Let them eat cake, and cheese, and schnitzel…

By Hannah Silverman 

It’s bad enough trying to juggle healthy eating in our home towns, but when you find yourself in Italy how do you turn down a bowl of four cheese pasta with a smile? “When in Rome,” is what many of you are probably thinking, and that’s a tempting justification. We all know healthy eating and holidaying aren’t typically the best of friends, so we asked the experts how to perform the balancing act.


Kevin Norton is a professor of exercise science at the University of South Australia. He says it’s challenging for jetsetters to keep trim while on holiday, especially when jet-lag, a lack of sleep and disturbed exercise patterns become uninvited stowaways.

“People often just want to live it up – that is, not worry about anything they often might worry about such as over-indulging, weight issues, keeping regular exercise habits,” he says.

“There are also feelings like, ‘I’ve paid a lot of money to do this and I’ll worry about the weight and healthy issues when I get back”.

 Incorporating a fun and healthy activity into your itinerary gives you the opportunity to explore new surroundings and stay fit.

Incorporating a fun and healthy activity into your itinerary gives you the opportunity to explore new surroundings and stay fit.

Prof Norton understands that there aren’t always well-equipped gyms available for travellers, and we all know day passes can be pricey. However, he says fuss-free fitness options are available and won’t ruin the holiday. The good news is, you can have your Pad Thai and eat it too.

“Take a pedometer to surprise yourself about how far you can walk discovering new places,” he suggests.

“The 10,000 steps per day recommendation can be blown out of the water pretty easily looking at all the interesting new sites.

“Look for guided walking tours in the city you are visiting – they are often relatively inexpensive and very informative – and healthy.”

Other holiday activities to help shed the food baby:

  • Walking treks
  • Cycling tours
  • Ice Skating
  • Rowing
  • Swimming, snorkelling and other water sports
  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Travellers can be forgiven for falling into the trap of thinking we can eat what we like because we’re on holiday. But Prof Norton has a better idea.
“A more realistic attitude is ‘I’ve worked very hard to get into this shape and I want to try to maintain this fit and trim look as long as possible while still enjoying myself,” he says.

“Moderation is the key in everything.”

Aiming for one healthy activity a day combines fun and fitness and is a great excuse to see and do something you didn’t schedule directly into your itinerary.


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