10 JULY, 2013

Proper nutrition during vacation

The summer period, specifically vacation time, is for most people, an opportunity to de-stress and remove themselves from the angst and problems of the day-to-day. Aside from all else, vacation is also frequently thought of as a «diet-free» period, at which time people, especially those who have been following a weight-loss regiment, feel like they can consume otherwise forbidden foods (such as sweets, soft drinks, fried food etc.) At the same time, during the summer months there is a sparser frequency of meals, since it is typical for many to have only one meal a day, usually at night, while even when there is a lunch meal, dinner is transferred to a much later time at night. Last, increase in alcohol consumption can also be witnessed, one that frequently goes beyond the usual levels.

The aforementioned have as a result the mild increase of body weight during summer vacation, but this is definitely not always the case. In some cases, not only does weight not increase, but it decreases, mainly due to increased physical activity. So, it is important during vacation to follow a good planned, diet regiment, and if possible, a healthy diet without depriving oneself of food.

In order to accomplish this, the first requirement is the consumption of a good breakfast meal during vacation, rich in nutrients and carbohydrates (bread, honey, marmalade, cereal, fruit, juice), due to the increased physical activity that one follows while at the beach.

Also of importance is that there aren’t long periods of time where we don’t eat during the day; This is important both for better health of the body and to avoid overeating during later meals. As a result, consumption of small meals is necessary, such as yogurt, fruit, juices, light sandwiches frequently during the day. Fruits and juice especially, combined with a good amount of water consumption, help in the hydration of the organism and the replenishing of the fluids and electrolytes «lost» while sweating.

The main meal should not be too late during the day, even if it is only one. It is necessary that it is accompanied by plenty of seasonal vegetables and a variety at that. In the event that the main meal occurs at lunch time and dinner will follow, it is best that that meal is not especially heavy, fatty foods and sauces, sicne these types of meals have a reduced rate of gastric emptying. This, combined with the fact that the strong environmental conditions and high temperatures of the summer, result in discomfort and flatulence.

Alcohol consumption during vacation should be controlled, not only because of the calories contained in alcohol, but because excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, can create bloating and flatulence, as well as, increases diuresis, resulting in increased loss of fluids and electrolytes.

Generally, in summary, the following dietary guidelines could be suggested during the summer vacation period:

  • Maintain a good plan for your diet
  • Do not leave large intervals between meals
  • Eat a good breakfast (bread, honey, marmalade, cereal, fruit, juice)
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water, fresh juice) so that your body is not dehydrated
  • Consume many small meals during the day (yogurt, fruit, juice, small sandwiches)
  • Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid eating late at night
  • Increase your physical activity, i.e. swimming, walking

All of the above will help each of us maintain a good diet during the summer period and combine the relaxation of vacation wtih the overall wellbeing of their body. A good and healthy diet, as well as increased physical activity, are the perfect combination that ensure the good health of our body.

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