Top Tips for Avoiding Weight-Gain on Holiday

I gained just 1lb after 2 weeks of Holiday and a wedding. I recorded my top Tips for me and you

I drove from the North East of France to the South West of France over a 2 week holiday including friend’s wedding celebrations on 2 of the days. On previous holiday, I always gained weight, for example on a 5 day New York trip, I gained 7lbs and it was a hard slog to take it off so it wasn’t ‘fluid’.  Therefore I expected the France trip and especially the wedding to be a challenge. I was astonished and delighted to find on my return that I gained only 1lb having enjoyed my bread, wine, cheese and pastries.

I wrote this article after my weigh-in on day 1 of my return and grabbed my lap-top to capture some tips for myself in the future and I shared them with clients

1. I took an airtight  jar of nuts/seeds/dried berries and on holiday I added fresh natural probiotic yoghurt and fresh fruit. I knew from experience that if I started early with the continental breakfast (cheese and bread) and the croissants that I would slide downhill fast. I slipped towards the end of the holiday but that is ok, afterall it is a holiday. Another benefit was that the fibre kept my bowel in good health.

2. There was no TV for me because I hate listening to people rabbiting away at a speed that I cannot understand!. I rarely sat down and that translated into 1 to 2 hours per day of more activity.

3. I started most mornings with a light jog or a walk to explore the town/village and to wander around the markets. I jogged further than I expected as the area was new and interesting. Early morning is more interesting as French towns and villages are most active early and become dead quiet  in the afternoon. I am always less hungry after exercise and of course the exercise raised my calorie burn rate for my breakfast.

4. We took our bikes and we cycled to explore the area further on some of the days. Bike hire was available everywhere and the French have developed their green velo-routes, similar to our WestPort and Waterford cycle paths. You see so much more by bike and can enjoy a bigger lunch to fuel your return journey. Having a glass of wine at lunch was really invigorating for the return trip home.

5. I noticed that the French serve the correct portion sizes – no grande latte’s, no supersizes, no chips with spuds and mashed buttery root vegetables. They know how to cook fish and meats without smothering them in sauce. My only complaint was that the vegetable content was low despite local markets supplying plentiful supplies. Also you have to eat at specific time’s 12noon-2pm lunch and 7.00- 09.30pm dinner or you don’t eat as the restaurant were shut. The French like a routine unlike the Americans who seemed to invent the 24/7 approach to everything.  Eating regularly and not too late at night is really helpful for weight loss and maintenance.

6. My Top Tip is to go self-catering for 1 of your holiday weeks. The food markets are truly amazing and you will save money. Do it the second week and try to copy the lovely French recipes you have sampled in the first week.

7. In Burgundy they served small 120ml to 150ml wine and it was not cheap. I savoured it slowly in a very relaxed environment, so no blood sugar swings and fat and sugar cravings the following day. There is a cafe rather than pub culture and everything seemed slower, even the music.

8. The wedding lasted 2 days. I danced until 4am the day of the wedding. We walked and cycled the second day to see more of the brides home town. It was so hot, the clothes stuck to our bodies and we were too hot to eat too much so that really sorted the potential wedding lbs.

So note to self, please Joan remember these tips for future trips. If it all goes pear-shaped (literally), don’t worry, you can work on it when you get back. Enjoy your Holiday.

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