The media really loves to extol the dangers of “holiday weight gain,” in both the seasonal and vacation sense, and when it comes to vacations, there are screeds of glossy magazines in place to tell us how to avoid gaining vacation weight, and how to shift it if we do.
But, is it really that much of an issue?
After all, even if you indulge, you are really only likely to put on a pound or so in a week, so it is not likely that you will require a whole new wardrobe, or that you’ll need to spend hours and hours in the gym each week to get the weight off. Here’s the skinny, so to speak, on vacation weight gain:
What is Normal Weight Gain?
As we said before, unless you eat morning, noon, and night, you will probably only gain around a pound in a week, and that may very well be water weight! So, if you overindulge a little it’s not the end of the world! It shouldn’t take you long to get back to your usual weight when you return home, either. If you return to your normal eating habits and exercise regime it should take no more than a few weeks for your body to balance itself once more.
Water Retention Woes
If you find that you always bloat/swell rapidly when you’re on vacation it is very possible that you could be suffering from water retention. Water retention can be caused by a number of things, but the most obvious is the sudden change in temperature which causes your body to hold back as much water as it can to keep the balance of your body. Another cause of water retention, however, is what you eat; if your sodium or carbohydrate intake increases on vacation this can cause increased water retention, especially if you cut your intake before you go.
The important thing about water retention, in any case, is that despite how irritating and uncomfortable it can be it is, firstly, temporary, and secondly, possible to mitigate.
Find a Healthy Balance
If you want to avoid water retention and weight gain rather than dealing with them after vacation, however, you can. The first step is to avoid a restrictive or “cull” diet before you go; eat well, eat healthy, but don’t cut major food groups like carbs as this will only bite you when you start eating them again.
Secondly, eat sensibly when you’re on vacation. Make sure you eat at times you usually would, and keep your intake of fruit, veg, and protein at the right levels. This way you won’t have to feel guilty when you indulge.
Thirdly, you should make sure that you up your water intake to compensate for the increased temperatures you will be experiencing. You should also exercise as and when you can, making sure to drink as you go.
If you keep all this in mind you should mitigate the worst of the vacation weight gain and water retention, but you might also experience benefits to your skin and hair.