For many people, a holiday provides the perfect excuse to indulge, whether that’s another trip to the buffet table or the third piña colada of the day. With all-inclusive resorts offering meals, snacks and cocktails in the up-front cost of your accommodation, it’s no wonder many holidaymakers choose to pig out and then hit the gym hard when they return home. If, however, you’re trying to lose weight for a special occasion or just want to carry on with your clean-living lifestyle abroad, you might find it slightly more of a challenge. We have five helpful tips to help you avoid piling on the pounds while away.
The NHS recommends walking 10,000 steps a day as a great way to build stamina, burn excess calories and maintain a healthy heart. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to reach this target, particularly on days set aside for sightseeing. In order to count your steps, pack yourself a pedometer or treat yourself to a device, such as a FitBit, that sends you hourly reminders to move. Little changes, such as swapping the lift for the stairs or walking from your hotel to the beach instead of taking the hotel shuttle, will all go towards helping you meet your daily target.
Choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. When faced with a hotel buffet it can be too easy to want to sample everything, and risk having a plate piled high before you’ve even left the first station. Instead of reaching for your plate straight away, walk around the entire buffet at least once. This allows you to decide what you actually want to eat before you’ve already gone too far. If you still can’t decide, watch the hotel staff or holiday reps – they have spent their summer seasons eating from the buffet daily and as you can imagine have become pretty adept at spotting the carb-heavy offerings. A popular tip among those in the travel industry is to swap your regular plate for a side-plate. This stops you from going overboard.
Make the Most of the Facilities
This one’s a no-brainer, but check out the facilities your accommodation has to offer. Most hotels will have a gym and a pool, so factor in some early-morning cardio sessions, or cool off with a couple of lengths after a busy day. It’s also worth asking if the hotel is running any fitness classes: beach aerobics or sunset yoga sessions are both fun ways to exercise and get the most from your surroundings.
Ask the Locals
Trying to lose weight? Get chatting to the locals to see if they have any advice they can impart. In India, dieters swear by starting and ending each day with a mug of hot water, honey and cinnamon – said to have metabolism boosting qualities – while the Greeks believe that people eat more when they’re tired and advocate the afternoon siesta as a great weight-loss technique. We’re not saying that their tips will necessarily help, but if anything it’s a great way to break the ice.
Be Alcohol Savvy
We hate to be the bearer of bad news – but those empty calories in cocktails can quickly add up without you realising. A 12oz frozen Margarita contains a whopping 675 calories: that’s the equivalent of ordering a Big Mac (490kcal) and Coca-Cola (139kcal) every time you head to the bar. Instead stick to wine, which on average contains 100 calories per glass. Even better, top up that wine with soda water for a longer-lasting spritzer.
Follow us on Twitter for more tips and travel hacks!