Worried about gaining weight this summer? Here are 5 hacks to avoid holiday weight gain as a women over forty.
We’ve spoken to plenty of women over forty who have holidays coming up this summer. A running theme is concerns around gaining weight while away from routine, and how to avoid holiday weight gain. Previous experiences have seen some of our clients gain half a stone, or even more, while on holiday… which can be really frustrating!
This is especially worrying if you’ve been making good progress towards your goals… and you end up undoing all your hard work in just a few weeks. Sometimes, this can lead to giving up completely… and continuing to gain weight for the rest of the year and starting again in January!
When your weight is creeping up every month, it can start to have a huge impact. Many women in this situation are familiar with dressing to cover up ‘problem areas,’ rather than wearing what they like.
When you’re dreading going on holiday, or making excuses not to go to the beach, because of your weight, you can start to not have fun while away. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Set an achievable goal
It’s important to set achievable goals when on holiday, and this doesn’t have to be related to weight loss!
Often, the main goal we recommend when on holiday is to maintain your weight. This goal is perfectly achievable while away, and it means you’re not placing too much emphasis on what you’re eating.
This is much more motivating than expecting to lose weight, which is ultimately unrealistic! It also means you can still have fun and enjoy a few indulgences, while hitting your goals.
Decipher the scales
It’s very normal to come back from a holiday with a few extra pounds on your scale. This is common EVEN if you feel like you’ve been eating healthily!
This can be demoralising, and sometimes can lead to giving up altogether.
In reality, weight gain doesn’t mean fat gain! A few factors can lead to water retention, including increased salt intake and carb intake while on holiday. Not to mention, airline travel can easily affect how you hold onto water. It’s important to take this into account when arriving back from holiday, as you may gain temporary 3-5lbs.
This usually comes off within a week or two, so make sure to manage your expectations when you first arrive back.
While you can’t out-exercise the wrong diet, it does help minimise the damage! There are a few things you can do while on holiday to avoid holiday weight gain, stay active and keep feeling fit.
Try packing a resistance band. This takes up no room and weighs next to nothing! We give members of our Fit Over 40 program quick holiday workouts they can do with this and their body weight, which can add up to a lot!
Additionally, try to avoid lounging around all day, every day. Do some fun activities and spend less time eating and drinking… including getting your step count up! This will burn a few extra calories and mean you’re more likely to maintain your weight.
Staying active doesn’t mean anything goes
Calories still count (whether you count them or not)! Staying active doesn’t mean you can ignore your food intake.
One workout is roughly 300-400 calories burned. That’s still less calories burned than…
- 2 large glasses of wine or 2 pints
- 2 slices of dominos pizza
- 1 dessert at most restaurant
- 1 portion of triple fried chips
It’s important to remember you can’t out-exercise the wrong diet!
We recommend you enjoy yourself in moderation. Stick to the strategy of staying healthy 2/3 of the time. For example, have a healthy breakfast and lunch and let yourself run free with your evening meal!
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth doing
All or nothing thinking can lead to ‘sod it’ moments… which are never a good thing!
Remember, there’s always a better choice and a worse choice available. Simply, try to be a little bit better than previous holidays.
Simple swaps can help to avoid holiday weight gain, AND stop you feeling like you’re missing out. You don’t need to go all-out to still make progress! For example, have a single slimline G&T over large glass wine, or share your starters/desserts – everything counts!
If you’re interested in finding a long-term, sustainable diet designed for women over 40, you can find out more about working with us here!