MF-Health Blog

6 top tips to help dodge the holiday pounds

6 top tips to help dodge the holiday pounds

Many of us strive for months to get in shape prior to the summer holiday season. Shedding the pounds before a week in Majorca makes sense, but gaining back those pounds in 7 days really doesn’t. In short, that’s prepping to fail. Following these tips will help curve the belly fat but still ensure you can let your hair down and enjoy time away.

1. Avoid/reduce fizzy drinks

In the baking sun the temptation to chug down a can of coke is heightened. Some of us use it to cool down, and some of us just love the fizz. Fizzy drinks are the best way to get a sudden sugar and caffeine high, before rapidly crashing meaning you’ll soon crave another, and so the cycle continues. The surprisingly high hidden salt content in many of these drinks actually makes us thirstier and gradually dehydrates us further. So in short, fizzy drinks to curb thirst will only increase it. And on top of this you’ll encourage fat-storage whilst you’re lying on your deckchair soaking up the sun.

2. Go self/part catering

This tip depends on your intentions for a holiday. If you want to do absolutely no cooking/shopping whatsoever, all-inclusive will suit you more. If however you enjoy cooking and would like to make a conscious choice to have a healthier holiday, self-catering is the way to go. Not only can you explore traditional cuisine, but you’ll also give yourself a chance to balance the unhealthier dining out experiences, with fresh, home cooked meals, which inevitably help stabilize weight gain.

3. Stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated helps with sugar cravings, but more importantly helps your body function at it’s best, in times of increased heat and temperature. A hydrated body burns fat at a faster rate than a dehydrated body. So when you reach your destination, make sure you stop to grab a bottle of water before you reach for the beer!

4. Walk off your calories

Some people have a tendency to do ‘as little as possible’ when they go abroad - the idea of exercising is out of the question and that’s fine. Given its reputation of being one of the most beneficial activities you can do, walking should not be ignored- it’s one of the easiest healthy choices you can make while sunning yourself abroad! With relaxing comes more relaxed food choices. A walk following a heavy meal can take the edge off the potential to store excess body fat. Just had the ultimate Knickerbocker glory? Go for a walk! Or even better, if you’re near a pool or the sea, jump in and do a few lengths.

5. Watch your carbs

On holiday; we can consume carb after carb without acknowledging quite how much we’re having. Take a classic burger and chips meal; chips (carbs), bun (carbs), ketchup (carbs), garlic bread (carbs), pint of Heineken (carbs). This is your main course, before your banana split and after your deep fried calamari! Take a minute before your meal to think about this. The more carbs we eat and don’t burn off, (#holiday #relaxed #littleaspossible) the more belly fat we’ll start to accumulate. Oh and on top of that, carbs are addictive, so you’ll find it harder to kick them when you’re back in the sunny UK!

6. Control alcohol consumption

As with fizzy drinks, it’s easy to open a bottle of beer when it heats up and the sun’s out. Sitting around the pool with a cold beverage almost comes hand in hand for many of us. However doing this does two things; it makes us want more sugar - ever noticed how the snacks come out once the bottle’s been popped? And it drives us to drink more. If you drink with awareness you can control the consumption. Unconscious drinking throughout the day can lead to a spiral in caloric intake and an upset liver. Of course on holiday most of us like a drink on a daily basis and this isn’t a problem, provided that drink doesn’t lead to twenty more, each day. Beer belly got its term for a reason!

In summary, it would be wrong not to go on holiday and loosen up on choices we make in regard to food and drink. After all, why go on holiday if you can’t do so. There is however a conscious decision we can make when choosing what to consume when we’re away, rather than being blindly driven by our appetite and hunger signals. The more sugar, alcohol and carbohydrates we consume, the more we’ll want and the easier it is to lose ourselves in the midst of a binge week. Making sure the food you eat is fresh, and above all real, will help dodge the holiday pounds while ensuring you still have a great break. Eat wisely, drink smart and enjoy your holiday!