Holiday workout

Taking our nutrition on holiday

The holiday season is here again and we are just about to take a flight to another exotic destination or are on our way to another dinner party. 

In many cases, the minute we are on the plane, we forget everything we know about proper eating and let go of our boundaries and discipline. 

No matter where you are travelling to and for how long, you need to keep paying attention to what you eat. It doesn't mean you need to ban yourself completely from carbohydrates, alcohol or trying local special foods. Nor does it mean you need to spend your entire holiday at the gym or swim across the ocean every day. However, here are some basic things you CAN easily do without putting too much effort into it and will help you prevent collateral damage:

1.  Set your goals and keep them realistic:

When going on a holiday a reasonable goal will be to keep your weight steady as opposed to keep losing weight. 

If you set yourself a goal that is unrealistic, you set yourself to failure. Failure leads to disappointment, which in many cases can make you fall off the wagon as an act of rebellion. On the other hand, succeeding in keeping your goals will motivate you to keep going.

2. Set yourself defined boundaries:

Humans act better when they have boundaries. Set some boundaries, however, have some freedom within the limitations you set. 

For example I decided that I am going to limit my sugar intake this holiday, however, I won’t totally abstain it.  Hence, on one of the days during my holiday I will go ahead and try this nice dessert and on another day I will drink a tempting cocktail.  Alternatively, for example, I will avoid eating carbohydrates, on the other hand I will allow myself to drink a glass of wine every evening during my holiday. This practice enables me to enjoy different food/drink variety without losing my head completely. 

3. Planning ahead:

Planning is a key factor that enables one to succeed. It will prevent you from being too hungry and giving into temptations that will make you feel bad later on.

Plan your holiday from the moment you are at the airport. Pack a box of vegetables for the flight, take some snacks such as nuts, almonds, seeds, grain less granola with you. If you are off to an active holiday such as trekking or skiing, take some dried fruits with you to keep your energy levels up.

Plan your meals!

 For example, if I plan to spend my holiday in a nice resort I will have eggs and vegetables for breakfast and avoid the other goodies.  As snacks I will have my nuts and seeds and occasionally fruit. For lunch I can have a big salad with a protein such as tuna or chicken and for dinner I will enjoy the local cuisine and a glass of wine.

Plan the Christmas dinner, visualise the dinner, think about your choices. If you are hosting and cooking, make sure to prepare something that is suitable for you to eat. If you don't want to eat too much make sure to eat all your daily meals as per normal and don't starve yourself because you have a big dinner ahead. This might cause you to overeat and feel very heavy. 

4. Make the right food choices:

Most of your plate should be full with vegetables. Other than that the emphasis should be on proteins (eggs, meat, chicken, fish, tofu) and good fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, butter, coconut oil). Some legumes and whole grains can be eaten in smaller portions. Remember that proteins, fats and food with high fibre content will enhance feelings of fullness.

As for desserts, try to avoid or plan in advance to enjoy a nice dessert on a specific occasion, and then just enjoy it without guilt feelings.

5. One plate is enough:

Whether it is Christmas dinner, a hotel meal, or any restaurant meal, remember that one plate is enough. You do not have to try all of the food varieties. Look and assess your options, choose and fill up your plate only once.  As mentioned before, if you are starving you will end up eating without control, so make sure not to skip meals. 

When you finish your plate it is better to step away from the table, help clear it and go for a walk. The more you sit around the table, it's more likely you will be tempted to keep on eating. 

6. Eat slowly, chew well, relax and enjoy your meal:

Remember it takes 15-20 minutes from the first bite, till the satiety signals reach the brain. Eating too quickly will make you eat much more than you really need. 

7. Limit your alcohol intake:

The problem with drinking alcoholic beverages is not only they contain lots of sugar and calories, but also that they stimulate your appetite and it’s even worse once you are tipsy you forget about your intentions to keep a healthy diet. 

I’m not suggesting to avoid alcohol completely, however, limiting it and sticking with wine or white spirits will minimise the damage. 

8. Keep moving:

It is totally fine to rest from your routine training regime. However make movement part of your holiday. This will help you relax, ventilate and stay fit. 

You can go for a walk (including shopping), hire a bike, take the stairs instead of the lift, swim, scuba dive, kayak, ski or anything else that gets you up and about. 

9. The swimsuit trick:

This is the best trick in the book! 

If you are off to a sunny beach holiday, wearing your swimsuit, and specially your bikini most of the day will help suppress your appetite, try it!!

Remember, it can take you up to one month to fix the damage done by one week of uncontrolled holiday of eating and drinking. Be good and most of all enjoy your holidays wherever you are!!

