It’s summer holiday season and a question I get asked a lot at the moment is how can you avoid coming back feeling bloated and like you’ve gained all the weight back that you lost before you went?
Well the first thing to make clear is that if you gain some weight in say a week on holiday, it’s likely not all fat, the chances are you’ll be holding a fair bit of water from eating more carbs, eating saltier foods and probably not eating as much veg as normal.
This is normal and doesn’t mean you’re back to square one. Usually the majority of this weight will come off again within a week or so of you being home and back into your normal routine.
But what about if you still want to limit this weight gain whilst you’re away, what can you do?
Well here are my 5 top tips:
1. Stay active
If you’re anything like me you’ll spend a fair bit of time on the sun lounger but this doesn’t have to be all you do. Try to get out for walks in the morning or evening (when it’s less hot), get in the pool every hour or so and do a few lengths (rather than just sip your cocktails), and if your hotel has a gym and you feel like doing a quick session then do it.
That said, being on holiday can be a good time to give your body a break from your normal routine so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to follow a ‘plan’. Do what you feel like and mix it up. If you do decide to train do something you wouldn’t normally do. Make it fun!
2. Try to include protein and vegetables/salad in as many meals as you can
When we are back home we tend to eat a balanced diet and balanced meals which include protein, carbs, fats and vegetables (well we should do anyway). But on holiday this often goes out the window, we skip the veggies and protein and end up eating nothing but carbs and fats. Think things like pizza, pasta, pancakes!
These things are delicious and very easy to eat lots of. Protein and vegetables are not only filling but tend to be lower in calories. So including them both in your meals can help limit how much you eat.
It doesn’t have to spoil your meals, it could be as simple as having a chicken breast and salad with your pasta for example.
3. Choose the meals when you’ll indulge
If you’re away for 7 days and generally have 3 meals a day that’s 21 meals give or take. Now if every one of those is indulgent then that’s a lot of extra calories.
A really good tip is to decide which meals you want to properly indulge and which ones you’re happy to be a bit more sensible with. For example you might go lighter at breakfast, have a semi indulgent lunch and then just have whatever you want for dinner.
You don’t have to do the same things everyday either. One day you might want to just hit the breakfast buffet hard, in which case you might have a lighter lunch.
Essentially it’s about being able to relax and enjoy the things you want to without going completely crazy eating anything and everything for the whole holiday.
4. Drink plenty of water
It’s probably going to be hot which means you’ll be sweating more than normal and will need to drink more water.
Mistaking thirst for hunger is one of the easiest ways to end up eating more than you need to. Ensuring you are properly hydrated first will give you a better idea of if you are actually hungry or not.
So make sure you are drinking water throughout the day and at meal times.
5. Don’t stress about it!
This is the biggest one for me. It’s a holiday, you don’t do it often and you’ve been looking forward to it for ages so just enjoy it!
If you’re lucky you’ll get away for one or two weeks holiday a year, which leaves plenty of time where you are eating well. One or two weeks isn’t going to undo all that. So just make sure you relax and enjoy yourself and as I said at the start, any weight you might gain will quickly come off anyway.