No one can blame you if you are excited to get out of a very soggy Britain this summer and jet off for some sunshine. I’m sitting by the window as I type this on August 9th with rain literally pouring down the window. It’s grim! However, as British as I am, we’re not here to talk about the weather. We’re here to talk about not piling on the pounds when you go on holiday.holiday_190443

As a personal trainer, I see trends and traits in clients and in the industry every year, and summer is no exception.

Lots of people seem highly motivated and switched on as soon as the sun comes out (sorry, weather talk!) in May/June through to their summer holiday. Then it’s a few weeks of chilling out and, of course, eating and drinking. September hits, the kids go back to school and people look at the results of their summer efforts and then email me in a panic for help, desperate to not hit Christmas heavier or feeling more bloated than the year before.

So, how about we don’t get to that point in the first place? How about you come back from holiday with a suitcase of good memories, super relaxed, having enjoyed some lovely treats but not two stone heavier? Sound good? Read on!

  • Top five things that will sabotage your results on holiday
    All inclusive buffets – unless you’re one of those magical people who has self control at a buffet!
    Volume of alcohol – volume and not frequency!
    Lack of movement
    Volume of food
    Psychology of holiday eating – “I’ve worked hard, I deserved a break so I’m going to go crazy!”

I’ve been on an all inclusive holiday once and I won’t do it again. I don’t have good self control at a buffet (I know it might shock you to hear that!) so I’d rather not put myself in that position. I remember well, before that particular holiday I’d trained well, felt good and felt in control. When I got home I felt bloated, flabby and very lethargic.buffet_salad_buffet_salads_269432

Everyone is different of course, but for me, I want options and some control over my food rather than a sea of temptation. Which it really was. If you’re reading this and have already booked an all inclusive holiday, I’m sure you’ll do a better job at self control than me. Lots of people can, I just found it really hard.

Remember that I said VOLUME of food and VOLUME of alcohol on the list of saboteurs. Personally, I’m not a huge drinker, I’d far rather have cake than wine (did someone say cake?)… however, on my recent summer holiday I enjoyed some wonderful local rose wine as I was in the south of France and that’s what you do when you are in the south of France. I think it’s actually the law there…

Looking back, I drank rose most evenings but it wasn’t bottles and bottles of rose and it wasn’t all day long. If I drank every day at home I’d feel awful for it but the difference was that it was never to excess. I chose to do it rather than drinking ‘because I’m on holiday’ and I waited until the evening.

If you want to leave holiday feeling fabulous and relaxed, rather than bloated and lethargic, then the key really is simply to make some sensible decisions – and that doesn’t mean ruining your holiday.

For me, this summer, I made some simple decisions to keep the balance right for me. I’ve listed them here as they might help give you ideas.

I packed my Nutri Bullet blender and protein (this of course depends on where you are going and how! I was driving to France so had plenty of space in the car). I resisted the fresh croissants and bread each morning as I had already decided that I wanted to be able to eat whatever and drink whatever in the evenings.woman_running_195218

I made sure when I ate I always had some fruit or veg (as well as ice-cream!)

I thought about if I really wanted an alcoholic drink rather than glugging it down just because I was on holiday.

I made sure I had a delicious ice-cream several times a week (yes, you read that right, and it’s OK!) because that’s something I love to do on holiday. Whenever I did this, I sat, I enjoyed that ice-cream  and I savoured every moment.

I exercised for 20-30mins twice in the week and went on one long run. Seriously, that’s not a lot and it’s not a big stretch when I had nothing else to do except relax and enjoy the company of friends and family.

I still ate what I wanted in the evening. I still drank wine. I largely did what I wanted to do. But I made choices and decisions – mostly before I went (packing trainers and the nutribullet) – and I didn’t feel deprived and I didn’t feel out of control.

It’s about getting the balance right.

  • Ask yourself these questions
    How do you want to feel at the end of your holiday?
    What can you do to ensure you don’t eat and drink all day every day – like my breakfast compromise?
    What options and choices do YOU have?
    What exercise can you fit in that makes you feel good? Swimming? Running? Is there a gym where you are staying?

Two things that sabotage so many of my clients results out of holiday season are lack of time to exercise and de-stress. So, if on holiday you can find time to exercise and RELAX – you’ll be going a long way to feeling so much better.

My final word (honestly!) – go on holiday, but think before you go, enjoy yourself and if you have ice-cream – make sure it’s the BEST ice-cream/wine/chocolate you can find and enjoy eating it. Don’t beat yourself up! I won’t have ice-cream guilt on my watch (unless it’s terrible ice-cream then that’s another matter…)

I hope this helps you find a way to enjoy your holiday and not feel out of control.

Let me know how you get on and have a most wonderful and relaxing time :)

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