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Holidays are coming
Summer holidays are approaching and many of us will be jetting off for some much needed sun, or like me packing up the car with everything but the kitchen sink and driving to one of the UK or Europe’s beautiful coastal resorts. This year, as for the past few, it is my beloved Cornwall for me! It truly is my favourite place on the planet!
Holidays often mean a time for over indulgence (and why shouldn’t they be?) but they don’t necessarily mean that you gain a stone on your week or fortnight away, and undo all the good work that you have put in, in the weeks leading up to your much needed break.
In fact, we know that a lot of our members will still continue to lose weight whilst they are away, using the free time, to do a little more exercise and eat really well, whilst still enjoying the odd ice cream, and maybe a few glasses of wine and the odd cocktail.
But, holidays should be whatever you want them to be – you have worked hard all year and earned it! However, if you want to enjoy your holiday but don’t want to completely derail your progress, check out our 5 tips to stop the holiday sabotage!
1. Have an Active Holiday
Holidays give us time out, time to rest and time to ourselves to do what we love doing. So if you have found a new type of physical activity that you enjoy doing, then take your kit on holiday with you and take advantage of the extra time that you have.
I can often be found in the local gym on rainy Cornish days. While the kids chill out playing in our holiday rental and the husband has a lie in, I pop round the corner to the gym for a quick hour on the weights. I often run too – a run along the seafront on a beautiful summers morning, is one of the most wonderful things to do, in the cool sea air. It can be difficult when you don’t know the area that well, but if all else fails just run for half your intended time or distance in one direction, then turn around and run back!
Holidays abroad with a pool are a great excuse to get in the water. Swimming is a great all over exercise, toning your arms, legs and core. It has very little impact on your joints too and burns some serious calories. An 11 stone person swimming breast stroke for an hour will burn around 500 calories (more if a person weighs more than 11 stone). That’s almost as much as running. When we go away abroad I swim daily, taking it in turns to go off for a 30 minute swim, especially if there’s a nice quiet adult pool away from the kids! Then there’s the ‘Animation Team’ in most resort hotels, who are always on hand to do a spot of aqua aerobics in the pool, a game of football, or archery, or maybe even a bit of yoga. Why not take a break from the sun lounger and try something new?
If you are off on a city break, or in fact going anywhere where you can do some sightseeing, it usually means that you will be doing plenty of walking, so take advantage of what there is to see and do and get those steps in.
2. Food ‘Indulgence’
Wherever you go away, there will be the local delicacies which are no doubt highly decadent and brimming with calories.
For me in Cornwall, it would be rude not to try the occasional pasty and cream tea, and of course the clotted cream ice cream, but I just don’t do it every day. There are lots of less calorific delicacies too, and we love for at least one night of our holiday to do a fish barbecue from the local fishmongers, that is literally just below the house that we stay in. Lots of delicious salads, new potatoes and fresh fish barbecued in a splash of lemon juice and black pepper, and may be a bit of chilli and garlic too. The fresh flavours are incredible.
We also go fruit picking too, and often pick way more than we actually need, but this makes a great excuse to have lots of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries every day for puddings and snacks.
If you are off on a more exotic holiday than mine, there will be lots of interesting local food to try. Any coastal resort will undoubtedly have lots of fresh fish restaurants to try, and warmer climates will have an abundance of fresh fruit, salad and vegetables for your delectation, so why not make the most of it and experience as many new fresh flavours as you can?
Another strategy is to eat a normal healthy breakfast and lunch, like you would have at home, and then have whatever you want for your evening meal. Depending on what this is, will give you varying results on the scales, but there is definitely some damage limitation in there.
3. All Inclusive Advantages
If you are off on an all inclusive break, these are the perfect places to eat lots of delicious, healthy salads, and fresh griddled meats and fish. I know when I go on holiday to all inclusive hotels, I love filling my plate with the massive variety of salads, without the hassle of preparing them, and the abundance of fresh fish and grilled lean meats that we just don’t get at home.
Breakfast is often the place where I see over indulgence, when I am at an all inclusive resort. There is so much variety available, we are almost compelled to eat something of everything. But I use the first day to work out what’s available (because it’s more than likely going to be the same every day) and then every day try something different, rather than giving in to the piles of bacon and eggs along with the chocolate croissants and muffins every single day.
Then of course there’s the alcohol, if you enjoy a cocktail or two, go for those without cream or lots of sickly sweet fruit juice in them and save yourself some calories.
4. Live A Little
A little bit of what you fancy certainly does do you good, so we definitely don’t think you should go on holiday with the intention of restricting everything and having a right old miserable time. We talk so much about lifestyle change being a long term thing and having holidays is part of that.
Holidays are absolutely the time to let our hair down, relax, rest and enjoy ourselves. If you want to go on holiday and sit on a sun lounger for two weeks and read, then that’s great, do it and enjoy it!
And if you do overindulge be prepared to come back and face the scales, acknowledge the good time you have had and the effect it has had on your weight, and then draw a line under it and get back to your usual good habits.
The break from being so focused will have done you good, mentally – just make sure you have a plan to ease yourself back in on your return – this might be something as simple as just aiming to drink 3 sports bottles of water a day, for the first week back, then get back to eating better.
5. Prior Preparation
The last tip is about getting yourself in a good place before you go. This is often my strategy before I go away on holiday, when I know that I will likely gain a few pounds. I make sure that I am ‘super focused’ the weeks prior to the holiday, so that I can lose a couple of extra pounds before I go. I’m not talking crash dieting here – but just giving myself some wriggle room, to allow for some over indulgence and potential for weight gain. If I can lose a couple of extra pounds before a holiday where I know that I might put four or five pounds on, if I do gain weight, I don’t have as much work to do on my return. And if all this is planned – it is all totally within your control! This is what those people do who seem to be able to maintain a healthy weight all year round – they monitor it and adjust their eating, drinking and moving all year round – including holidays!
If your holiday is fast approaching, have a think about what your holiday strategy will be. Will it be complete blow out, staying totally on track, or perhaps somewhere in the middle? Whatever you do, enjoy it to the max and we will be waiting for you when you return!
Tell us where you are going for your holidays this year, in the comments, and what your holiday strategy will be!