The speedos are packed and the night spots identified, but how can you limit the damage done on holiday, asks Mark Laws?
Holiday season is upon us and there’s a good chance you’ll be jetting off somewhere exotic. You may have been working out and monitoring your diet in preparation and now it’s all about to go up in smoke as you blow that good work quicker than your mate Dave can drink his duty-free bottle of vodka. Calories are king when it comes to damage limitation, so here are a few tips to help you on your hols…
I could suggest that you limit your booze intake slightly, but I am not your parents, or your liver. You have worked hard all year and wild horses will not stop you from letting off steam during your holiday. But can you make some sensible decisions to prevent wasting every shred of your workout efforts? I think you can. As appealing as a nice cold beer/cider may be, you are looking at 140–220 calories per serving. Whereas, clear spirits with a sugar-free mixer are as little 50 calories. Ten drinks per day for a week means around 1,500 less calories consumed…but, if you have gone away for a fortnight or have 20 drinks per day for a week that is almost 1lb of fat right there!
The ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ will probably make up the bulk of your meal choices in most hotels. You can either see this as a personal challenge every single meal, or you can eat as much as you need to feel satisfied. As tempting as it might be to eat until you feel sick three times per day, plus snacks, I would suggest that there may be a happy medium. Make sure you get a decent portion of a protein source and then prioritise salads and vegetables which you can eat in larger volumes if you feel like you aren’t getting your money’s worth. Avoid dressings and sauces, then select fresh fruit from the dessert trolley and you will reduce your calorie intake slightly.
I know, I know, you have trained all year so that you can look good on holiday and you don’t want to spend the whole week in the gym where nobody can see you. Well I am not suggesting you spend too much time working out, but if you know you are going to be over-indulging in more alcohol and food than normal then it would be sensible to find 15-20 minutes per day to do a quick high-intensity blast in your hotel room. If you can find a bronzed senor or senorita to join you then this might not seem as much of a chore as you initially think…
If the prospect of exercising on holiday is something you just cannot bear thinking about, then how about a few lengths of the pool? Swimming is a full-body workout that adds plenty of resistance to every major muscle group. So, for those of you who like to ‘bench to get hench’ or are known to perform ‘curls for the girls’ to get that pump before a night out then swimming might not be such a bad idea after all.
Let’s be honest, by the time your holiday comes to an end you will have eaten your bodyweight in burgers and Knickerbocker Glories and drank your resort dry of lager on a daily basis. You won’t have lifted a finger to exercise and the only time you went in the pool was when you floated up to the pool-bar on your lilo to order more burgers and beers. Things will not have gone to plan and I could have just wasted my time writing this whole thing, but I can only hope that at least you have got plenty of rest. Ok, you don’t burn many calories when resting, but the physical, psychological and emotional responses could be crucial so that when you get home you are ready to hit the ground running, tidy up your diet and smash out some workouts in the gym… once the sunburn has calmed down of course.