Maintaining health at the All-Inclusive

I understand the overwhelming temptations that face us all when we’re on holiday. Whether you’re staying in a self-catering apartment with local cafes and supermarkets at your convenience, or staying in an all-inclusive resort with 24-hour access to food and drink, there are ways and means of getting the most out of your holiday without undoing all the hard work you put in pre-holiday.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you’re even going to bother trying to maintain your healthy habits or if you’re going to take a break from it all while you’re away. There isn’t a wrong decision as long as it’s your own decision. Remember you can get straight back into your routine when you get back home (all rested and refreshed).

If you decide to take a break from your healthy eating regime… Enjoy your holiday and have fun!


If you want to maintain your healthy habits, here’s 12 hints to help guide you:

  • Stop trying to be perfect – Striving for perfection only ends in disappointment, try aiming for better.
  • You don’t HAVE to eat – Just because there are a million new and interesting food items on offer on the buffet table doesn’t mean to have to try them all, it’s ok to feel a little bit hungry sometimes… Even on holiday.
  • Set your limits – If at home you aim for 5 portions of veg a day and 4 workouts a week, why not aim for at least 2 portions of veg and 2 workouts a week?
  • Start the day right – How about an omelette or perhaps fresh fruit and yogurt?
  • Eat slowly – Give your brain the chance to recognise that you’re full.
  • Pick the veg – Vegetables are a great way of filling up, steamed are ideal, but even if they’re sauteed in oil, they’re stick packed with nutrients.
  • Pick one “treat” food – Fill the majority of your plate with the healthier options (veg and lean protein and then enjoy your treat in moderation.
  • Drinks – Sugary cocktails are a huge temptation when you’re away, just one could add hundreds of calories to your daily intake (having two or three Piña coladas could potentially provide you with more than half of your daily calorie intake!). If you do succumb to the lure of the all-inclusive alcohol, try and stick to spirits and diet mixers – if you’re a beer drinker, try the light option.
  • Water – You probably know my obsession with water by now… Especially if you’re holidaying in a sunny destination, you need to keep your water levels topped up! If you can’t drink the tap water, buy in a few bottles at the start of your trip and store them in your fridge/room and drink regularly throughout the day.
  • Move – If your accommodation has a gym then you’re pretty set (I know they’re not always fantastic but most have enough equipment for you to stick to a bit of a routine). If there isn’t a gym then there may be fitness activities provided by the hotel; aqua aerobics and water polo are great for those days when you’re laying by the pool, or perhaps there’s some early morning yoga or tai chi on the beach? This could be the perfect opportunity to try something new… Out for a day of adventure? How about giving snorkelling, kayaking or even windsurfing a go? Even if you’re just out and about visiting the sites, walking is a great way to increase the daily calorie burn – just be sure to wear appropriate clothing and/or sun protection to protect your skin, especially in the midday heat (Note for mad dogs and Englishmen… 11 am – 3 pm is the peak UV intensity times).
  • Dance – What better way to spend the summer nights than dancing? Get involved in the local culture, learn a new dance or just hit the dance floor and set your dad dancing moves free!
  • A quick question; if you were to go to a restaurant, you’d only buy one main meal, right? Try and stick to that with the all-inclusive buffet… Just because there’s a lot of food on offer it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Choose a meal and stick to that, if you want a tiny second portion, fine, but leave it 5 minutes to make sure you are actually hungry!

Whatever you decide to do while you’re away… have an amazing time! 🙂