How to Avoid Weight Gain While on Holiday

Paradox – you diet and train hard to unveil the coveted “beach body”, only to blitz your body with unfamiliar calories and alcohol, you spend most of the week as a bloated mess, cursing yourself for putting your body through weeks of rigor for no reward. Worse still, worried that you’ve reversed all that hard work.

Can you avoid fat gain on holiday? Of course you can, here’s what to do: before you leave, buy 100 tupperware containers, pre-cook all your meals for th….I’m kidding. It’s one thing avoiding these sun-kissed pitfalls, its another trying to do it while still enjoying yourself and actually having a holiday.


First, a confession. Below I will discuss several strategies that can be used and that I have used in the past to ensure that you stay looking your best while on holiday, however, during my recent holiday I did none of these, I reason that I watch my food intake and train hard year round, a week off here and there spent enjoying sun and frivolities is going to do me no harm, in fact, it didn’t. What’s more, the week off gave me new drive and focus once I got back.


So, although it can be done, my honest advice is sometimes to just let go, forget that you probably shouldn’t have a fourth Magnum and a seventh pint and just enjoy yourself.


That wasn’t a free pass to eat what you like then blame me for consequences, training and dietary success is about the AVERAGE OF YOUR EFFORTS, no crash diet or short term blitz will mimic the effects of consistent effort and dedication. 


Anyway, apologies for the side track and brief rant…down to business.


So, let’s look at the variables:

Access to the food you normally eat: Unlikely

Access to a gym (that is any good): Unlikely

Chance of eating out: High

Chance of alcohol consumption: High


As you can see, the odds are heavily stacked against you, with temptation at every turn you need a few stead-fast strategies to deal with anticipated problems.


Problem 1: Food


Propane’s solution:

Food abroad tends to be dire, even a ham sandwich is lathered in mayonnaise and lashings of butter.

Put simply, if you get peckish you have little option but to pick sugary indulgences and for most of us, “I eat one doughnut” tends not to be the end of the story. So, we need a reliable, versatile food that won’t go rancid, is portable and will survive a plane journey.

You guessed it, your new best friend – Whey protein. You can pick up tubs for as little as £20 and when you consider the money you’ll be saving from supping on a shake during the day rather than raiding the local supermarket for all the pastry you can carry, it saves your wallet as well as your waistline. Quick tip – use bottled water to mix it with as the local water can make your tum tum hurt, oh and you’ll need to pick up a shaker if you haven’t already got one.


Problem 2: No gym


Propane’s solution:

There are two approaches here, one is to work around the week by simply allowing yourself a week off from training – it’s OK, you have my permission. Often a week spent avoiding intense training can provide your body with much needed rest and allow it to catch up with all the hard work you’ve been putting in. So, option 1: train hard up until the holiday and then lie in the sun enjoying the fact that on the training front, you’re covered. The second option is to use the environment around you? Runs on the beach, bodyweight training, water bottles instead of dumb bells, as long as you have an imagination you can devise a respectable work out where-ever you are. Check out Dan’s article on bodyweight training if you haven’t already.



Problem 3: Alcohol

Propane’s solution: Any self respecting holiday goer is bound to come face to face with a dieter’s biggest foe – THE PINT. It’s worth nothing that we have said in the past and continue to encourage an occasional drink while living a healthy lifestyle. We firmly believe that alcohol, if accounted for will give you nothing but a bad head, a lost wallet and some funny pen on your face.

Rob Buckingham Photography:

We’ve covered this before but generally on days you drink:

  1. Avoid foods high in fat: try to avoid pizza, burgers, bacon etc, it can be hard to manage while on holiday however. Best option, drink a few protein shakes during the day and have a moderate size meal before you hit the drink
  2. Drink wisely: Beer and pre-mixed drinks pack a lot more calories than spirits or wine for the same amount of alcohol. I’m not saying never have a pint, just be aware that you could be making better decisions
  3. Two for one: For every alcoholic drink down a glass of water, scares off the headache monster and keeps you feeling fresh.


So, that’s how Propane Fitness deals with the deadly trio that you will undoubtedly face while on holiday this year. If you have any nifty tricks to keeps those abs sharp for the beach we’d love to hear them.

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