Noa Harari - UFIT Nutrition Team


Noa has been practicing as a Clinical Nutritionist for the last ten years. Her specialties include weight loss, Celiac disease, digestive system problems and metabolic diseases.

Noa understands that no human being resembles another.  She believes that each one of us is created differently and has different needs. She recognises that the best way to get long term results is by creating a personalised program for each individual client. Read more here.

For more information for UFITs Nutrition programs get in touch with us here. Join our next Clean & Lean Challenges that we run 4 times a year providing you with the opportunity to change your healthy habits into a lifestyle.

Get Back on Track After Your Holiday with Lisa Clayton

So you went away, saw a new part of the world, had a holiday and now you’re back. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and then you ate some more. And now it’s time to face the music.  

That’s what many of you are thinking right? As you wake up on Monday morning after your week of less-than-healthy eating your body is puffy and bloated. Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here are Lisa Clayton’sUFIT Bootcamps Director top 5 steps to get you back in your fitness game and loving that feeling once again of being the healthier, balanced version of you.

Step One: Focus

Your holiday happened, you had a great time relaxing, enjoying fine wines, food and much more. You can’t undo that. Move on. You ate things from the “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have, but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back home so the bad eating stops now.

If you’re serious about your fitness and health goals, then your holiday was the exception and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose on your trip. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused. Set yourself goals whether it’s weight loss, toning, feeling better about yourself or eating right.

Step Two: Hydrate

While travel days can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated.

As your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout your first few days’ home. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day. Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will sabotage your hydration efforts. For flavour, add sliced fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to your water, just like at the spa.

Step Three: Cleanse

For your first few days at home be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods or alcohol. NO! This will help to cleanse your body and fuel it with only the best natural ingredients.

Join one of our Clean and Lean programmes which is designed exactly for these reasons: you feel sluggish, you're demotivated with eating and you have let some holiday KGs pile on. It's the best way to restart with support. Going programmes alone are difficult in the sense you don't have people helping and supporting you. The programmes are so powerful as you'll change habits, transform your body and mind and learn a fountain of nutritional knowledge from our expert Nutrition Team and Fitness Experts. (Our next one starts on the 22nd October!).

Step Four: Rest, recover & rehabilitate

As relaxing as holidays are (let me rephrase that if you have kids!), most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days.

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest and you’re going to make more excuses not go to if you’re feeling tired. If you have noticed any niggles or aches settling in your holidays pop into the UFIT Clinic to get sorted first. You can't train a broken body!

Step Five: Exercise - YES that’s where we come in!

It’s time to sweat out all those vacation indulgences. So lace up your shoes and put on your favourite gym clothes or invest in some new Activewear. If the purchase will get you moving and ready to start moving, it's an investment! New gym kit can always be justified and new shoes feel great.

Sure, you’re going to feel a little rusty on that first day back, but remember that the sooner you get back into the swing of your routine the better. You can do it!

When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Don’t try think you’ll go straight back into where you left off. Just the small changes can create a huge payoff and once you start feeling the immediate benefits of an active lifestyle, you will be more willing to devote regular time to your fitness goals. Starting slowly instills exercise as a habit, making it feel less like a task.

Skipping your workouts can lead to a slippery slope. After all you’re tired, you have unpacking to do and you’re stiff from the ride home. That day slides into the next day and the next day. Before you know it you’ve been home for a week and still haven’t gotten in a workout. 

Jump into your workouts immediately once you return home. Science does show that exercise is one of the most effective ways to uplift your mood and if you’re hit heavy with holiday blues then you need some mood boosting!

Motivate your friends, family and co-workers! Being part of a fun-loving community like UFIT Bootcamps allows you to share a common goal - getting back to the grind. Working out with friends makes the time fly, we see the camaraderie, motivation and uplift our Bootcampers get when they have their friends cheering them on.

Once you start seeing results on the outside and inside its’ a constant motivator to keep moving every day, in ways that compliment your personality and lifestyle. I use exercise to create a positive energy inside of me that radiates outward, even long after I’ve completed a workout.  I make it priority, not a chore.

"If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it."

About the author

Lisa Clayton is the Director of UFIT Bootcamps in Singapore who constantly inspires and educates her community of fitness lovers. Living and breathing everything fitness, Lisa delivers high class, fun and interactive outdoor fitness Bootcamps within the community. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced Lisa has the expertise to help you get moving!

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness provider, home to Personal Training, UFIT Bootcamps, CrossFit, nutrition to rehabilitation and recovery at the UFIT Clinic. UFIT strives to inspire and guide its community of members to realise levels of fitness and confidence beyond what could be possible on their own. Join an infectious, fun-loving community in Singapore with over 60 sessions a week at 12 amazing outdoor locations.

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