We have all been there. You trained hard and ate sensibly so you could both feel and look good on the beach, but what can you actually do once you’re on holiday to prevent yourself from quickly regaining all that lost weight?
These are the same tips I use to keep myself in shape whilst on holiday. I never used to be like this. It was the usual train hard and diet like crazy to fit into my bikini, then unleash on holiday, not paying any attention to my diet or training (essentially using the holiday as an excuse to have a blowout). I would inevitably gain back all the weight and then some. Needless to say I spent the weeks after returning home back in the gym working out like a crazy woman to get back my pre holiday figure.
So what changed you ask? I genuinely couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t have the time nor the energy to keep doing the ‘lose it – gain it – lose it’ cycle especially as it takes so much more time and hard work to lose weight now than it did when I was younger. Yo-yo dieting is also detrimental to your body as it puts your metabolism out of sync. I’m so much more balanced in my approach to fitness and nutrition these days. I don’t want to go to extremes to get into or back into shape so watching what I eat (relatively) and training on holiday helps to keep me pretty much on track.
Now, holidays are meant to be a break so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself, but if you don’t want to undo all your pre-holiday hard work then I have put together an easy step-by-step guide. My opinion is that once you’re on holiday it is more about damage limitation than fat loss. I hope this guide helps!
1. Train – I train in my everyday life and don’t see a holiday as an excuse to give that up. Try and exercise first thing in the morning before you start hitting that beach bar… I always choose hotels that have a gym and take advantage of the new surroundings I’m in – there’s nothing like running on the beach or in a new city.
2. I eat a ‘normal’ breakfast and lunch as this allows me to indulge at dinner if I wish to. My (and most people’s) resolve naturally declines as the day goes on (especially after a few sangrias!) so I use this to my advantage. I stick to protein and veggies for breakfast and lunch (think eggs and vegetables for breakfast, and a delicious salad for lunch).
3. I stick to my usual food rules as much as possible, most importantly no wheat (it makes my bloated – not a good bikini look, and if I don’t eat it at home why should I eat it on holiday?) https://www.nsnutrition.co.uk/2012/03/my-top-10-food-rules/
4. I don’t’ eat dessert every day and when I do indulge I always share with my partner or friend. A recent holiday with friends had us sharing one dessert between the four of us. It’s surprising how just a few spoonfuls can satisfy a craving and prevent that feeling of missing out.
5. I watch my drinking calories. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and most of us will tend to consume more alcohol than usual. However if you don’t pick your drinks wisely you can end up consuming a huge amount of calories without realising it. I learnt this the hard way when having Pina Coladas in the Caribbean and whilst I knew they weren’t the healthiest choice I didn’t realise they were 650 calories for just one drink! Well you live and you learn, proving that even we Nutritionists make mistakes now and again. I’ll be sticking to my tried and tested Vodka, lime and sodas (76 calories) and glasses of wine (130 calories per 175 ml glass) from now on.
6. I come prepared. I always take snacks away on holiday with me (mostly almonds, and toasted seeds to add to my breakfast of fruit and yoghurt and to eat as a mid afternoon snack). It really helps to keep hunger pangs at bay and resist the temptation of unhealthy bar snacks.