How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Feb 3, 01:25 PM in and . No comments.

Ever come back from holidays and dread getting on the scales? Do you find that going on holidays sets your weight loss plan back quite a bit? Apparently this time of year is when the largest number of people in the UK book their holidays. Holidays can be a minefield for those trying to lose weight.

Many people who are trying to lose weight find they often “slip” or “lapse” during holidays. This is often due to over indulgence in food and/or alcohol and being less active than usual. Some people however, actually lose weight on holiday for example if they are much more active than usual.

Before you begin your holiday it is a good idea to think about whether you are likely to gain weight. If so, then it may help to plan ahead how you could minimise weight gain whilst still enjoying your holiday.

It may be helpful to consider some reasons people eat and drink more on holidays.

  • Being tempted by new foods
  • Meal times are different to those at home.
  • Wanting to get your “moneys worth” (especially on a full board or all inclusive type holiday)
  • The country you are visiting does not have the same food products (e.g. diet types) you eat at home.
  • Dining with others who persuade you to eat and drink more.
  • Seeing holidays as a time to “let go” and not restrict your eating habits.

How to help

  • Be realistic! Aiming for weight maintenance or a small weight gain may be more realistic than trying to actually lose weight.
  • Plan to include extra activities such as walks, swimming and dancing.
  • Snack on fruit between meals if hungry.
  • When eating out have small portions of higher fat foods and fill up on vegetables, Consider sharing dishes with others.
  • Stick to low calorie drinks where possible.
  • Try to be more aware of your hunger levels and eat until you feel comfortably full rather than overfull.
  • Do the best you can with the foods available. Use smaller portions if you can’t find healthier options.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so talk to your companions beforehand. Ask them not to persuade you to eat and drink more.
  • Don’t deny yourself treats, e.g. ice cream but decide beforehand how many you will have (e.g no more than one a day)
  • Plan some healthy meals for when you get back so you are not tempted to continue.

Remember it is a lot easier to put on weight than it is to lose it.

Aim to minimise weight gain whilst enjoying your holiday.

Tags: Holidays, Weight Loss

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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