Memories > Macros.
If you watched any of my Instagram stories over the last fortnight or so, you’ll know that it has been a very hectic couple of weeks. Kick starting July with an amazing city break in Athens (travel post coming soon!!), shortly followed by my 24th Birthday and then my sisters’ Graduation. Busy I know. Holidays, birthdays and celebrations are times in which there are often large quantities of food, alcohol, friends and family. And I’m putting emphasis on the latter.
Rewind a couple of years; social situations like those above would have gone something like this. Depriving myself of food prior to a holiday ensuring I ‘fit into those shorts’ and looked good in ‘that bikini’. Desperately tried to find the restaurant we were going to, in a frantic state to find the lowest calorie option and sometimes, ringing ahead to ask if they would be able to cook my meal with no oil and no sauce. Being so withdrawn from enjoying the day or time away that I’d sometimes rather have not gone.
Fast forward those years, and I can happily say, that I look forward to holidays again. Birthdays and celebrations are times in which your loved ones come together and revel in festivities and achievements. It really isn’t about those denim shorts. Nor is it detrimental if you have some really good food and some tasty treats. BUT I’m not taking away from the fact that it can be really bloody hard to acknowledge that at the time.
However, there are a couple of tips I tend to follow when going on holiday, or am celebrating for a couple days, that do help me have a happy and carefree trip or day. This is not to say I don’t let my hair down (because I do), it’s more me saying that I opt for balance.
After all, if you’re opting in for a healthier lifestyle that you ENJOY at home and on a day-to-day basis, why should it differ dramatically when you’re in another country or out for the day? If you know you wouldn’t enjoy or choose to cook a burger at home, you don’t have to force yourself to have one when you’re not. Below I’ve listed my top tips on how to pack your healthy habits as well as your bikini or dresses for those occasions!
As soon as you remove the categorisation of foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and let yourself enjoy what you want in moderation, applying this to holidays and days out isn’t that different. Okay, there might be a little more temptation because there is often a lot more choice on offer, but I have learnt and found that an aggravator of over and/ or under eating is the horribly harsh pep talk you give yourself saying that you cannot enjoy that particular food. It doesn’t help and often makes you fixate on it so much more.
2. Stay Active.
I usually always workout when I’m on holiday, and I dedicated an Instagram post specifically to this topic. I don’t do it to burn of those extra calories but because it’s a hobby, a passion and makes me FEEL so good. Similarly, the benefits of walking are endless. It’s accessible, enjoyable and takes minimal effort. If you’re going out for a couple of big meals, you could always walk home afterwards.
Keep some of your usual routine that you know you love. This can and will vary from person to person, but if you know you can’t go a day without a big bowl of yoghurt and granola, start your day with that! Equally, if you love hitting your step goal, go get that too. It sounds a bit strange I know, but it all comes back to doing what you love.
4. Be Guilt-Free.
Once you remove the stigma of good and bad foods, you’ll also be able to remove the guilt that can come with it. Have what you want, when you want it, all in moderation. I saw a fab post shared by @whenharrymetsalad a couple weeks back that said, if your Grandma was heading to a BBQ in the afternoon, she wouldn’t skip dinner the night before or breakfast the morning of, would she? I’m 99.9% certain that she wouldn’t. So why do we feel we should? Remember, the days/ weeks of special events are the smallest per cent of a much bigger picture and story. Every treat should be enjoyed guilt free.
5. Be Intuitive.
Eat based upon how you feel, and by this, I mean really listen to your body. This is easier said than done for many, and sometimes I find it difficult too. But, our bodies are complex mechanisms and let us know how we’re feeling, what we want, and when we want it. Trust what it is telling you.
This week, Instagram allowed us to ask ‘questions’ and in doing so, I had a couple people ask me if I track macros, count calories and if so, how many do I eat. Whilst I do track my macros and count calories (to a certain extent), I take it with a pinch of salt and live by the 80:20 flexible rule.
Monday – Friday I will usually eat a wholesome balanced diet incorporating the foods I enjoy and that nourish my body. But, if I want a chocolate bar or a little treat, I’ll have it. Just like I would if I wanted an ice cream on holiday. There is no magic calorie count number that fits all and equally, there is no macro split that fits all. But what I will say is that I enjoy all my food!
And so, the moral of this post, is that celebrations, holidays, whatever it may be, are all about memories > macros.
Don’t follow those post-holiday tea-toxes or list of crash diets that we are so over-exposed too. Don’t deprive yourself in the coming days leading to a special event.
A healthy lifestyle is just a lifestyle. And a lifestyle is for living. Living is for being present, and enjoying every moment.