Managing your weight on holiday
Janey’s on holiday at the moment and is practising what she preaches in terms of keeping a little food and fitness focus while away. We’ve had lots of emails in recently from journalists writing articles on how not to put on weight while away, apparently the average weight gain on a holiday is 5lbs, so we thought we’s share some tips with you accompanied by Janey’s latest food pics direct from the south of France!
1 Don’t worry about it – holidays are about relaxing and there is one part of me that wants to say just let your hair down and enjoy it! It’s not so much what you eat on your two week holiday, more about what you eat the rest of the year that counts. So if eating / pigging out on holiday is your thing, then do it, don’t feel guilty and just try to eat as well as you can before and after your holiday to balance it out.
2 Lose weight without thinking about it – I know from training stacks of women in the last 10 years, that many women actually lose weight on holiday! They relax more, sleep more, aren’t stressed, don’t think about food so much and although they may be eating out more and having bigger meals, they don’t waste calories on ‘healthy snacks’ that they normally have to get through a busy day, so over all they don’t consume more calories than their bodies need.
3 Balance – I am a great believer in balance, whether work/play/training/rest and eating healthy food and indulging in some naughty things now and again. Personally I love drinking wine in the evenings and at lunch times sometimes too, but I don’t even think about having big carb meals on those days. In the evenings, I have often had olives, lots of salad, followed by some cheese but no bread/butter/biscuits and some red wine. This means I am having a little of what I want, having really tasty food, but choosing what I call ‘controlled indulgences’.
4 Skip breakfast – not something I would usually recommend, but if you eat a meal at 9pm at night, go to bed at 12, get up at 830am, I find on holiday, I can get by until about midday with just having a couple of coffees. Same time difference of 15 hours between your evening meal at 9 and lunch the next day at 12 as there is from eating your main meal at 6pm and not having breakfast until 9am back home.
5 Pinch other people’s food – I am lucky that I am on holiday here with my boys, my au pair and my parents, which means that there is usually food left over as the portions are so big. I might have a salad with a couple of glasses of wine and then steal some of theirs! I’ve also done this with ice creams because invariably the boys can never finish theirs, or need a bit of licking around the end at some point – a perfect way to get a little bit of what you fancy without all the calories. Share meals, add raw food and get a little bit of everything meaning you never feel deprived.
6 Don’t waste calories – I’m not fussed about ice cream so I don’t want to waste calories on it, when I’d rather have some wine or cheese later on in the day. It’s the same with the bread for me as well – I see people all the time in restaurants stuffing themselves with the bread and not even realising how much they are eating, you’re probably consuming an extra 300 cals a day by eating bread/butter etc. Eat wisely, not in a willy nilly way which is very common when temptation is around.
7 Eat slowly – What I love about eating on holiday is tasting new, fresh, tasty food, so taste it and savour it! As you are on holiday, take time to chill out, take time to eat your food and to really enjoy it. Another tip is also choosing foods/meals you don’t normally have at home or don’t eat much.
8 Have a couple of meals off – what I mean by that is a few times over a two week holiday for example, just don’t think about the cals / health etc. For me, the biggest thing about not eating a load of rubbish is actually not actually about the calories, but how bad eating big wheat based meals makes you feel/look. I don’t mind having a few extra pounds on me, but I hate being bloated and having an unsettled gut – a classic sign of too many carbs/wheat.
9 Exercise – not in a stressy ‘I MUST TRAIN EVERY DAY’ way, but with a more positive, flexible approach. I have power walked a lot while away and looked at it as me time. Take advantage of the swimming pool if you have one near you on holiday and swimming in the sea also offers more resistance and therefore a tougher workout.
10 Enjoy yourself – at the end of the day, any weight gained can be lost and your holiday should not be stressful. If you order a meal and it has loads of sauce/cheese on you weren’t expecting, don’t make it a negative thing. Enjoy it as it is and don’t feel bad. 500 cals won’t kill you! Also holidays should be where you switch off, so whilst I’ve been reasonably focused, I’ve also not worried about choosing the healthiest thing all the time and chosen things I’ve fancied at the time – one of my Food Management Made Easy principles, luckily for me, I really do like healthy food and so it’s never been a chore.
Hopefully these tips will prove useful to you whether you’re going away or staying close to home this summer and you can check out all of Janey’s holiday photo food diaries over on our Making Things Easy Facebook page now.