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Alex Allan Nutrition
By Alex on 25/07/22 | Lifestyle Tips

Set Yourself Up for Holiday Success

In life, we have many agreements – explicit agreements with others about the things we will do or not do and the implicit agreements we make with ourselves about all sorts of things, including how we will eat and live our lives.

When we honour promises to ourselves and others we feel good.


Every time you break one of these agreements (including those to yourself) you cannot help but be impacted – even if you feel it’s not such a big deal. But over time, these broken promises build up and, before you know it, you’re just not feeling great about life. You start feeling life is hard or you haven’t what it takes, and your motivation to eat well dips. 

Holidays are often very different to your everyday life and this is why it is critical to create a new set of agreements around what you will or won’t do on holiday. 

That way, you get to keep your word to yourself, and everything is great. When you don’t – and you’ve, therefore, broken ALL your rules - you are likely to find yourself in the nutritional wilderness, continuing to make those ‘holiday choices’ when you return. 

So, the first thing to do is to work out what your new agreements are. You will need to choose whether you have an ‘anything goes’ policy for the duration of the holiday with the explicit intention of returning to your regular pattern when you return. 

Or you take a view on the kinds of things you don’t always do but you want to do more of on holiday. 

The important thing is to be clear which of these paths you are taking. If you do not actively choose, you are in a grey area, which will ultimately end in you feeling unsatisfied because you’re likely either feel deprived or that you have over-indulged.

Be clear on what matters most

If you are choosing to stay close to your plan but you don’t want to eat all the food and drink all the drinks and have to deal with the fallout later, you’ll have to consider what matters most to you when it comes to holidays - and do that but no more. 

Work out what’s important when you go on holiday, what the dealbreakers are that – if they’re not part of the holiday – you will feel it’s incomplete. 

You might love most about holidays is the freedom of not having a specific schedule, catching up on sleep, reading a few of those books you’ve been promising yourself all year. And it might mean a great suntan, letting your hair bleach in the sun, spending quality time with your partner, and having someone else do the cooking. 

When you look back on your summer, it might feel great to know you’ve really rested and recharged, that you’ve laughed every day, and that you’ve enjoyed special family moments. 

You might reflect that, although your summer holidays normally include an ice cream every day just because everyone else is having one, really you’re not that fussed. 

It may work for you to bring a snack with you (nuts are very portable wherever you are) and to enjoy these while others are having the ice cream because that’s what you choose to do. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • A holiday is incomplete without…
  • When I look back at my holiday, I want to feel…
  • I don’t want to feel…
  • When I go on holiday, the most important things for me are...
  • Things I normally do over the summer that don’t work for me or I’m not that bothered about…
  • I will know I’ve had a great summer / holiday when… (how will you measure it?)

If you are clear about what you want from your holiday – and what you don’t want – you can put a plan in place that works for you and allows you to get the most out of your holiday. And don’t forget to plan for when you get home. How long would you like these holiday rules to apply? 

And if you’d like to know more, why not download my free guide – The Ultimate Holiday Eating Strategy.

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