Undoing the Holiday Damage

Peter GaffneyBlog, Health & Wellbeing

Holiday Eating Blog

My family and I have just returned from a 10 day all-inclusive holiday in Italy for Passover.

It was a great break away from everything and I got to relax, unwind and spend a lot of time with my wife and kids.

However…

When I left, my weight was 81.8kg and when I got back it was 85kg.

How did this happen and what happens next?

It is quite simply down to having breakfast, lunch and dinner included with our stay, as well as drinking more alcohol than usual with meals. The meals were far bigger portions than I’d normally cook in London and I drank 2 glasses of wine with lunch and 2 glasses of wine with dinner most days.  In a nutshell, I went from being very active in London to being relatively sedentary (3 workouts of 30 min runs and 10 min body weight circuits in 10 days) and my calories doubled. For instance, in London I generally float around 2600kcal per day during the week and slightly more on the weekends, but in Italy I was probably consuming about 4400kcal each day.

Holiday Eating Blog 2

I’m not shocked or surprised by what the scales show. In fact, I look at the new weight of 85kg as a benchmark and have challenged myself to see how quickly I can get back to under my pre-holiday weight. In my mind I have set myself the same amount of time that I was away to lose the weight.

So that’s 10 days to drop 3.3kg.

Is this doable? Absolutely.

“Holidays are the perfect time to cut loose, but you should always keep your long-term health goals in mind.”

Everyone needs to find different tactics to deploy when taking a break from their regular routines. For some people it is quite easy to draw a line under the holiday eating habits and start back on a healthy routine once they return home. If you are lucky enough to have this style of approach, then it’s easy to not feel as bothered about the slip-ups now and again. Some people may find it easier to simply be strict with what they eat while on holiday, but this can often be challenging when you want to enjoy yourself and reap the rewards of keeping your calories down throughout the rest of the year.

The important thing to keep in mind is that while holidays are the perfect time to cut loose, you should always keep your long-term health goals in mind. This is especially important for when you get back into your regular routine; you don’t want to be stuck in the holiday mentality when you should be taking care of your body.

So, if you find it difficult to come back to eating well after a holiday, what can be done?

Here are my 3 best tips to get back on it post -holiday:

1. Have an online food order ready to go

We landed at Stanstead Airport at 10am on the first day back. By 2pm, our supermarket had delivered the shopping. The food we ordered was intended to be as healthy and as clean as possible to get the whole family back on track ASAP. Pre-ordering a healthy food shop for your first week back is a great way to have no excuses not to eat healthily.

2. Overload your workouts on your return

During a regular week I like to train 4 out of 7 days, however I always try and maximise the first week back after a holiday. That means 6 out of 7 days (resting on Saturday) will be completed. Give the body that shock it needs to get moving and sweating again. Yes, it will hurt, but the adaptations will be fast and your fitness levels should be back to your pre-holiday levels after the week is over. This will also make it easier to return your ‘Calories In vs. Calories Out’ ratio to normal.

Read one of our most recent blog posts to find out more about this principle.

3. Say no to two or three different food groups for the first week back

This is an easy one for me to follow. Everyone likes different treats on holiday. For me it is having more alcohol with meals and indulging in fried foods. On the first week back from holiday, I make sure that these habits go straight away. For me it’s no alcohol at all for first 7 days (longer if you can do it) and nothing fried for the first week back. Pick some of the eating habits or cravings you have during a holiday and make sure to swap them for something healthier during your first week back. This will help you to settle back into a balanced diet far quicker.


The steps above are what I like to implement to drop the weight relatively quickly after a blowout style holiday.

Remember the name of the game when it comes to a holiday: Enjoy yourself (which also means enjoy your food), but once you are back you should draw a very distinctive line under the cheat meals and indulgences, re-calibrate your exercise routine and eating habits and work hard to get back to where you were.

Wishing you success in health & fitness,

Pete

Peter Gaffney

Peter has had fitness running through his veins his whole life. Having grown up in sunny Australia, sport was instilled from a very young age. Now living and owning a personal training company in London Peter combines his love of fitness with his proven methods to get client results every time.

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Peter has had fitness running through his veins his whole life. Having grown up in sunny Australia, sport was instilled from a very young age. Now living and owning a personal training company in London Peter combines his love of fitness with his proven methods to get client results every time.