Cocktails, snacks and puds - yes you can eat what you want on hols and not go up a size...
We’re all on our best behaviour in the weeks leading up to our long-awaited summer holiday, but who can blame us for over-indulging once we’re settled on the sunlounger with unlimited poolside nibbles and a cocktail in hand?
Whilst it’s tempting to have a complete blow out, all your hard work needn’t be undone. With a few clever tips and tasty low-calorie swaps, you can eat whatever you want without piling on the pounds. And because the Happy Diet won’t get in the way of you having a good time, you’ll return looking and feeling better than when you left.
Yes don’t worry cocktails, snacks and puds are all on the menu – learn how to make savvy swaps with our eat-right tips and you could come back to blighty looking svelte and feeling healthy with the Happy Diet!
Click through now to find out how it works…
Some of the worst offenders on a typical poolside menu are steak and
grilled cheese sandwiches, 810 cals/32g fat, or a chicken Caesar
sandwich, 820 cals/42g fat.
Instead choose: roast chicken salad
sandwich (with no mayo), 350 cals/12g fat; club sandwich (no mayo), 310
cals/9g fat, or a roast beef sandwich, 305 cals/8g fat.
What to eat? If your hotel offers a lunchtime buffet, make sure you take a small plate and hit the salad bar first. Fill half your plate with salad leaves and vegetables, but make sure these are ‘undressed’ – you can add dressing at the table and control how much you have. Next add some bread, couscous or rice salad, but avoid pasta and mayo-laden potato salads. Last of all, add some protein, such as lean meat, grilled chicken or fish.
What to avoid? Anything coated in breadcrumbs, as it will have been fried, and watch out for fat and calorie-loaded quiches and pastry.
What to eat? Try to stick to grilled fish, meat or chicken with
vegetables. Ask for sauces on the side and try to avoid fries. If you
fancy pizza, stick to thin and crispy bases with tomato and veggie
toppings, as they can be 500 calories and 30g lower in fat than
thick-crust, meaty varieties.
What to avoid? Many Mexican dishes
are also calorific, so opt for tostadas and enchiladas over fried and
cheese-laden dishes, such as burritos and chimichangas.
Remember, you are on holiday, so no one is going to suggest you can’t
have a pudding! If you really want the creamy gateau, then go ahead, but
save yourself 300 calories by asking for a half portion and ditching
the cream. Most desserts are creamy, chocolatey or fruity and therefore
pretty high in calories. But there are less sinful alternatives – here’s
the low-down on the best and worst in each category…
What to eat? Fruit-filled meringue nest with ice cream 315 cals/11g fat per 200g serving
What to avoid? Strawberry cream gateau 533 cals/24g fat per 200g slice
What to eat? Chocolate ice cream 340 cals/26g fat per 200g What to avoid? Chocolate fudge brownie and ice cream 612 cals/32g fat per 200g
What to eat? Fresh fruit salad 98 cals/5g fat per 200g serving What to avoid? Pineapple flambé with honey and brandy 226 cals/6g fat per 200g serving
More dessert tips
fours are bite-sized treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth. If your
hotel serves them, they’re a great low-cal dessert option. Try to have
fruit one night and a more indulgent dessert the next, rather than
having a blowout pud every evening. You could save 1,000 cals and 90g
fat in a week!
It’s great to start the night with cocktails, but most contain multiple
shots of booze, cream or sweet mixers, making them just as calorific as a
large indulgent dessert.
What to drink? As a rule, the fewer
ingredients in a cocktail, the lower the calorie count, so go for
something simple like a whiskey sour at 126 calories, or a rum swizzle
with 102 calories. ‘Mocktails’, such as pomegranate juice and soda, are
the most virtuous choice, at just 65 calories.
What to avoid? A creamy pina colada delivers a huge 350 calories, while a zombie is not far behind with 310 calories.
What to drink? A small glass of dry white wine is best calorie-wise.
to avoid? Red is usually higher in calories than white because it tends
to be higher in alcohol (alcohol contains 7cals/gram). Don’t be fooled
into thinking Champagne is a low-calorie option, as it’s often one of
Calorie values for wines:
Dry white 100ml 65cals 250ml 163cals Medium white 100ml 70cals 250ml 175cals Sweet white 100ml 90cals 250ml 225cals
Rosé 100ml 65cals 250ml 163cals
Red 100ml 70cals 250ml 175cals Champagne 100ml 120cals 250ml 300cals
What to drink? Diet mixers aren’t always available abroad, so opt for soda and you’ll save around 100 calories per drink. If you like a vodka and orange, try asking for half juice and half soda, and consider alternating soft drinks with spirits, such as a gin and tonic first, then just a diet tonic with ice.
What to avoid? Some resorts don’t use measures, so tell the bar staff to go steady when pouring your drink! Spirits are all similar to cocktails at around 125 calories per measure, the exception being Southern Comfort at 180 calories, because it’s sweetened.
When you’re downing your drinks at the bar, it’s all too easy to tuck into the free snacks, but you could be loading hundreds of calories into your day’s allocation.
What to eat? Pretzels are best with 92 cals/0.5g fat per 25g. A small handful of Bombay mix isn’t too bad either – 130 cals/9g fat per 25g.
What to avoid? Peanuts and crisps are the worst offenders. Peanuts contain 175 cals/13g fat per 25g and crisps 243 cals/13g fat per 25g.
Top tip: When you’re at the bar, hold your camera in one hand and your drink in the other to prevent yourself reaching for treats.