If you want to avoid holiday weight gain without missing out on all the fun, we’ve got you covered. As nutritionists specialising in weight loss, part of how we support clients is helping them understand how to navigate social occasions and holidays. Our goal is to move away from the ‘all or nothing’ to a place of true balance and moderation.
 
Before a holiday we will typically have a conversation with our clients and co-create a plan that enables them to strike a balance between enjoying themselves but not in a way that results in them gaining half a stone. What that looks like can be different for everyone, but here are a few of our top tips.
 

10 WAYS TO AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

 

MAKE A PLAN

 
Even if you’re not working with a nutritionist you can still take the time to make a plan in advance. Consider what you can do to strike a balance between enjoying yourself but not going OTT. Write the plan down and keep it somewhere where you can refer back to it.

 

AVOID PLANE FOOD

 
It’s prepared hours in advance and engineered to taste good at height despite human taste buds not working well in the air. Plenty of undesirable ingredients are used to achieve this. Many airports have a Pret or Itsu with healthy options you can take on board with you. Or, if your body is used to fasting periods, consider skipping food altogether and stick to just water.

 

PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING

 

Eat slowly, chew food thoroughly and recognise when you are starting to feel full. Avoid over eating. Before eating a treat, take a moment to ask yourself if you’re really going to enjoy it. Or are you eating that ice cream simply because you’re on holiday and it’s an ingrained association.

Read more: 5 Mindful Eating Tips

 

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

 

Jet lag and long journeys can compromise sleep and disrupt your body clock which in turn can increase hunger and lead to overeating. Lack of sleep causes an increase in levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, and reduces levels of the satiety hormone leptin. This can lead you to feel hungrier and less satisfied from the food you do eat. If you have a late night, allow yourself a lie in or get a nap in later in the day. Do your best to allow time for rest.

Read more: Is Poor Sleep Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

 

PLAN AHEAD

 

If you’ve not yet booked your accommodation, take into consideration how where you stay will impact your food choices. Self catering accommodation can give you more control over what you eat. If you’re eating out at restaurants, it can be helpful to check the menu on their website prior to arrival. This gives you chance to make a plan in advance and identify the healthier options. You can do the same if you’re staying in a hotel and want to check out your breakfast and in-room dining options in advance.

 

MODERATE TREATS

 

Consider setting a limit around treat foods. For example, you might choose to have a maximum of one sweet treat per day, such as a pastry, ice cream or dessert.

 

STRUCTURE YOUR MEALS RIGHT

 

While away, aim to have two healthy meals per day structured around protein, healthy fats and plenty of vegetables / salad as usual. Then for one meal per day, you can be more flexible and choose whatever you like. Often it can work best to save your flexible meal until dinner. Starting your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast will set positive tone for the day. Going overboard with pastries and pancakes at the breakfast buffet, not so much.

 

SNACK HEALTHILY

 

Pack portable healthy snacks such as KetoHana bars or Nibble Protein bites. These can be useful for plane journeys and to keep with you on days out. You can also have these before eating out to prevent excess hunger that could lead to overeating at meals.

Read more: Snacking: Good or bad?

 

PRACTICE MINDFUL DRINKING

 

Be mindful of how much you are drinking. Choose lower sugar drinks like dry wine and Champagne or good quality white spirits with slimline tonic or soda. For trips of a week or more, ideally have a couple of days free from any alcohol. Always have something to eat before having an alcoholic drink. This will slow the release of alcohol into your bloodstream.

Read more: 6 Tips For Healthier Drinking 

 

AVOID THE ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ MENTALITY

 

Aim to move away from an all or nothing mentality. It is possible to strike a balance between enjoying yourself and not overdoing it. If you do end up over indulging, don’t beat yourself up about it. But don’t let it trigger a spiral of excess. Simply get up the next day and start your day with a large glass of water and a healthy breakfast, or an extended fasting window to give your digestive system a bit of a break.

 

Above all, enjoy your holiday. Make conscious, mindful choices and enjoy treats without guilt.

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