Friday, 28 August 2015

Enjoy Your Holiday Without Packing On The Pounds!

Hi everyone and welcome to my first post,

As my first one I was contemplating what you might want to talk about, but with it being August and having just returned from Ibiza/ planning a trip to Dominican Republic I thought it would be a great time to talk about holidays.

If you know me you know there are two things in life I love: One is working out, the second is a good old holiday. I spend most of my time either in a gym or on a sun lounger.. unfortunately for me the two of them don't work very well together. 
Now it's not that I don't love the rain and clouds of North London, but I always seem find myself planning a new sunshine break as soon as I return from the last. For many of you like me, this is the way we manage to survive life in the UK - by hatching our next escape plan!

This is all good and well, apart from the fact that it usually means me sitting my arse for 12 hours a day while scoffing crisps and wine down my gob at record breaking speeds. With no gym in site, and plenty of spare time to sit and think about what food to eat next, which ice lolly I fancy, what coma inducing restaurant to try tonight....  An added 500 calories a day will leave you 2 pounds heavier after two weeks, which means that all too many of us come back from holidays, relaxed, refreshed and rounder!

Not necessarily. This post is here to show that you CAN have both. We can holiday without returning with so much weight it's a risk to Easyjet Health and Safety Procedures... It just takes a little bit more discipline! 

Tropical Salad, Formentara Spain
In June this year I went to Turkey (the home of meat and Halloumi) closely followed by Miami and Ibiza (the lands of pool parties, clubs)... so basically fitness wise, this could have been a massive disaster.

This year I decided not to let holidays beat me. Miami is one destination that massively inspired me, those 92.4km's of land are filled to the brim with pro body-builders, fitness models and people who just generally look so good they make you want to crawl into a cave and hide.

Kalkan Turkey post-back workout 

Squat Holding in Miami
Marina Botafoch, Ibiza

Post Glute Workout Miami

DIET

In all three holidays I was lucky enough to stay in rented villas which gave us the opportunity to cook our own food rather than eat out. With ovens and BBQ's on hand in both this meant 90% of our meals were grilled, which again is a healthier alternative than fried fatty foods often found in restaurants, or overindulging at an all inclusive buffet.
In Miami for example on the first day we went to Costco and loaded up on the necessities e.g. chicken, fish, fruit, and of course a cheeky bottle of vodka.
Every morning I ate oats and fresh fruit, every lunch and dinner we grilled, everything from chicken to salmon and shrimp with veg and rice. We used seasonings on our meat to avoid the need to smother our food in sauces and every single meal was DELICIOUS.
As a group we ate out a couple of times, including a steakhouse called Prime 112 in Downtown Miami. Even then I like to be optimistic about what I ate. There was plenty of protein in my steak, some goodness in my spinach and broccoli (although I'm pretty sure they were fried in garlic) - the only thing I can't excuse was the Macaroni and cheese (bad bad bad!)
My point is - make a choice that has some sense in it, try get protein and veg where possible and enjoy the rest as a cheat meal! In Ibiza and Turkey however, I ate out nearly every evening but I always tried to choose lots of seafood, fish, steak, chicken, rice and salads. In Turkey specifically the majority of my meals out were grilled too.
Once again being by the sea helped - I chose fresh fish where possible and made sure I had a big beneficial breakfast every day of fruit and oats.
Salmon and Spinach Tortellini, Ibiza

Poolside Snacks Miami

Home-cooked Israeli Breakfast In Miami

Sushi Samba Miami 
Seabass & Prawns, Sade, Kalkan Turkey

HOLIDAY DIET TIPS: 

  • Cook for yourself where possible
  • Don't over-indulge if you are at an all inclusive
  • When eating out avoid anything fried or heavy in sauce
  • Pick high in protein low in fat meals where possible
  • Go easy on the wine with dinner - every glass of wine is equal to a donut! 
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated - pop lemon in there to speed up metabolism
  • Avoid snacking on crisps by the pool - opt for fresh fruit instead
  • If you're near the sea take advantage of the fresh fish to get your Omega 3's in 
  • Try not to lose your routine from home - get a good breakfast in, solid lunch and solid dinner, this stops you snacking on junk 
  • When drinking opt for a healthier option e.g. vodka soda & lime instead of a cocktail 
  • When out to eat AVOID filling yourself with the complimentary white bread before your starter
  • Opt for restaurants you know won't be calorific e.g a Sushi restaurants or classic Mediterranean food 

EXERCISE

Now here's where the hard work really starts. I understand it goes against human instinct to exercise on holiday, but everyone should understand the key training principle of reversibility. To summarise no matter how much hard work you put in, if you stop training all your good efforts will eventually reverse. Even if you work out once or twice on holiday it's better than nothing. If you're lucky you may have a gym in your hotel - USE IT.
If not there are plenty of exercises you don't need a single piece of equipment for - remember your body is the best weight you can use.

If I had to advise people to buy two items to take away with them it would be 1) a skipping rope and 2) a resistant band.
These two simple items take up 0 space in your case and can give you all the cardiovascular and strength training you need - without a gym in sight!
Also - get exercise where and when you can on holiday, walk to dinner at night instead of getting a taxi, swim in the pool, paddle board in the sea, buy a body board, walk the stairs instead of a lift - little things make a BIG difference!

GREAT POOLSIDE EXERCISES

  • Squat Hold 
  • Plank Hold 
  • Sit Ups 
  • Crunches
  • Box Jumps 
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Scissors
  • Press Ups 
  • Star Jumps 
  • Squat Shuffles 
  • Burpees
  • Walking Lunges
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Short Sharp Sprints
Set a timer on your phone - do 1 minute sets and aim for 20 rounds - however remember even 10 mins of hard work a day is better than nothing. 
Plank Hold, Turkey

Freezeframe of Squat Jumps, Turkey 
Paddle Boarding, Miami Beach

Poolside Workout, Miami 

This article isn't meant to restrict your fun, do not feel guilty to go away and try new foods! Have that dessert, enjoy the culture, but try not to sabotage yourself when you go away! A holiday should be a treat - not a punishment for when you get home. 

For those of you who have a holiday planned or coming up soon, I hope this helps, for the rest of you - you have a year to adjust to the idea of a healthy holiday, ready, set - GO! 

Lots of love,

Ciara 








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