Mark Hopkins and David Watchorn of Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of Rosemary Conley Food & Fitness Ltd on 3rd of Feb 2014. The Joint Administrators manage the affairs, business and property of the company as agents and act without personal liability.

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How to stay slim on holiday

Worried about piling on the pounds while you’re away? Here’s how to enjoy your food while avoiding dieting disaster.

After being good for the last few weeks, once you hit your holiday hotspot it’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and eat and drink to your heart’s content. But why risk regaining all the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose for this much-longed-for break?

Research shows that the greater the variety of foods and tastes we have to choose from, the more we tend to eat. But if we have very few food options on our plate, our taste buds are likely to get bored quickly and we won’t eat as much. So it stands to reason that being confronted with a vast array of gorgeous food on holiday creates a real risk to our waistline.

If your holiday is “all inclusive” where all meals and drinks are included in the package price, then weigh up the benefits of “getting your money’s worth” against the “cost” of gaining weight that could take you months to lose again. Only you can make that choice.

Beat buffet bingeing

One of the biggest diet dangers is the buffet. Faced with a wide selection of different choices, it’s not surprising we succumb. So how can we minimise the damage?
First, decide how many courses you are going to have. Will you have a starter? Do you plan to have a pudding? This has a major bearing on what you choose to eat, as you want to balance the calories across the different courses.

Most buffets have a “hot” and a “cold” section. The salad selection can range from salad leaves with no dressing to countless pre-prepared accompaniments mixed in copious amounts of oil or mayonnaise. If any salad glistens in the dish it’s probably swimming in oil, so avoid it – remember, oil is 100% fat. The salad bar is the best place to choose your starter, but by the time you’ve added that juicy slice of beef, a few prawns, and, oh yes, you must try the lobster, you could end up with a plateful that would satisfy you for your whole meal, let alone the first course! And, of course, you’ll want to top it off with a dollop of mayonnaise. You convince yourself that this is “only” a small salad and fish is good for you and low in calories. However, the reality is you’ll probably have a plate of food totalling over 500 calories. So what’s the solution?

Start by picking up a smaller plate. Top it with a selection of leaves to make it look fuller then add some grated carrot, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and peppers, four or five prawns and a taste of lobster or crab. Dress it with balsamic vinegar or soy sauce and you’ll have cut the calories to below 150. Your starter will still look substantial while giving you a taste of foods that you don’t eat at home. Skip bread – you just don’t need it.

For your main course, again take a smaller plate and just select the meat or fish dish you fancy rather than having a taste of everything. Fill up on your favourite veg but avoid anything cooked in fat – and that includes chips. Watch the quantities and don’t let your eyes tempt you into eating more than you need.
The dessert table offers the biggest temptation. Apart from the fact that most desserts will be made with lashings of high-fat cream, the extra danger is that by the time you’ve had your starter and main course you’ll probably have consumed way too many calories anyway, so anything you eat now will almost certainly be stored directly as fat on your body. Depressing, but true! The key is to take just one small portion of your favourite dessert – whatever that is.

Who'd like a drink?

Most of us enjoy a drink on holiday. We don’t have to worry about drinking and driving if we dine locally or on site, and being able to relax and enjoy the climate and ambience is all part of the enjoyment.

Drink plenty of water (bottled, if tap water is not safe) to quench your thirst so you’re not tempted to gulp your alcoholic drinks. Alcohol dehydrates you, so if the weather’s hot there’s even more reason to keep hydrated with water or soft drinks. If you don’t drink alcohol, remember fruit juices can be high in calories, so try having a long drink of orange juice mixed with sparkling water to halve the calories.

I always have a glass of sparkling water in between each glass of wine to help pace my alcohol consumption, which means I can enjoy the evening more.

And be warned – cocktails can be loaded with calories. Here’s a quick list:

Pina Colada 461 kcal (per 250ml)
Margarita 392 kcal (per 250ml)
Mojito 362 kcal (per 250ml)
Cosmopolitan 451 kcal (per 250ml)
Long Island Iced Tea 230 kcal (per 250ml)*

*These are typical values based on standard cocktail recipes.

You can reduce the impact of the extra calories from food and drink by being more active during the day – swimming, volleyball, football or walking. Simply by being more active you can reverse the upward trend on the scales dramatically.

5 Golden rules to stop the weight piling on:

  1. Avoid snacking between meals
  2. Have a light breakfast, mainly fruit
  3. Avoid drinking fruit juice to quench your thirst – dilute it with sparkling water, or drink diet drinks instead
  4. Avoid nibbling nuts and crisps at the bar – they are frighteningly high in calories and fat and you eat more than you think!
  5. You can have a lot of fun being active so do more of it.
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