Are you worried about piling on the pounds as you jet off on your summer holiday? Do you find yourself feeling frustrated at seeing all the hard work you did to look and feel great before you went on holiday has disappeared when you return home? Or do you just worry that you won’t be able to stay or stick to your healthy habits while out of routine?
These are a couple of the concerns I hear from clients and they reflect 2 of my biggest concerns whenever I used to go on holiday. I say ‘used to’ because now, they no longer do as I have put in place some holiday guidelines to make sure that I no longer worry about food or my weight while on holiday and still feel just as good as I did when I left as I do when I return, only usually much more rested and with a tan (in the summer).
- Ban or bin the scales. Get rid of them. Ditch them. They should only be used before you go on holiday to weigh your bags. If you don’t know what you weigh before you go away, you can’t compare your weight when you get back. Whatever they say before, after or both, it is only going to stress you out. And stress is one thing we don’t want any more of before we go on holiday and also one thing to reduce if you want to keep your weight off. For any other reasons to banish the scales from your house – see an earlier blog, beauty isn’t a number (https://heal-yourself-happy.com/2018/01/29/beauty-is-not-a-number/)
- Drink! Cocktails, nice wines, spritzers, beer …whatever your tipple is, it always seems to increase on holiday. So while I say ‘drink’, be careful about what you drink for while you may not realise it, that wobble in your belly when you get home is all related to the amount of sugar you take on. And sugar is found in the fizzy drinks, the mixers, the white wine, the tonic water, fruit juices and the cocktails made with syrups. Stick to water or sparkling water during the day to rehydrate and flush out the toxins from the night before. And the night before, set an intention to stick to red wine (I added ice on my holiday) or clear spirits with soda and fresh limes/lemons.
- Eat! Yes! Eat! You can eat as much as you like…as long as it is clean. What I mean by clean eating is choosing fresh whole foods which are so prevalent in European countries where we Brits holiday. Eat until your heart (and gut) is content on fresh fish, local and organic meat, salads and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating with whole proteins, smart carbs, freshly growna and picked vegetables and good fats… so indulge away! Fill yourself up with the good stuff and the processed, highly salty, loaded with sugar foods won’t be on your menu at all. oh…and watch out for that sneaky bread basket …if you want to avoid bloating and even more sugar, pass it along.
- Move! Every now and then, get off your sun lounger. You don’t need to go all James Bond on the water ski, or Bradley Wiggins on a mountain bike or feel like you have to do an hour in the hotel gym…. unless you really want to. And sometimes I want to… but most cases I don’t. So just move… in whatever way you fancy…. on a boat for 10 days, I swam around the boat 3 times twice a day judging my sons’ diving competitions, or we would swim ashore if we were anchored off….sometimes racing, sometimes not.Walk around the pool or to the next village if you want to venture further. Do a few lunges or squats when you go in to change for lunch, a few press ups and sit ups when you get ready for supper. I know one client who made this in to a family competition!
- Relax! Properly… that means totally switching off, disconnecting and resetting your mind. If you like meditation or mindfulness, your sun lounger is the perfect place to watch the flow of your thoughts swim away. Spend at least an hour a day with all electronics switched off. Make memories and don’t digitise or share them… preserve a mental image just for you. My husband and I committed to each other to be fully present with our family so we removed email or apps used for work from our phones. Anything urgent, you will be found!
- Sleep! Sleep is the cornerstone of our health and wellbeing. Get that right and everything else seems to fall in to place. Sleep is where our body resets and restores itself….and where cortisol drops. And when it comes to weight, that is absolutely vital! Cortisol hangs on to fat as though your life depends on it… because back in the prehistoric days, it did.
- Treat yourself! It is a holiday after all. But don’t use that excuse at every meal time to have a desert or every afternoon to have an ice cream. Decide what treats you are going to have, make the choice, place the order, savour the deliciousness, delight in how good it makes you feel and let go of any guilt you may have afterwards. My favourite treat this holiday was a family trip to the best ice cream shop in the village, where we all chose a double cone and delighted in the experience as we walked back over the hill to the boat. Guilt free…
So there you have it. 7 steps to keeping any holiday weight gain and mental challenges to a minimum for this summer holiday.
Have a wonderful time! I would love to hear your top tips for staying healthy while on holiday…. so share away! If you know someone who would benefit from reading this, please do pass it along.
And if it all goes Pete Tong, get in touch to reserve your place on my sustainable Weight loss and Management programme starting in September.
As always – any questions or comments, please drop me a line.