The sun will be shining, the sangria will be flowing and you are finally getting away for that long awaited sun holiday.
You have trained intensely for the last few months and/or tightened up your diet over the last few weeks so that you fit into that new bikini or feel confident walking around shirtless on the beach.
However, at the back of your mind you have this nagging voice of ‘will I just undo all my hard work when I’m away for the week?
To be honest, I’ve felt like that in the lead up to several holidays.
I would train so hard and diet so strictly only to feel I had undone all my hard work after a week of beer, desserts and lazing on a beach.
If you want the gods honest truth, you’re probably going to feel a little flabbier when you come back from holidays. Excess alcohol, sugar and salt will make you feel like that; but that would happen if you were at home too. Generally if we over indulge at home, most of us manage to maintain a balance by working out when we’ve eaten or drank in excess.
Here are some of my ‘go to’ tips when it comes to minimising damage while you’re away on holiday.
1. Walk everywhere
This is the low hanging fruit that nearly everybody can hit. Instead of getting a taxi to the beach, walk there. Instead of grabbing a cab to dinner, stretch your legs and take a stroll. If you’re wearing high heels, just pop them in your bag for dinner and walk in flats.
Not only is walking the ultimate form of low intensity steady state cardio, it’ll also save you some money and burn extra calories that you can later spend on that extra dessert if you so choose.
2. 80:20 food rule
This is my personal philosophy any time I go on holiday. I’ve actually gone to both ends of the extreme spectrum with this. One holiday, I went off the rails completely and eat and drank whatever I wanted. It took my gut nearly a week to recover from that alone!
I also went on the other end and stayed 100 % on my normal diet and training regimen while I was on holiday (that was no fun by the way).
However, a few years ago, I found the sweet spot to be somewhere in between the two. That’s why I currently apply the 80:20 rule.
80% of my diet is pretty decent on holiday. I try and eat a good breakfast (porridge normally), a healthy lunch (some salad and steak or chicken) and then I have whatever I want for dinner every single night.
Personally, I quite like healthier dinner options; so I’ll always order fish, baked potatoes or rice and vegetables but then I’ll have a few desserts (I have a terrible sweet tooth) or a few beers or cocktails afterwards. That’s the 20% of my diet on holiday.
Not only do you feel so much better doing this, but you tend to enjoy the ‘free meals’ so much more than if you just ate ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes, I have done this).
That ties in perfectly with my next tip, which is to add some short high intensity workouts.
3. Hotel HIITS
This one really depends on the type of person you are. If you enjoy working out and you feel better doing some form of exercise on holiday, then this is for you. If you prefer to rest on holiday, then thats cool too, just increase your walking or other physical activities (FYI sex counts as cardio too).
Bodyweight HIIT workouts are a great option while you are away. You can do them in your hotel room and they only take about 20 minutes.
Personally, I do them first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up. I normally drink a cup of coffee and do it in my hotel room or if there are others sleeping, I find a quiet spot in the hotel, outside or on the beach (if its nearby) and do it there.
If you’re applying the 80:20 rule above, you’ll feel great burning through any extra calories you’ve consumed the night before too.
There’s a sample bodyweight HIIT workout to try below and there are loads more on my YouTube Channel Brian Keane Fitness.
4. Enjoy and realise you wont get fat in a week!
This is probably the single most important tip.
Understand that you wont undo six months worth of progress in a single week. It just doesn’t happen!
You may not feel as lean, as sharp or as fit after a holiday, but after a week of your regular routine, you will be back to normal so don’t press the panic button just yet.
Remember, you didn’t build all that muscle or lose all the fat in a week; you wont lose all your progress in a week either! With that, enjoy your holiday and be sure to check out my Instagram page for more workout ideas to try.
Want to look your best on holiday?
If you’re wondering how to look your absolute best for a holiday by manipulating your training, diet and water, be sure to check out my podcast episode 74 ‘How To Peak For A Holiday, Festival or Event’