Photo: © Lizard / Shutterstock.
When you think about ski holidays, you can almost smell cheese… and wine, hot chocolate and a lunch of chips. It’s not uncommon for many of us to gain weight out in the mountains, instead of losing weight like we should because we exercise all day, every day – right? Not exactly exactly.
Skiing burns up to 3,000 calories a day, about 1,000 more calories than the average person with a desk job would burn at home. While that allows us to eat a little more than usual, it doesn’t mean you can fit into three large pieces of cake at tea time. Skiing uses muscles you don’t use in everyday life, no matter how athletic you may be, so it’s important that you eat and drink wisely to give yourself the best chance of enjoy your vacation and to repair those muscles every night – and don’t forget alcohol represents calories too.
Photo: © MaraZe / Shutterstock. Being at high altitude puts stress on your body and increases your metabolic rate, so the best time to refuel yourself for skiing is first thing in the morning. Eating fat and protein at the same meal slows down the release of energy, ensuring you have enough to keep you going throughout the day. You also need slow-release carbs that have a GI (Glycemic Index) – whole grains instead of white. If you normally avoid carbs, you can avoid eating them for breakfast in the mountains because you’ll be spending the day skiing, it’s cold outside, and your body needs proper fuel. Porridge with honey, granola and fruit, wholemeal toast or bagels, and hard-boiled or hard-boiled eggs and avocado on toast are all good choices. While fruit is a great source of vitamins, it does contain quick-release sugars – so try not to finish your bowl of fruit in one go.
What to eat during the day?
Tea time, Val d’Isere. If you plan to ski in the afternoon, don’t indulge too much at lunchtime, or you’ll feel sluggish all afternoon as your body tries to digest the meal. Also, don’t be afraid to eat carbs for lunch – if you’re watching your weight, you can cut them out in the evening, as salads won’t give you energy while skiing. Good lunch options include soups and sandwiches, sandwiches with lean meat or nut butter, salads with nuts, goat cheese and/or fish and meats with beans or peas. Remember, you can always pack your own picnic – the new Solaise day lodge in Val d’Isere, for example, offers a warm and comfortable area where picnickers are welcome. welcome. You can bring anything from a sandwich to a filling backpacker meal to warm up in one of the provided microwaves. If you have to eat a burger and fries, eat it as a treat and not every day! It’s never a good idea if you drink too much at lunchtime. Alcohol lowers your decision-making ability – putting you and others at risk, plus it’s seriously dehydrating. As boring as it sounds, the best thing to eat when you start skiing is a protein snack to restore muscle and relieve soreness for the next day, so choose milkshakes, smoothies and smoothies made with milk. sourdough or bread with lean meat, eggs or low-fat cheese.
Choose your dinner wisely
Get ready for dinner at Courchevel 1850. Dinner is the time to avoid overload – as tempting as enjoying everything the chef suggests! As you do at home, keep portion sizes reasonable, don’t overdo it on bread (even if it’s totally delicious and nicer at home), and don’t stuff your entire cheese board every night. It’s important to eat protein while skiing to help with muscle recovery, but limit red and processed meats – the wisest choices are fish and chicken, with plenty of greens and not too many potatoes , pasta or rice. You should also enjoy a canapé before dinner. Don’t overeat in the evening – it will affect the quality of your sleep, as well as make you drunk, both of which can lead to piste mistakes the next day.
Feed the children
Photo: VIP Ski, St Anton. Try to encourage your child to eat healthy during the holidays. Make breakfast a hearty meal to give them energy to get through the day – porridge, eggs and fruit are all good choices. At lunch, try to make sure they have a well-balanced meal – although a plate of chips may look good it would be better with some meat or fish, but not every day! Take them to ski school with a snack in their pocket – peanut butter sandwiches, muesli bars and dried fruit are all good options – but if you’re skiing with them, make sure you bring gear snacks and drinks in backpacks. You don’t have to be so strict while they’re burning off their energy in skiing, so sweets and sweets are fine this time! Try to limit the amount of hot chocolate they have. Although milk is good, sugar is not! Keep in mind that your kids will get tired and hungry when they hit the slopes and may enjoy eating earlier than adults in the chalet – we offer early high tea for kids, so perhaps keep dinner together as a family. family on a weeknight, or the night you go out to a restaurant.
Photo: © VICUSCHKA / Shutterstock. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, make sure you’re getting enough protein – not just veggies. While our menu is planned, it is not pre-ordered, we will always do our best to accommodate preferences and requests. Unfortunately, most ski resorts simply don’t offer the wide selection of gluten, lactose or dairy products available in home supermarkets. That means, if you have any dietary requirements, food intolerances or food allergies, we will do our best to plan a menu that works for you. We can also offer fruit as a pudding substitute. Our Executive Chef is passionate about food and extremely sensitive to skiers’ appetites while considering a balanced diet. The new and refined menus are heavy enough to reward mountaineering effort but also light and simple enough to make you grin without whining! We also offer a ‘converting menu’ for guests who would like to see a simpler dish on the menu or a lighter option. And if you are looking for an even more luxurious level, you may also be interested in our Platinum Service Upgrade.
Snacking on the slopes
Photo: © Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock. Keep some snacks in your bag or backpack while skiing, especially if you have kids with you. However, even good snacks aren’t good for you if taken in excess – so unless you’re going on a ski excursion, you don’t need to prepare for a marathon. The best snacks are cereal bars, dinner jackets, trail mixes (nuts and seeds) and dried fruit – all filling and delicious but releasing energy slowly, unlike a bar. Chocolate will give you an energy boost but leave you hungry for half an hour. after. Balls and snacks are available or Tribe offers a good selection and will tailor and provide a snack box to suit your requirements. Be persistent in eating nuts, they are high in protein but have a fattening effect.
Photo: © Ospray Europe. Most people get dehydrated in their daily lives, so combine altitude, exercise, and salty foods (sauces!) with alcohol and you’re on to the recipe for disaster. Dehydration makes your heart work harder and will affect your performance on the piste, so drink plenty of water. Lower a large glass when you first wake up (the high altitude and central heating dries quickly), then after breakfast. Bring a water bottle or bag (like the new Osprey bag with insulation) uphill, and if you’re working hard (or have a hangover), add a little powdered sports drink like Skratch Labs – available from Wiggle – and SIS. Remember that caffeine — tea, coffee, and even some herbal teas like green tea — is diuretic and encourages dehydration. Most importantly, don’t drink to avoid urinary incontinence – drink water until your urine is completely colorless, that’s the only way to tell.
Boozing and skiing
Apresski in St Anton. Photo: © mooserwirt.at Wine and skiing don’t go well – so save your drinks until you’re drunk, not on the slopes. If you can’t avoid a big night out, eat before you head out, after you get home (although try not to break into the chalet’s fridge – no staff will ever thank you for checking it out) menu the next day with your midnight treat!), and the next morning. If you’ve overdosed, stabilize things the next day – do only half to two-thirds of the skiing or snowboarding you’d normally do for alcohol-induced dehydration (and late night fatigue). ) reduces muscle concentration and performance. , so you are more likely to fall. If you’ve had a big workout, drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate in the morning, and rehydration packs (such as Diaoralyte or a sports drink of your choice) and vitamin C boosters/drinks sugary like Berocca. Coconut water is also a great natural hydrator.
If you have any tips of your own for staying healthy while skiing or snowboarding we’d love to hear them so feel free to post them in the comment box below. Plus, check out our feature on how to quickly get fit in skiing.
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