I’ve just returned from an indulgent two weeks of all-types-of-food-in-the-universe-on-offer-24/7. I’m almost 3 years ‘sugar free’ now, and about 2 years low carb so I can’t exactly say I’ve been stumbling over the dessert counter, I know that would just make me unwell. Gladly I’m way past that.
However I haven’t been able to resist the freshly baked bread, fluffy white rice and sheer amount of delicious food on offer.
So what, right? That’s what holidays are for, no? Yes, of course. But probably the single question I get most often asked by anyone preparing for their holidays is “What do I do when I’m away?!” exasperated by the idea that all of their good work will be undone by those two weeks away from routine, careful eating and meal planning.
Most people I know haven’t reduced their sugar intake for the same reasons as me – they weren’t unwell because of it – but simply because they wanted to lose weight. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; low/no sugar living will give gradual and steady loss of excess weight, with no dieting or hunger.
My answer to that question is always the same: decide what works best for you. If you want to stick to avoiding whatever tempts you, do it. If you want to binge, do it!! Or maybe just have something small at each meal, or one ‘treat’ a day. You know you best.
So back to my holiday. I decided to enjoy some foods I usually avoid, even though I know full well they disagree with me. About 5 days in I suffered badly with IBS stomach pains, probably because of the bread and white rice I was eating. I also looked 5 months pregnant – not a good look in a swimsuit.
So I then vowed to stay away from those two main IBS triggers, although I did eat a massive amount more than usual and inevitably put some weight on, I wasn’t in pain or uncomfortable and felt so much better for it.
So being a little bit strict with some foods but quite lenient with others (who can resist freshly pan fried king prawns – I can’t – and must have had over 15 in one sitting!!) is my way of enjoying what’s on offer but not making myself feel unwell because of it. And whether it’s a summer vacation, Christmas break, or special occasion, I tend to treat food in the same way – not afraid to enjoy it whilst being aware of what to stay away from. A relaxed and healthy attitude that really works for me.
As for that extra weight? Well, that’s what exercise classes are for!