You went on a holiday and your weight loss plans were thrown completely out of whack. You ate and drank to your hearts content and didn’t use that free gym facility your hotel provided during your stay even though you meant to do it every single day at the start of your holiday. As a result, weeks of holiday cocktails and rich foods left your skinny jeans feeling a little tight and your face has never seemed so full.
This has happened to me so many times in the past few years that I have now started expecting it and work accordingly to get my fitness journey on track. The weight you put on during your holidays tend to stick around for longer than you intended because, quite simply, many of us have trouble getting back into our earlier plans. However, there are some things I swear by to tackle the repercussions of your holiday dietary indulgences. These work wonders for me and I’m sure they will work for you as well.
First up, drink a bottle of water as soon as you wake up and keep sipping water throughout the day. Carry a bottle with you to make sure you are never without water. During your holidays, you are mostly likely to have binged on colas and other sugary beverages that will make you crave these drinks even after your vacation is over. Drinking water, or infused water in case you don’t like chugging plain water – add sliced oranges, lemons, or cucumber slices to water, will ensure that you are hydrated and you won’t reach for a bottle of cola. Low-calorie beverages can boost metabolism and even temper your hunger. Tea (minus the cream and sugar) has zero calories and ups metabolic rate. You can also opt for white tea or green tea.
Take it easy
You might feel compelled to lose weight fast because everybody you meet comments on how you’ve gained weight but you might want to take your time when it comes to losing it. Fast weight loss may leave you feeling tired and hungry. Plus, when you lose weight too quickly it often means you’re losing more muscle and water, and not the unwanted fat. To lose the fat, aim to lose one to two kilos a week and nothing more than that. However, to start with, eliminate desserts that are rich in sugar and fat for at least three days, seven to 10 would be even better. This will help quell cravings while you start to reestablish a taste for naturally sweet foods, such as fruits and starchy vegetables.
Make an eating schedule
Obviously you had no eating schedule during your holidays and you ate as much as you wanted whenever you wanted to but once you are back from your holidays, each day, eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat again every three to five hours. Starting your day with a healthy meal and enjoying evenly spaced meals will maximize your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, and level out your appetite.
Don’t go on crash diets
I know it may be tempting to cut back till you get in shape, but starving yourself completely backfires. Eating too little forces your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories, which means you’re more likely to hang onto body fat. Also starvation diets can cause your body to break down muscle mass for fuel, which also causes a metabolic slow down. Unless you want to wind up thinner but flabbier, eating enough and at regular times is of paramount importance. Also, crash diets rarely work because you are more likely to overeat when you are hungry and deprived.
It is very easy to go overboard during your holidays and eat as much as you want. As a result you might not only come back with a bigger paunch but also a bigger appetite. Start with reducing your portion size. A deck of cards is equal to a serving of meat, a cricket ball is a cup of grains, pasta, fruit or veggies; and one dice is equal to a teaspoon of oil or nut butter. Use smaller plates, bowls and cups to prevent yourself from over serving yourself. If you’re hungry after the first round, go for veggies for your second helping instead of opting for meat and grains. I usually have a big bowl of salad if I still feel hungry after a meal. The fiber content fills me up and keeps me full for longer.
Work it out
Walking, jogging and running are some of the easiest cardio activities to take up because they don’t require much equipment and can be done anywhere. If you’re already an experienced jogger/runner, then amp up your post-holiday workout with this easy yet intense workout that will literally melt away your extra holiday weight. Another great cardio workout is swimming. Swimming burns calories quickly, but it also sculpts and tones your body too. No matter what activity you do to get your heart pumping, try and get in at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, of cardio at least five times a week from the very day you get back from your holiday.