All inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy. You’ve paid your money and want to get value for that money once there. The dangers of this are easy to see. Here are some obvious ones.
1. Overeating: ‘free’ food being available all day. Meal times are dangerous with so many carbs on offer.
2. Drinking calories: With wine and beer on tap, all inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy.
3. Too much sun. Staggering from the dinner table to the lounger feeling heavy. You start with sun tan cream then get lazy into the second week. Heat rash and burn can result. Hello Pharmacy!
4. Dehydration: Water drinking can take a back seat. There is water in lager, right!
5. Spending too much money on trips and excursions: 2 weeks staying in the hotel grounds can be claustrophobic.
6. Not enough movement: No motivation to exercise is common.
7 Stress of being with other people: yes you are on holiday and yes you are with people that you love but stress and friction can occur especially at decision time. What shall we do today! Arrrrrrgh.
There are plenty more pitfalls but I will leave these to your imagination.
This mini guide is a few suggestions on how to have a healthy all inclusive experience.
1. Plan your alcohol: decide in the morning when and how many beers etc you will have that day. Make a judgement how many is too many. One sounds too few? Five sounds too many?
2. Be sensible with your carbohydrates: spaghetti and meat sauce with chips on the side might not be the best plan. In my opinion the danger foods are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Fortunately in all inclusive buffets there is plenty of choice so as a general rule these can be avoided. I’m not saying don’t eat a single piece of bread or a pasta twirl, just not at every meal.
3. Tune into your body. Several key questions will help you do this. Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Do I feel dehydrated ( dry mouth, headache, unfocused, tired, demotivated to move). Do I feel stressed? Do I feel hot? Do I feel lazy? Most of these are easily answered and resolved. If you are not hungry then don’t eat! Simple!
4. Drink plenty of water. Make water your drink of choice at meal times. I find that a rule of no alcohol when eating is essential. Order a bottle of still mineral water as the first thing you do when the waiter comes around.
5. Give yourself space from who you are with. You don’t need to do everything together. Spend a couple of hours on your own. Fill this time with something healthy such as a mile run. You will have more to say to one another this way. Shared experience is valuable but limits freshness in conversation.
6. Take advantage of the hotel sports put on. There is usually plenty on offer from water aerobics to beach volleyball. In Cyprus at the moment I have done an organised Yoga class everyday. I had never done Yoga before – a great introduction to it. Outside and beautiful!
7. Plan your dedicated sun times. I comit myself to two fifteen minute sessions a day. One in the morning before it gets too hot and one in the afternoon for a final blast. To be mathematical and chef like I do 7.5 minutes each side. I use my phone timer to time myself.
8. Look around for trips and excursions. The holiday company you booked with will be all to keen to sell you ‘their’ trips. There will be entry of outside companies offering the same if not better just a short walk away. Have a look at tripadvisor (before or whilst you are there). You can search for attractions near you. Have a look at the highest rating first then move to the average ones and make a list of the pitfalls. A little bit of research goes a long way. Think carefully about hiring a car. Not always the best thing in my opinion. Yes you may be able to see more but can be the source of many an argument. Everyone gets a bit scared driving on a different side and into the unknown. Be a little considerate.
9. Be organised and sensible. . Use the hotel safe to keep your valuables in. Don’t leave stuff around the pool – don’t get paranoid though. People are generally trustworthy.
10. Try to exercise everyday and if you can help it avoid the gym. Get outside.
If you have a healthy lifestyle then 2 weeks of all inclusive can damage you and ruin all sorts of good habits.
These suggestions are mind and I am keen to hear yours. Please comment freely or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org