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About the All Inclusive holiday

(136 Posts)
teacherandguideleader Fri 23-Aug-13 20:16:50

DP and I have recently returned from holiday. We chose not to go all inclusive as we like to have the option of getting out and about.

Most of the holidaymakers at our resort were All Inclusive. I have never seen people eat so much in all my life. Breakfast was a buffet and people were coming back with plates piled high with food (and made several trips too). DP and I had a slightly larger breakfast than normal as we were half board and a bigger breakfast meant we didn't want lunch. However, not only did a lot of these people have an enormous breakfast, but by 12 they were gorging into burger and chips from the pool bar, often followed by a mid afternoon 'snack' and an equally enormous dinner.

DP and I did work out that it would have worked out cheaper for us to be A-I, as we stayed in the resort of an evening and after a couple of cocktails it would have paid for itself - we would then have had a smaller breakfast along with lunch rather than just a bigger breakfast.

The one thing that struck me was how many of the people were clearly overweight and by quite a lot. I did start to wonder whether it is somewhat irresponsible of holiday companies to offer All Inclusive holidays which seemed to be 'stuff yourself silly at every opportunity' when as a nation we are struggling so much with the health implications of obesity.

This is probably more of a rant than an AIBU - I was just so shocked by what I saw!

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 24-Aug-13 20:01:14

Strangely I'm actually ok for breakfast when it's included.

I know that I can't eat pastries or sweet things as they knock my blood sugar completely out of whack so I eat high protein say eggs and smoked salmon if available and love having fresh fruit salad that someone else has prepared.

Bowlersarm Sat 24-Aug-13 19:54:28

Oh my word. I should never do AI, I don't think.

I always put weight on when we are just bed and breakfast. At home I don't eat breakfast. At a hotel I eat muesli (because it's good for me), a full cooked breakfast (because I never do at home), brown toast and marmalade (because it's good for me, and probably will mean i won't eat lunch-ho ho ho, that thought lasts until ooh about 1 o'clock). Plus copious amounts of coffee and fruit juices.

Times that by 3 meals, i would put on stones.

TSSDNCOP Sat 24-Aug-13 19:43:13

I'm not entirely sure AI impacts local restaurants all that much. Presumably the same people would opt for half board if AI weren't an option.

Isn't it strange how so many posts refer to the other people in the hotel being so greedy.

We find AI useful with children, but only to a point, there's nothing to stop you going out to eat/drink too. We do that 2 or 3 times a week to avoid siege mentality.

Also I find that if I go to the gym for an hour before breakfast I can enjoy croissants and marmalade or breakfast and not gain a pound. I don't eat breakfast like that at home, but I'm on holiday and someone else is delivering the menu. Mine would be a plate that would earn cats bum mouth looks.

Trills Sat 24-Aug-13 19:25:30

The key is to put a bit of melon and parma ham on your plate, eat it, then go back and try something else, eat it, then go back and try something else.... etc

It helps if you are good at identifying "things that will probably be there every day" and "things that are just this meal". smile

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 24-Aug-13 19:11:18

There is a book about this, it's brilliant called Mindless Eating by Brian something or other. Basically they did lots of whizzy experiments and discovered that people will eat more if more food is available.

I envy those of you that wouldn't eat extra at an AI. When we were in Sardinia it was half board. All the thin elegant Italians would waft around with some lovely parma ham and a slice of melon for starters and an equally enticing main course. Me, I couldn't resist trying everything and ended up with mounds of everything on my plate that all slopped together and ended up not tasting as nice.

So now I have decided I prefer someone bringing my food to me.

Trills Sat 24-Aug-13 14:51:47

I am allowed a second visit to the buffet even if I have been horizontal all day.

Because I am an adult and I get to make my own decisions and deal with the consequences.

NoComet Sat 24-Aug-13 14:31:47

Yes, to getting far more exercise than at home.

DDs are total fish, so I spend a lot of the day either in the pool or way out to sea as DD1 goes right out to the safety buoys, snorkelling.

Evenings also consist of long strolls along the sea front. Not to mention water parks, with thousands of stairs, bikes made for 4 and even horse riding.

At home I live in the middle if nowhere and have to drive.

On holiday, I earn a second visit to the buffet.

HappyYoni Sat 24-Aug-13 13:14:41

My names happy and I am a piggy, I would stuff myself silly at an AI and I would bloody love it!

