Bucket of icecream

If you 've read SPITZ you already know that my - if it existed - eating pattern is not really a good example. If you thought it couldn't get any worse then I will describe my holiday 'routine' in a next book :). On the first day of a vacation, I eliminated all food from my life. Or I think I've only ever eaten a bowl of ice cream a day :) Eating less but still something tasty.

My thought was; Not dancing is also not eating because you don't burn anything.

But is that thought correct? Do you really need to eat less when you're off?

Free, aaahhhhhhh

The idea of being free can be stressful for many dancers. And when I talk about off, it's not just about vacations. Some can panic at the thought of a weekend or a holiday. At the ADC I once heard a student ask in a panic: “Why are you closed on Christmas Day”…

“My technique is going down the drain” and “I'm getting fat” are the most common responses to the question what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say vacation. I fully understand this reaction, don't I, but I also know that you all know that rest is essential (read previous blog ) Your schedule is extremely intensive. Your body needs rest days to recover. Your muscles just need to heal from all the training and your mindset also needs a break. Rest is necessary to prevent injuries. And nutrition is needed to support recovery. So it is certainly not useful to eat less, but what is?

Advanced computer

Instead of being overwhelmed by panic about not training and your nutrition during a break, use your free time to listen carefully to your body. We often go on and on. That ensures that we are more in our heads than in our bodies. Free time is the time to rekindle this connection. Also, when it comes to nutrition, listen to your body and don't just go over it in your head.

As I said before, your body is the most advanced computer; You can't hack your body. So what does your body do when you move less… It will adapt. You will see that you do not feel as hungry as when you dance full time and you will be full sooner. If you stop eating or eat less, your body will still ask for food at some point and then you have a good chance binge eating and that's the last thing you want. It is really important that you trust your body. Confidence in and listening to my body has given me so much, I wish every dancer that. 

Good basic

Although you don't move that much physically, your body is still active, metabolically. And if you have had an intensive day, week, month, school year or season, your body's recovery process also needs nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, the way you eat doesn't have to differ drastically between rest days and active days. The same goes for a longer rest period (such as several weeks or months). 

Continue to eat regular meals and snacks as a foundation. Always provide a combination of the three macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Always make sure you drink enough (preferably plain water). 

Make eating a positive experience

When you're free you don't have to cram fast, quick food in between rehearsals or classes, you now have time to sit back, experiment and enjoy nutrition. During the year, when you dance all day, it is not convenient to suddenly start eating other things, but especially when you are free, it is an excellent time to do so. Try new recipes. On my website there is a super nice, unique cookbook: Dinner with dancers . It is very important that you feel what different food does to you every time. Try to have a (flexible) plan ready before you have to get back to work, so you don't have to think about it too much during the year. If you stop eating or impose a strict diet on rest days, it will cause more stress than just enjoying yourself and dealing with it positively.

What to do.

As always, before I give you some input, it is important to keep one of my pillars: Bio-Individuality, in mind: You are unique. What works for one may be disastrous for another. Try and learn is always my advice. Find what suits you.

What can you do:

  1.  Listen to your body's signals

While you may feel that time away from the studio is detracting from your progress, free time also offers a new opportunity: You can reconnect with your body's intuitive signals for energy balance. Having the time to recognize signals of hunger and fullness is normally not possible for dancers with busy schedules.

Some of you may experience a wave of hunger pangs on your days off. This could be a sign that your body is trying to make up for a previous energy deficit. It is important to listen to these signals and eat enough food. For other of you, hunger signals may feel more stable.

2. Move differently

Besides getting fat, fear of going backwards in your technique is a common feeling during free time. Movement is in the DNA of dancers, so you will want to continue to do so in your spare time. And then you may also suffer less from eating stress. Trust in your body is also important here. A time off really doesn't kill your career, on the contrary, I think it can make you better, but that's my opinion. When I'm free I'll see if there are other ways of moving that I like. I went supping and skating. Foam rolling, stretching, yoga and pilates are great to do when you're free.

3. Nutrition

When you are free, it is very important in terms of nutrition to maintain a healthy basis and to listen carefully to your body. Apply Crowding out again, of course .

Enjoying something unhealthy once in a while is really no problem, but it is good to know that there are also plenty of healthy alternatives! It saves half if you already have them on hand. Choose the things you really like and enjoy them.


How dancers eat during their free time can be a key to a successful follow-up after a break. I hope it is clear that eating less during a free period is not smart, listening to your body and what it needs is. Do you need more tips to reduce eating stress during a free period send me a message or schedule an inspiration session.

Source: Rachel Fine & I am a foodie .



During the 30-minute inspiration session with Saskia, we dive into your personal and professional goals.

This session is an opportunity to clearly define your goals and see how you can achieve them in a way that fits your lifestyle needs.

What are we going to tackle:

  • Biggest ambitious, realistic goals
  • Action steps and means to achieve your goals
  • Lifestyle tips to optimize your time,
  • Increase accountability and improve overall performance
  • What working with Saskia would look like

I look forward to seeing you.

Nutrition for dancers

Discover in this free e-book how you need to eat as a dancer to deliver top performance.

Congratulations on your download, check your inbox for the eBook!