We’re all guilty of overindulging on holiday. The combination of lazy days and late nights and enjoying a few too many poolside cocktails or trying out every kind of local delicacy causes our healthy eating habits and fitness regimes to fall by the wayside when we go on vacation. A well-deserved break and much needed R and R is all well and good, but once these good habits are broken, it’s often very challenging to get back on the proverbial wagon once back to reality. We speak to an expert who shares her tips for getting back on track post-vacation and for finding ways of maintaining elements of a healthy lifestyle on your next holiday.
Heidi Jones is a certified integrative health coach who has been based in Dubai for the last six years. She runs her own company Heidi Jones Coaching where she supports and inspires others to overcome the barriers that have been preventing them from achieving their health goals. Heidi educates her clients on healthy eating and lifestyle choices as well as empowering them with confidence and motivation to achieve life-long health and happiness.
Why do you think it is so hard to settle back into healthy eating habits and regular workouts after being on holiday?
As human beings we instinctively seek out to be comfortable over being uncomfortable in every situation. For the majority of us we have spent our holiday being very comfortable. If your holiday routine was different to your usual healthy lifestyle at home, then instinctively you are going to find it uncomfortable to go back a routine that pushes you to step out of your comfort zone, such as hitting the gym at 6am and having to cook your own meals again.
Could you please share with us your five top tips for getting back to healthy eating habits and exercise goals after being on holiday?
I believe healthy habits should be part of who we are, not as a separate part of our life or a task that we feel we ‘have’ to do. Once you find a healthy lifestyle that works for you, you never need to ‘get back on track’, you are always on right track to health and happiness. If you are still seeking a healthy lifestyle that comes naturally to you here are my 5 tops tips to help you develop daily healthy habits:
1. Drink 2 liters of water a day. Start with 2 large glasses of water first thing in the morning (before anything else) and sip the rest throughout the day.
2. Add a portion of green vegetables to every main meal.
3. Choose lean protein, complex-carbohydrates and healthy fats for main meals. For example; seasoned chicken breast served with sautéed asparagus and baked sweet potato smothered with a knob of grass-fed butter or coconut butter.
4. Commit to moving your body daily in a way that makes you feel good.
5. Find a friend with the same goals as you and use your goals to motivate and encourage each other to make healthy choices.
How do you stay motivated?
I believe self-care is the single most important act to achieve life-long success, optimal health and happiness; therefore I stay motivated by feeding my body foods that nourish, move my body in ways that make me feel empowered and strong and keep my mind focused by doing what I love on a daily basis.
What do you advise your clients to do when they go on holiday to make transitioning back into working life easier?
I lead by example and show my clients that the best way to continue to feel good is continue with the daily action steps they do at home that keep them on track to achieving their goals, whether they are on holiday, on a business trip or taking time off and staying in Dubai. If any setbacks do happen, I always recommend my clients to go-back-to basics and take one small step at a time.
How do you stay healthy while travelling and on holiday?
I set my healthy goals and intentions before going on holiday and do what it takes to live them out. I continue with the basics but also take time to relax and recharge in a way that makes me happy.
What are your favourite healthy restaurants and cafes in Dubai?
There are so many now, but these are where you can most likely find me:
Comptoir 102 for a relaxing afternoon with my laptop.
Urban Bistro in Media City for a ‘catch-up coffee’.
Natalie’s Café for a weekend lunch.
Heat in Jumeirah for a post-workout feast.