How To Stay Lean On Holiday
It’s that time of year again; everyone’s off to the beaches, seeking sun, food and sex. At least that’s what I’m currently doing, so, what better time to write about staying lean whilst on holiday?
Also, just to clarify, whenever I say “stay lean”, this obviously applies to “not gaining too much fat”, as I know that’s the goal for many of you reading this. It’s pretty much the same thing – the same techniques apply.
There’s nothing impressive about losing a load of weight for a particular occasion, (be it a wedding, photoshoot, or holiday), and then gaining it all back (and more) within a week or two.
It all starts with your mindset. If you’ve been stressed at work, or with the family, or whatever, and go into this holiday with the mindset of “screw it, I’m going to eat like a pig and drink like a fish”, then needless to say, it’s not going to end well.
Again, this is where the whole “fitness is a lifestyle” thing is very true. The problem is that nobody really defines what this lifestyle really is, and what it takes to achieve it. OR, they try to imply that restrictive diets are the only way to go, when it’s actually not the case at all.
Buy the book to learn how to lose weight and love life at the same time. Not many people manage to achieve this.
But if you go into your holiday thinking that this is your only chance to have fun all year, and you’re going to completely “go for it”, then of course you will blow up. It’s not pretty. I’ve made the mistake more than once 🙂
So, how do we still manage to enjoy our holidays whilst staying lean? Is it possible?
The way I personally approach it, is that having fun with your friends and family simply doesn’t require pizza and ice cream. It literally doesn’t at all.
Beer and wine? Yes, at least for most people.
I think having a few drinks tends to enhance social experiences, as long as you don’t take it too far. Don’t take it too far, and you won’t gain weight.
Same thing with food. If you’re having an ice cream every day, you’re literally ingesting 500 ish calories that serve no purpose. They don’t fill you up at all.
I’m currently in Greece, and there’s loads of great tasting foods here that also fill you up. They serve a purpose – chicken souvlaki, moussaka, beef stifado, gyros etc.
In my opinion, these foods taste almost as good as ice cream, but have far more benefits other than the taste. Ice cream provides zero benefits, outside of the taste.
The trade-off therefore becomes: Temporarily excited taste buds vs lean and good-looking. Short-term vs long-term happiness. Choose wisely 😉
To Train, Or Not To Train?
Many people will do some cardio on holiday, and I have to say, it will allow you to enjoy a few more drinks and have a great time, a little more freedom etc. It raises the maintenance caloric bar.
This is a great plan in theory, if you can stick to it. But, realistically, I think that for most people on holiday, you may be better off avoiding training altogether – giving your mind and body a complete break.
Again though, relaxing and having a break doesn’t require pizza and ice creams every day. I think you’re pretty much begging to gain weight if you do this.
Overall, I don’t think training is necessary.
I do think that having the right mindset with food is 100% necessary.
Eat good food, relax with friends/family, and have a great time. But make sure the food actually contributes something, as opposed to detracting from your health/appearance.
You can essentially have the best of both worlds with this strategy – nice food, some beer and wine, and of course, sun, sex and fun, without getting fat.
Eat in the evening; the most sociable time of the day, and don’t eat much during the daytime.
Personally, this mindset allows me to hover at around 8-9% body fat. As always, maintenance is easier than progression, as long as you have the right approach.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: fitness is indeed a lifestyle. The more freedom you have, the more sustainable your physique will be. However, some rules will apply, especially when on holiday.
My only rule, personally, is this:
- Stay away from ridiculously caloric foods that offer absolutely nothing.
There you go – it’s not that difficult, honestly. You will still have a great time without gaining fat unnecessarily – best of both worlds!
Now I’m off to enjoy the food, fun, sun and sex 🙂 You can do the same.