They blend green smoothies.
After spending time away, dietitian Stacie Haaga resets her system with fruits and veggies, which boast fibre and plenty of vitamins—two things piña coladas and room service severely lack.
"When I get back from holiday, the family is usually tired and hungry—and there's no fresh food in the fridge. So a green smoothie is my go-to. I'll use ingredients I always have in the freezer, like frozen berries, frozen greens and frozen bananas, Haaga says. "And I'll add in pantry staples like nuts and canned coconut milk. If I actually have eggs in the fridge, I'll hard-boil those for some added protein on the side."
The next day, Haaga says she hits the grocery store or local market for fresh produce and gets back on track with her regular, pre-holiday diet.
They sip nonstop.
Whenever she returns from a trip, dietitian Megan Horvis makes sure to bump up her water intake for a few days—and not just by sipping more H20. "I also eat more hydrating foods like salad greens, berries, melon, tomatoes and cucumbers to combat travel-related dehydration."
Not only does staying adequately hydrated help diminish belly bloat, it also wards off constipation, something that plagues many travellers, even after they're back home. In the days following your holiday, snack on hydrating produce and try to sip between eight and 14 cups of water.
They get back to basics.
After a week of living off restaurant food, dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus can't wait to get back to healthy staples, which are typically tough to find on holiday:
"I love returning to my overnight oats which I typically make with oats, plain Greek yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds and fruit," Harris-Pincus says. "At lunch and dinner, I load up on entrée salads or grain bowls made with veggies, lean chicken or fish, beans, avocado and a bit of dressing. For snacks, I enjoy Greek yoghurt with high-fibre cereal or fruit and nuts. That way, I make sure to pack in the highest nutritional value per kilojoule."
They say no to sugar and alcohol.
Nothing makes you feel more bloated and overall blah than enjoying desserts and cocktails for a week straight. That's why dietitian Eliza Savage nixes these indulgences post holiday and ups her fresh produce and protein intake: "In addition to snacking on fruit, almonds and hot water with lemon, I might have a green smoothie with protein powder and almond milk for breakfast; a green salad with 125gms of salmon, 1/4 avocado, and fresh veggies for lunch; and a turkey burger with sautéed spinach and mushrooms for dinner," Savage says.
They eat more prebiotic-rich veggies.
Sugary holiday treats serve as fuel for the bad gut bacteria that wreaks havoc on the healthy gut bugs that wards off inflammation and weight gain. For this reason, after a trip, nutritionist Stella Metsovas consumes eight servings of prebiotic vegetables for a number of days.
"At the top of my list are garlic, asparagus and artichokes. These veggies are rich in prebiotics, which boost favourable strains of bacteria in my gut and eliminate the unfavourable type that tends to crop up after feasting on excess sugar," she explains.
They eat fewer carbs and supplement with apple cider vinegar.
For nutritionist Gisela Bouvier, holidays typically involve buffets, alcohol and less physical activity. That's why after she returns home, she limits carbs at night and supplements her diet with apple cider vinegar:
"An hour before breakfast, I'll dilute 1 tablespoon of ACV in 125mls of water. Since it contains prebiotics, it aids digestion and promotes healthy gut bacteria, so it helps keep you regular and fights bloating."
As for limiting carbs, Bouvier says she eats complex carbs like fruits and whole grains during the day to give her energy but steers clear of them at night. "Cutting carbs slightly helps me lose any weight that I might've gained on holiday," Bouvier explains.
They avoid takeout.
Thinking of ordering a pizza after you unpack your bags? Dietitian Mandy Enright thinks you should reconsider.
"While on holiday, I'm usually at the mercy of restaurants, and their ingredients and portion sizes. So when I get home, I try to avoid dining out or ordering takeout for the rest of the week to reset my system," Enright says.
They take fibre supplements.
If you can't get to the grocery store right away for fresh produce, consider popping a fibre supplement. "In addition to eating plenty of vegetables, a fibre supplement is my go-to," says dietitian Liz Blom. "It helps me feel full while I'm transitioning back to a healthy eating schedule, and it helps my digestion get back on track. I'll also drink more water—eight extra cups—to flush out the indulgences and the post-holiday bloat."