Is your vacation “Worth the Weight”?


Is Holiday Weight Gain (HWG) an unavoidable phenomenon?

Maybe returning home with extra baggage around your middle, is just one of those things we need to experience in order to enjoy a good holiday. I actually know people that use the increased number of notches on their belt as an indication of how much they enjoyed their holiday!

We all know that once we step away from our homes, our routine and our refrigerators, our ability to eat right and get the same level of exercise can be tricky. Most of us are resigned to thinking that it is just impossible to eat well, exercise and still enjoy our holiday and as a result, we often just give up and expect to return home several kilos heavier. But this does not have to be the case.

Here are my top ten tips for you to enjoy your holiday, whilst minimizing the impact to your waistline.

  1. Eat often. With so much to see and do, we sometimes forget to eat. Leaving large gaps between meals will force your metabolism to slow down and make your body store fat. Try and eat five to six times a day, or at least every three to four hours.
  2. Move more. Choose activities that require you to use your legs and expend the calories you eat. Burn some rubber on your flip flops and get out and about to see what your destination has to offer! Generally when we are on holiday, we tend to move a lot more than we would during a normal day at work. With these extra calories burned, sneaking a beer or two after a hard days sightseeing, can be possible without gaining weight.
  3. Stay away from processed foods. If you look at the label and even when it is written in English, you still don’t understand what it is, yet alone be able to pronounce it, try to avoid it. Stick to meals consisting of whole foods. After all, the fresh aromatic flavors of freshly cooked foods will be what you remember about your holiday. Not the snack from a vending machine.
  4. Try not to eat carbohydrate rich foods alone. Adding a little protein and fat will slow down the absorption of the meal and provide a longer release of energy. Carbohydrates can cause spikes of blood sugar which makes the body release insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for storing body fat.
  5. Watch the soda and juices. Sightseeing can be thirsty work! Make sure you always have plenty of filtered water with you to stay hydrated. Avoid soda or fruit juices that will add another 100 calories each glass!
  6. Cut the carbs at dinner. Avoid eating rice, noodles, breads, potato and any other carbohydrate rich foods at dinner time. Your body can only burn fat when 80% of your carbohydrate stores are burned. Try choosing meals with lots of fresh veggies (except root veges) and easily digested proteins such as chicken, fish or seafood.
  7. When in Asian countries, avoid meals containing MSG. Try finding out what the locals call MSG and request none to be added when ordering your meal. In the Philippines MSG is referred to as Vetsin. Monosodium Glutamate is a commonly used flavor enhancer that can cause nausea and headaches. Many people can be sensitive to MSG and this is not something you want to discover while on holiday!
  8. Eat up big at breakfast! After a long sleep, it’s important to refuel the body. A big feed at breakfast will give you the energy to get your day started.
  9. Buy a “Fit Band”.A Fit Band can fit in the side pocket of your suitcase and there

    Fit Bands. Approx. $20ea

    are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with them. Learn a few basic exercises and start or end the day with 15 minutes of exercise. In my next post I will go through a few basic exercises.

  10. Get some sleep. Without at least six hours of quality sleep a night, your body will release cortisol. Cortisol in normal levels helps support many bodily functions. But in high levels it can impair digestion, metabolism and mental function. This can leave us feeling stressed and weakens the immune system making us more susceptible to picking up any bugs we encounter.

So go and enjoy your vacation. Experience the amazing flavors and aromas unique to each country you visit and see the sights you traveled to see.

With just a little preparation and thought there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your holiday and still return home without the extra baggage in your trunk!

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5 thoughts on “Is your vacation “Worth the Weight”?

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