‘How do you stay on track during holidays?’
This article was inspired by a question I was asked on Instagram. Although I’m probably a few weeks late, I’ll give my thoughts.
Think it’s something that is common for people to worry about. Perhaps you’ve been grinding away in the gym for months and your food has been on point.
Then your holiday pops up and you’re feeling a little anxious about the damage you might do. Cocktails, buffets and lounging by the pool have you worried that you’ll undo all your progress.
I used to be like that. Desperately worried that I’d come back from The Canaries like a beach whale. Like that one week was going to undo the months I’d been putting in the gym.
You know what my advice is when going on holidays? Chill out; don’t worry about undoing your progress because you won’t.
You want to know what changed for me? Want to know why I don’t give a s**t about what I get up to on foreign soil anymore?
I have yet to go on holidays where I haven’t lost weight. No word of a lie.
‘Oh you must just have a great metabolism’
Sorry nothing magical about my metabolic rate guys. It hasn’t just been a study of one; I have tested this theory on my clients.
I’d go as far as to say that 75% of my clients end up losing weight when they’re on holiday. They return absolutely puzzled.
(By the way you shouldn’t measure all your progress just on your weight but I know that it is the measure most people get worried about on holiers)
‘But I ate c**p and drank like there was no tomorrow? How?’
Don’t give up the whole fitness thing yet, become an alcoholic and binge eat your way through life. I have my suspicions as to why we can lose weight on holiday.
For the most part, people are far more active on holidays. When my parents went on holiday last year they regularly hit over 30,000 steps in a day.
That’s three times the recommended 10,000. One particular day they hit 35,000. If you work a sedentary 9-5 job there isn’t a hope in hell you’d hit that at home. You probably wouldn’t hit it in three days!
The non-conscious physical activity we take part in has a huge bearing on our weight. That’s why Fitbits have become so popular in recent years.
So the huge increase in that due to walking (doing touristy things) counters some of the extra food and alcohol intake. Speaking of which…..
Calories In Vs Calories Out
Remember our weight comes down to one equation; calories in vs. calories out. Eat more calories than you burn and put on weight, eat less calories than you burn and you lose weight.
We’ve already established that when on holidays most of us actually increase our calories out.
‘I ate nothing but s**t when I was away.’
That could well be true, but did you eat a lot? My experience (now this is just me) is that I eat a lot of ‘bad’ food but when I think back I don’t eat a lot.
Breakfast tends to get pushed out later in the day and nearly becomes ‘brunch’, which then fills me up to near dinner time. Okay there might be an ice-cream or snack in between but for the most part my meal quantity will decrease.
Now this is just me, but I find my appetite just isn’t as strong whilst on holidays. My guess is the heat affects this.
But maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you don’t lose weight when on holidays. What can you do to limit the damage? What Can You Do On Your next holiday?
Well look at what I’ve been explaining. You don’t have to go to the gym, but make sure you’re active. Try not to perch yourself on the sun lounger at 9am and bake away, drinking cocktails until 9pm.
Get up, go explore, do shopping and go to a waterpark. Things you should be doing on holidays anyway. Get those steps up.
You want to be at least more active than you are at home.
Look At Your Meal Quantity Rather Than Quality
Loosen up when on holiday. Eat the foods you want, but do like myself and aim for less meals than at home. If you’re really active and finding fun stuff to do, you won’t even notice your hunger anyway.
For the most part in places like Spain and Italy they have really good, high quality produce anyway. Tasty meat, vegetables and fruit. Experience all those different platters.
Drinking can be a big part of people’s holidays. Again I say just relax and enjoy yourself. Just maybe don’t drink 20 Strawberry Daiquiri’s over the course of a day.
Similar advice for drinking on holidays as drinking at home. Spirits, low cal mixers, blah blah blah………
My overall advice is enjoy your holidays and don’t let your anxiety about ruining progress affect how much you enjoy yourself. Even if you do over indulge and you’ve put on some weight or aren’t as strong in the gym, remember it was only a week or two.
It will NOT undo months of work. Just make sure that when you do return, you get back into working hard again ASAP.
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