Britney Spears looks to be back to her best with a successful tour behind her and her body looking fighting fit as she relaxes by the pool.
Not all of us, however, have the benefit of a world tour to keep us in shape and even if we do manage to lose a few pounds for our summer holidays, a couple of weeks on the ouzo and ice cream can see it all pile back on again before we’re on the plane home.
So we asked our favourite nutritionist, Zoe Harcombe, to tell us how we can stay in shape on holiday without feeling deprived…
Eat out - Contrary to what many of us think, it can be easier to stick to healthy foods in a restaurant where they’re prepared for you and you can’t help yourself to what’s in the fridge while you’re waiting – as long as you can fill yourself up with non-fattening foods from the menu and ask your waiter to skip the bread basket.
Choose a ‘fat meal’ - You’re unlikely to find good carbs - brown rice, wholemeal pasta… - eating out, says Zoe, so go for a low-carb, high fat/protein meal instead – meat, fish, seafood and vegetable dishes if you’re eating Indian - dry, spicy, Tandoori dishes are perfect, but without white rice and naan bread. Or Chinese - avoid sweet and sour, white rice and fortune cookies. Other great fat/protein meals are salade niçoise, omelettes, tomatoes and mozzarella, steak and salad.
Avoid carbs other than veg and salad - You can have low-carb veg and salad with your meat, fish, eggs and cheese, but avoid all the higher carbohydrate foods, like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. If the body detects a decent amount of carbs have been eaten, it will use these for energy first and try to store any fat for later on.
Interestingly, the body needs insulin to be able to store fat and insulin is only released and present in the body when you have eaten a carbohydrate. So – eat steak and chips and the body will use the chips for energy and the insulin released - because of the chips - will enable the steak to be stored. Eat the steak on its own and the body will start using this for energy while you are still sat chatting away with friends.
Beat the bloat - The best tip, says Zoe, for avoiding bloating is to not eat any wheat during your holiday - another reason to stay off the white carbs that will be available. Drink lots of water to avoid water retention – people wrongly think they should avoid drinking if they have water retention when the opposite is true. And take one 500mg vitamin C tablet a day to help keep your bodily functions in order - the body gets rid of any extra vitamin C it doesn’t need and takes any waste with it.