Your annual vacation is not an easy time to diet. And in a way, rightly so – everyone deserves to let go from time to time and surely a couple of ice creams on your holidays is just reward for the hard work and self-control of the rest of the year.
But when you consider that the average person will gain up to 9lb on a two-week holiday, those ice-creams look a little less tempting.
You can still eat healthily on holiday though – here’s our round-up of the best diet-friendly cuisine from around the world…
A nation famed for pizza and pasta may not seem like it’d be the home of chic Armani-esque models; and yet it is. How? Because they’re famed for fresh pizza and pasta, not stuff in a packet. Think farm-grown tomatoes, newly pressed pasta and just-from-the-farm cheese. A two-for-one jar of salt-and-cream-packed carbonara? Not so much.
Worldly diet wisdom: Go natural.
Anyone (which is everyone) who has ever got a little overexcited by an Indian menu on a Friday night may not equate curry with weight loss. But with the right choices, it can be. Go for more traditional Indian dishes like tandoori, not the Brit-skewed, cream-laden korma, and you’ve instantly knocked off about 400 calories of lard.
Also remember that spice instantly speeds up your metabolism, so be bold.
Worldy diet wisdom: Keep it simple.
We have a funny old relationship with our French cousins. Sometimes we love them, sometimes we hate them, but one thing remains constant - we always envy how their women manage to remain slim while apparently gorging on coffee and croissant for breakfast, having three-hour lunches with plates of camembert, then finishing off the day with bottles of wine and some pate/quiche/insert any other fatty French food. How? Again, there’s a key word here: apparently. Yes, French women may appear to gorge on these calorie-laden monsters, but they don’t, they pick. Little and often, mes amis.
Worldly diet wisdom: Show portion control.
If ever there was a diet world teacher’s pet, Greece is it. The local menu of olive oil, fresh fish and lots of nuts not only promotes good health – lowering the risk of cancers and heart disease – but it also promotes weight loss, thanks to lots of protein and ‘good’ fats filling you up and stopping you snacking on the bad stuff. And even if you do succumb to dessert, it’s the equally protein-packed Greek yoghurt.
Worldy diet wisdom: Make like the Mediterraneans.
Having a staycation? Don’t worry, it’s not all fish and chips and pies - us Brits can do healthy too. Take our roast dinner; skip the crackling and make the gravy with water instead of animal fat, and you’ve basically got a plate of protein-filled meat and a pile of vegetables. Or what about our traditional fry-up? Poach the egg, don’t fry it, grill the bacon and add a few cooked mushrooms (in olive oil, obviously) and you’re looking at a sub-500-calorie feast.
Worldly diet wisdom: Keep it close to home (with a few amends).