Beat The Holiday Bulge!

Fiona Kirk_Fat in the City_HeaderRecognise this very frustrating scenario? You have been super-disciplined for a few weeks or longer , you have lost weight, you are looking and feeling good, you are ready to bare all on the beach and determined to enjoy every single minute of your well-deserved break. But, somehow or other all that fun seems to result in the pounds creeping back on and your return home sees you having to find yet more of that iron discipline. Here are a few tricks that can really help while you are on holiday:

Bin the Starch: If you do nothing else, this is the one that is most likely to keep your waistline feeling trim throughout your holiday. The heat is enough to make you bloat a little and when you add starch it may be a real struggle to slip into your shortest shorts of your skin tight sheath dress when you go out in the evening. If you manage to say no to the bread, pasta, pizza, cones and wafers most of the time you can enjoy the odd ice cream sundae and mile-high cocktail guilt-free.

Big up on fat busting fats: essential fats (particularly Omega 3s) fill you up, keep cravings for sugary foods and drinks at bay and boost the production of enzymes which help transport stored fat into our energy factories to be burned as fuel. Have local fresh eggs for breakfast, replace salty snacks with fresh nuts which are abundant in hot countries, gorge on delicious, filling avocados stuffed with local fish and drizzle nut and seed oils over salads.

holiday buffetHave chilled soups for starters: soup keeps the stomach wall stretched for longer than solid foods, even when water is taken alongside so our appetite is dulled and we eat less during the rest of a meal (studies show that it can be up to 200kcals less!) Most hot countries pride themselves on their regional soup specialities; Gazpacho, Ajo Blanco, Vichyssoise etc so be adventurous, give them a try and feel smug that you haven’t overdone the calories!

Consider taking water tablets: Direct exposure to the sun over a number of hours in a day causes water retention as the body holds water in the cells to prevent dehydration and should you have too much exposure and suffer from sunburn, the situation worsens. Whilst it is vital that you drink more water than usual throughout the day when in a hot climate (at least 1.5 litres), you may also wish to consider taking water tablets during your holiday to assist in the release of retained water and avoid feeling and looking bloated. Whilst water tablets contain natural products, they can interfere with the effect of certain medications so check this out with your GP. Also, if you are pregnant, breast feeding or under 16 years of age, don’t think about it, just ensure you stay hydrated. And, stop taking them when you return home.

And, if you haven’t left it too late: do a 3 day cleanse before you go to give your system a metabolic boost so it can better cope with a bit of indulgence on holiday: first thing in the morning and every few hours thereafter have a mug of hot water with ginger and lemon (it’s also great chilled), have fruit on its own (sliced/diced/smoothied) until lunchtime, a bowl of meat, fish, bean or lentil soup for lunch, crunch on raw vegetables in the afternoon if you are having hunger pangs or experiencing energy dips, have a stir fry with plenty of vegetables and some protein (poultry, game, lean red meat, fish, shellfish, tofu) or a big mixed salad (also with a good helping of protein) for dinner and a mug of chicken bouillon or miso soup before bed.

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About Fiona Kirk

When it comes to healthy eating, dieting and finding a route that works, confusion reigns! Nutritionist and best selling author Fiona Kirk’s ability to cut through the ‘noise’ that is being hurled at us from all sides, enables us to make a few small changes that can reap big rewards in minimum time. By writing articles for the press, books (4 to date), giving talks, blogging and contributing to numerous diet and health websites, Fiona has discovered that her somewhat cynical (but always honest) take on some of the nonsense being touted has struck a chord with her ‘followers’ - putting them back in the driving seat of their diet and long term health. After all, she knows good nutrition... and isn't afraid to talk about it! For more from Fiona, check out
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