Thirty-five days and fifteen hours.
That’s how long my wife and I were lucky enough to spend overseas, in Europe, on our honeymoon.
Greece, Portugal, Spain, the southern coast of France and even Switzerland. Trip of a life-time!
Over a month of drinking at least one alcoholic drink a day, countless baked goods from local bakeries, fancy dinners, street food, decadent local cuisines and gelato…so much gelato.
At least we did plenty of walking, right? Because you do so much walking when sightseeing and getting around without a car or a complete understanding of each cities public transport system.
Unfortunately, there just wasn’t THAT much walking to avoid putting on 6-7 kilograms of body fat in thirty-five days and fifteen hours.
Speaking for myself of course!
So, what now?
The jetlag has worn off.. The infamous ‘post-longhaul-flight-sickness’ has disappeared..
What is the best way to drop body fat, regain your fitness & ‘get back on track’ after a holiday?
Either with yourself, your travel companion(s) or your regular gym/gym buddy before the holiday.
When Matilda and I got back late Friday night.. Over the weekend we sat down and wrote out a few things we wanted to do during our first week back, despite the jetlag and flu symptoms!
3 workouts in the gym, no sugar, no alcohol, catch up on work before the following weekend..
Safe to say, not ALL goals were achieved. We found it difficult to say no to a negroni downstairs at La Stazione (they’re just so good there!) when catching up with family and it didn’t help that Matilda got these incredible ‘welcome home’ chocolates. P.S where were mine?
But it was much better than if we hadn’t set some goals as there were other instances during the week that we said no to such things because we knew we had only just set some goals, in other words, they were front of mind and found it easier to stay on track.
With week one done and dusted it was time for another week of ‘getting back to reality’!
No goals were set however with 3 workouts under our belt in week one, we found it much easier to do those same workouts PLUS an extra workout or walk here and there because memories of our regular routine had come back to us.. The momentum has begun!
In regard to nutrition, we found it very important to eat as if nothing had happened.. Often I see people starving themselves after a holiday to lose those recently gained kilograms BUT it is quite possibly the WORST approach. After 6 to 8 weeks at least!
After 5 weeks of eating carbs for breakfast (usually we eat protein and fats), snacks from the window of a one of a million local bakeries in the area, massive lunches because we just want to try everything on the menu, afternoon snacks because..well..so much walking you know..earned it..and finally dinner and drinks at the ‘must try’ restaurants in every city – your body kind of get used to it!
Starving the body after eating more than normal for a period of time will most likely lead to low energy levels (not good for catching up on work/life), putting your body into fat storage mode (because after a few days of this your body will say ‘hey where are my 5 glorious meals and squid, where’s the squid?) and starving your body of the micronutrients you have not been eating while you’re enjoying croissants and gelato, even if you get the one with blueberries.
Instead, get back to your regular eating routine straight away and in some cases – eat more!
As I said, your body may have become used to the large amount of calories. Another not so fun thing about eating too little calories is snacking! If you don’t eat enough during the day, come afternoon, when you’d usually be full as a boot from eating paella and drinking Paola’s punch by the pool…..you are actually ravenous and would eat your work colleges leftover lunch if they didn’t dislike you enough already for leaving them with so much work the past few weeks.
- Set goals for the first 7 days before the return of work and life takes over.
- Train at least 2-3 times within the first 7 days to ‘rip off the bandaid’.
- Eat like nothing has changed for the first 7 days, no need to be strict or say no to everything.
Do these things and before you know it.. You’ll be back to where you were pre-holiday and perhaps even fitter and stronger!
If you need any help with your routine, food, lower back pain, inability to run (or just pure hatred for it!) then feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in wellness,
Tristan M. Forbes
@tfitpt | email@example.com
P.S For the three at home / on holiday workouts that we did do whilst away, request via the email above and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. They can be done in the space of a small hotel room and each session includes the 3 necessities whilst on holiday – core, HIIT and toning.
P.P.S Here is a video of my daily morning movement / stretching routine whilst traveling. Animal Flow is a great way to stretch, activate and strengthen every muscle in your body within the shortest time possible. Perfect for traveling, especially if you’re limited to a small hotel room!