BlingBang Sat 24-Aug-13 13:05:43

OP. - you need to go to a Sandals resort, just been checking out their website and resorts and there are no fat folk in sight.

Trills Sat 24-Aug-13 12:11:36

Maybe in your everyday life you just don't see other people eating very often.

This may have very little to do with the AI holiday - it's quite likely that the obese people just eat a lot all of the time, but you don't normally see them.

If you're asking "AIBU to be shocked that obese people eat a lot" - you can see that's a silly question.

(yes I know some people have illnesses or medication that can make them be obese without significant overeating but most people who are obese eat a lot)

Jins Sat 24-Aug-13 12:04:43

I've done AI a couple of times and I did eat more than I would at home but I was also swimming and walking a lot more so came home a bit lighter grin. The food was amazing though in the Barbados AI but not so much in the European one. We also didnt bother with lunch or snacks as we were out most of the days but we certainly got our money's worth of soft drinks and icecreams

Faced with a buffet I think most people have eyes bigger than their bellies to start with. Portions reduced after the first few days for most people. For some it didn't but I suspect they were big portion people anyway.

SarahBumBarer Sat 24-Aug-13 12:01:49

Many of the AI hotels are serving excellent food. We go to a particular chain and they do the most amazing fresh salads with all kinds of oils and dressings and spices in addition to fabulous fresh fish and meats and the usual stews/tagines/pastas etc. We always go a few stars higher with AI than we would with a SC holiday because you are going to be spending a lot more time in (and eating in) resort with an AI holiday than we would with a SC holiday. We do AI because we have young DC and it just comes in to its own in terms of budgeting and not worrying about getting extra drinks/ice-creams/snacks.

We undoubtedly eat too much on AI holidays (pancakes with chocolate sauce for breakfast) and the salads are not healthy [but still delish] when they constitute an extra salad course rather than a meal on their own grin but we are on holiday and the food (nice hotel remember) is part of the treat.

But it is true that there are a lot of very overweight people on these holidays and also at the all you can eat buffet restaurants that are so prevalent these days. I don't mind the greed, it is none of my business, other than in a generic concern about the health of our nation kind of thing.

More problematic or annoying to me is that there is an observable basic lack of manners at such places in a significant proportion of the people. This is not a fat/thin thing or a cultural/nationality thing - the English are by no means inherently more polite than any other nation despite the invariable review on Trip Advisor complaining about rude Germans/Russians!

FWIW - we would always go either SC or AI. B&B only if it was the same price as SC but HB or FB is a bit pointless in our view - restricts your choice (unless you want to pay twice for the same meal) without the benefits of included drinks/snacks etc.

BuskersCat Sat 24-Aug-13 11:58:56

If we go AI I gorge, it's free, so get my monies worth. I also drink myself into oblivion, again it's free!

Viviennemary Sat 24-Aug-13 11:56:04

We went on holiday not long ago to an all inclusive but didn't go all inclusive for the same reasons as you. I didn't think there were more overweight people than usual. But I know I would have eaten more if I was all inclusive so glad I wasn't in a way though the food did look nice! We did have breakfast included and there wasn't much wastage there. But I was surprised that ice creams through the day were only free for children.

Jengnr Sat 24-Aug-13 11:54:51

Oh ffs, who cares?

You sound horrendously judgemental. Not everyone can be as perfect as you after all.

ColinButterfly Sat 24-Aug-13 11:51:28

I've just been to an AI in Ibiza. I didn't see much of this there. After the 2nd day, chips lose their appeal I suppose. EVERYONE in the hotel was slim, it was quite weird. The existence of AI is sad for the local economy but when it's so expensive to drink and eat out and about and the euro is crap, you can see the appeal. Some of the clubs were charging €15 for a spirit (large measures) and mixer and some of them are €40 to get in. So the hotel was full of people getting tanked before they left.

I did put on a few pounds but that's not because I gorged on LOADS in particular but substituting my usual healthy cereal for pain au chocolat and lunchtime salad for chips and pasta added to alcohol consumption will do that. But I go on holiday to enjoy myself and let go. Then I have a health kick when I get home - and I'm back to my normal weight.

specialsubject Sat 24-Aug-13 11:32:00

the issue seems not to be eating loads, but WASTING loads. Anyone who wastes food is disgusting. Especially in this environment when you can go back for more if still hungry.

AI is always terrible for localities but that's another issue.

