Keeping healthy on holiday

Sussex nutritionist Kate Arnold shares her tips to help you keep healthy on holiday.

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, 4:22 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:24 am
Kate Arnold

Yoga retreats and boutique health camps are becoming increasingly more popular but often come with a hefty price tag.

So to avoid the expense, turn every holiday into a healthy one.

Research by Dulcolax, found that 44 per cent of women have considered a health centred holiday including a quarter who have thought about a spa break, 17 per cent a walking holiday, while seven per cent have considered a cycling holiday or adventure sports.

But you don’t have to put your body through extremes or break the bank to feel great on your holiday.

Here are some simple tips to keep your body feeling fantastic wherever you are...

1. Movement is key

Holiday may be code for ‘lying in the sun doing as little as possible’ but if you’re not moving, your bowels won’t be moving much either. Worrying about not being able to go to the toilet is not a fun, relaxing time so make sure you’re doing some exercise every day.

This doesn’t mean cycling up mountains for eight hours a day. Gentle exercise is all you need: discover a new area of town on foot or get in some laps in the hotel pool. There are lots of free pedometer apps available so download one to your phone before you leave and keep up with your 10,000 daily steps – you’ll be surprised how many you do with sight-seeing and a few strolls along the beach at sunset.

2. Quality over quantity

While it can be tempting to pile your plate high at the buffet, try to only pick things that you truly find delicious. Try small quantities of new things to see what you like. There’s no point filling up on food you don’t really enjoy just because it’s there.

3. Fill your plate with veg and eat it first

If you can manage it, half a plate of veg is a good measure. Start your meal there. It’s a much better idea to fill up on lower-calorie, nutrient- and fibre-rich food, than things with lots of fat, sugar and salt that aren’t giving your body what it needs.

Constipation is a common problem on holiday, so it’s really important to make sure you’re getting enough fibre to keep your bowels working well. Lentils, beans, peas and broccoli are all full of nutrients and fibre.

4. A little bit of mindfulness goes a long way

You don’t have to go on a silent meditative retreat in the middle of nowhere to bring a little peace and mindfulness to your holiday. With the temptation of all-you-can-eat buffets and free-flowing drinks, it’s an especially good to try being mindful around food.

Pay attention to what’s on your plate, really noticing the smells, flavours and textures. This helps you properly appreciate the exciting new cuisine and helps you notice when you’re full, so you don’t end up overeating.

5. Balancing act: water and alcohol

It can be tempting to treat yourself on holiday and say ‘yes’ to everything. Why not?! But try not to overindulge, especially when you’re drinking. Try having one non-alcoholic drink (water is best) for every alcoholic one. Add soda water cold from the fridge for a refreshing white wine. It’s easy to get dehydrated in a hot climate, which can often lead to constipation, so plenty of water is an excellent idea.

Kate Arnold is a nutritionist with more than 18 years’ experience specialising in gastrointestinal disorders. She works with a range of organisations and individuals from her clinic in Sussex. For more information, visit