How to use daily or weekly Calorie management to lord it up without piling on the pounds.
As I’m writing this, the holiday season is in full swing. In Europe at least, people are flocking to beaches to top up the tan and eat copious amounts of ice cream.
As relaxing as that all sounds, for certain people, the idea of a holiday can be stressful. Does stepping on the scale on your return fill you with dread? You have visible abs that you crash dieted so hard for and you want to flaunt them at the pool. Does the idea of them vanishing during your two-week stay give you the jitters? These may be vacuous concerns, but you’re not alone. This article is going to tell you how to avoid such calamities.
Hang on a minute
Wait a second though. Before I give you a bunch of tips to help you mitigate weight gain on holiday, is it worth it? Think about economics for a second. You want to measure the utility of not gaining weight against the quality of your holiday without any restrictions. If you want to have it large and don’t care about gaining any weight, then there is your answer. You can always deal with it when you get back of course. If you want to limit weight gain, you want to do it without going mental. You also don’t want to drive your friends and family up the wall. If you’re for staying trim, read on, this article is for you.
There are two main strategies to use. Calorie management during the day, and calorie management over the week. Let’s look at both.
Daily Calorie Management
Visiting new countries or regions isn’t complete without sampling the local cuisine. You can learn so much about the traditions and culture of a place through their food. Usually, you might spend the day sightseeing. Perhaps you’re lounging by the pool, or bronzing yourself at the beach. It’s the evening where eating out is the focus. This gives us options. By creating a calorie buffer during the day, we can indulge to a greater degree in the evening.
There are three main ways you can do this:
- Intermittent Fasting. By skipping a meal or two during the day, you’ll free up calories for the evening. A warning here though, don’t randomly start skipping breakfast. You’ll end up getting hungry and reaching for the nearest doughnut. If you’re going to go with this approach, I recommend easing into it in the week before your holiday. Then, try sticking to it for the duration of your stay.
- Low calorie/high protein meals. If you want to stay with your usual eating schedule then try this. Eating high protein, low everything else meals for breakfast and lunch is a solid way to go. Protein shakes, lean meat, low to no-fat dairy are all great options. Add in some veggies for fullness and you’ll save a tonne of Calories over the course of a day.
- Protein Pre-Load. Going into a meal already satiated is a great way to reduce the number of Calories consumed in the meal itself. It might seem counter intuitive, but total calories can end up being lower if you eat protein first. Have a protein shake before your meal, and concentrate on making decent food choices and you’re good to go.
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Weekly Calorie management
A Calorie deficit isn’t always an option during the day. Or you might not always be eating out. In which case, you can use a weekly management strategy rather than daily. You’ve got options if you’ve got a day when eating out isn’t much of a focus. Adding in a very low-Calorie day during the week can bring the average weekly Calories down to a normal amount.
This is something I use often in my own clients. Your week might end up looking something like below.
Notice how to hit a fairly standard Calorie intake of 2,500 the end of the week by adding low days.
Achieve low-Calorie days by sticking to the following types of foods:
- Very lean protein sources like protein shakes, chicken breast, white fish/shellfish.
- Fibrous, non-starchy vegetables
- Low or no Calorie drinks
As a bonus tip, if you’re going to get wasted, stick to these types of foods and get sozzled without any fat gain. Be wary of the drunk munchies though!
On your return
If increased scale weight puts the fear of god into you, it might be an idea to stay away from the scale on your return. For reasons mentioned in laborious detail in this article, you are very likely to gain water weight while you’re away. This weight will drop after 3 days or so of your normal routine. `Staying off the scale for that time will be a good idea if weight gain is likely to give you a heart attack.
There you have it. Some no nonsense tips to avoid weight gain on holiday. Remember, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether you should bother with this at all before you go. But if it’s something you want to try, then the tactics above will stand you in good stead. Have fun!
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