Mumsyblouse Sat 24-Aug-13 11:16:25

I think I would like an AI holiday as I find cooking on holiday a pain but eating out expensive (more than once a day).

But- it is true unfortunately that I've just got back from holiday and that the locals were all slim and lovely looking and once you heard a British accent, it would be the largest people around. I count myself in that, our family is a little porky. We are so much larger than in other countries we just don't notice it now- overweight is really normal. Fine if you don't mind, but I do, I don't like being big overweight family all the time.

As to whether some people consuming large amounts on AI contributes to this, not really, it's only two weeks and it won't be that which makes them overweight but it is symptomatic of a dysfunctional excessive relationship with food and often crappy food which is not the same in other cultures.

That said, I'd still get my money's worth from the buffet, hence why I am overweight in everyday life not just on holiday.

BlingBang Sat 24-Aug-13 10:55:07

We went AI o the Carribean, the food was really good and I didn't see folk stuffing themselves, plus there was loads of activities. Most people were really fit and sporty looking - the gym and tennis courts were well used. Maybe there are AI and AI - the class and cost can make a huge difference in who goes to which. Ours was nothing special or super duper though.

Icedink Sat 24-Aug-13 08:59:32

Yanbu! We went AI this year because it worked out cheaper and theres more chance of finding something dcs will eat at a buffet but I was shocked at the people piling up plates of cakes and fruit on their tables and leaving them half eaten. There was one family in particular who would do this at every meal and try a bit of each, so rude and wasteful!

LtEveDallas Sat 24-Aug-13 08:30:25

It depends where you go themarriedwoman. We've been quite lucky in general, and it helps really that food isn't a huge part of our holiday. For some people I expect it is, and I can see the appeal of eating gourmet foods. We had one holiday in Mexico where the food was bloody amazing, filet mignon, sushi, teppenyaki and so on, but it came at a price! We've also had a holiday where the food was dire (morocco) but luckily everything else about the hotel was great, so it didn't spoil our experience.

TripAdviser makes me laugh though. Brits posting about their holiday in a Muslim country and complaining about the lack of pork sausages and bacon at breakfast - I always wonder if these people really have a British fry up every morning at home, and if not, why does it become such and issue when you can't get it abroad? grin

Themarriedwoman Sat 24-Aug-13 08:01:45

Isn't the food pretty dire though?
I can't imagine eating that badly for any length of time, I am a greedy fucker at the best of times, but I do like good, fresh food, not lukewarm processed crap.

DigestivesAndPhiladelphia Sat 24-Aug-13 07:43:29

People who eat massive amounts at home are likely to do the same on holiday. People who eat healthily at home are unlikely to suddenly binge on sausages, cake and beer just because it is available.

Last time we went all inclusive, I lost 5lb in two weeks without trying. I was delighted as I had a stone of 'baby weight' hanging around that I hadn't been able to shift. I think it was because, given a choice, fresh salads, fruits & grilled fish and very appealing options. At home, I cook for the family (salad doesn't go down well with our fussy toddler) so I end up eating more pizza & pasta which can be fattening.

Also, at a salad bar, it's lovely to pick a selection of five different salads to try, whereas at home, I would be unlikely to make five different types & dressings. I found that having food constantly available also made it easier to eat small portions because you are not eating to last until the next meal time (all inclusives usually have snack bars that are open between meals).

insummeritrains Sat 24-Aug-13 07:41:07

I think this thread is in danger of becoming a bigger vs thin debate, with people becoming offended by all the wrong reasons.

OP has explained her reasoning well but there are people who are determined that she is having a go at overweight and working class confused people?!

There was a very valid point made about this type of gluttony/excess becoming the norm in our society - I agree.
Another point made about people being the same at bbq's or a free bar - I've seen this so many times. Also when something is being given away free and there is a huge queue to get one, even if its something that people wouldn't usually eat/use, just because its free. It makes me hugely uncomfortable as its such greedy behaviour!!

GertBySea Sat 24-Aug-13 04:25:07

I really think it's up to the individual whether they let themselves get fat or not and whether a holiday pig-out has anything to do with them being lardy. .

I don't think that holiday companies can be held responsible for people's dietary health (aside from hopefully choosing resorts with good standards of cleanliness in the kitchens). I don't overreat at AI resorts, but I certainly drink money's worth at the pool bar. Should the holiday companies stop people having a few drinks on holiday too? Where would it all end...

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