Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to avoid putting on weight on holiday

We all do it. Whether we go and see family who fill us up with rich treats and roast dinners or we do no exercise but eat banquet after banquet of buffet dinners, putting on holiday weight is inevitable. Or is it? I for one, when in front of a buffet, will make the most of it. And I mean make the MOST of it. Two helpings for starters, a plate for mains, oh go on then, another plate as it was so tasty. And dessert? Well I can’t quite manage but I will anyway and I decide that one helping isn’t enough, so two pieces of cheesecake with ice-cream and some fruit (this helps me feel better about eating so much), it is. Feeling full to the point where I
could explode, I am satisfied. I’ve got my monies worth I’m sure. Now imagine that three times a day for a whole week. Yep, those pounds are going to pile on but really it’s all about your mental attitude as I found out.

For my last holiday, I worked out constantly in the weeks running up to the big day. Abs exercise after ab exercise, with ZMA supplements and protein shakes just to make myself look presentable on the sun lounger. But this time, I went self catering and it made a huge difference. Not only did I not gain weight, I came back raring to keep going at the gym have not lost any progress. It was great. I still went out for many lunches and dinners but breakfast was controlled by me and I limited myself to what I would normally have. I had two treat days where I enjoyed breakfast at the beach bar but even then I stuck to something quite healthy, although quite high in sugar. Because the food I was eating wasn’t buffet style, in the back of my head, I didn’t have to get my monies worth. I could just enjoy what I was eating without having to worry about what I would eat next. You also find that when you go for a buffet dinner, you’ve finished one course and you go straight up for your next, not allowing your food to go down so that you feel full. Your stomach also can’t process that much food in one go so you lose a lot of nutrients.

Image courtesy of www.slickrock.com
I didn’t go to the gym once which I did feel a little guilty about but at the same time, I am quite an active person. One thing I would recommend is exploring the local areas on foot or by bike. Firstly you get to see a lot more than just the beach and your hotel. When you get back and people ask what you did, you can enjoy reeling off a long list of activities. Secondly, it’s extra exercise that you wouldn’t probably normally do. I sit at a desk in front of a computer for most of my working day so I think my body was in complete shock when it realised it was doing extra activity. On top of this, I also went surfing and sea kayaking, which are yet more fun activities you can do that burn off a few calories. I got a great tan and I came back feeling awesome and I tell you, it is because I didn’t come back feeling like I had put on 20 kilos.

So next time you are planning a holiday, look at alternatives to the usual buffet style dinners at all-inclusive and half board resorts. Why not eat each time at an a la carte restaurant for your meals with perhaps one night of to splurge on all that food. I’m telling you, try it next time. Then you have less work to do at the gym when you get back.