weight gain during their travel.
Now many wonder how is then possible not to gain weight while travelling. It is very simple! Firstly, I always tell my clients to mainly enjoy their vacation as much as they can by discovering new cultures and especially, trying to make healthier food choices. For some, this may sound very reasonable, while for others, it may be a little bit more complicated.
Alcohol is actually one of the main factors contributing to weight gain while travelling. Furthermore, 4 to 5 million Canadians engage in excessive alcohol drinking also known as ‘binge drinking’ (1). Excessive alcohol intake is also linked with higher risk of liver disease, car accidents, verbal abuse and sexual impotence (1,2,3). The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse recommends for men and women not to exceed three and two glasses of alcohol daily, respectively, with one more drink on special occasions to help reduce the risk of injury and harm (4). Hence, it is strongly recommended to limit your alcohol intake to help prevent weight gain. Alternatively, carrying a bottle of water will help keep you hydrated and also increase your satiety during your vacation.
Next, I always recommend to enjoy cultural meals by choosing healthier options. If you are travelling to a warm or south country, take the opportunity to choose the plenty of seafoods or fatty fishes (none fried) available due to their elevated amount in omega 3 (essential fatty acids) which are beneficial for our cognitive functions, heart conditions, brain development including depression symptoms (5,6).
If you are also travelling during the summer period, enjoy the sun since your vitamin D level gets mostly synthesised from it compared to the Canadian winter limited in sun exposure (7). Studies also suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with obesity seen in children.
While travelling, always remember to enjoy your trip with your family, friends or even by yourself by exploring the new communities and be curious about the cultural cuisine. Since the summer is approaching, prepare yourself to make healthier food choices for a better lifestyle by making every day a sunny day! –SNC-
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