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Don't gain weight on vacation: 6 tips

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  • Why do we often gain weight on vacation?
  • These 6 tips will help you avoid gaining weight on vacation
  • Delicious recipes to avoid gaining weight on vacation
  • Conclusion: Prevent holiday fat with exercise

Summer bodies are made in winter: True to this motto, many people work hard months before their vacation to look good on the beach. But often after the trip we realize that we bring home two or three kilos more. Stef also knows this, sharing practical tips and tricks for a healthy diet and weight loss in everyday life on her blog and Instagram. She knows: “Of course we don’t want to ruin our hard work on vacation.”

That’s why we asked her for her tips on how to enjoy a culinary holiday without gaining weight. Want to leave out the best delicacies at the buffet? Jogging every day instead of just lying lazily by the pool? Don’t worry, you’re supposed to relax after all. However, there are a few easy-to-implement tips that can save you from gaining unnecessary holiday pounds after your vacation.

Why do we often gain weight on vacation?

On vacation, not only our worries but also all our good intentions are usually thrown overboard. “Temptations are great, especially on vacation. There are delicious dishes waiting on every corner that you want to try,” the food influencer knows from her own experience. She has just published his second cookbook entitled “Eat right, not less 2” in which she shares his favorite recipes for filling meals for weight loss.

But how can you enjoy your vacation if you have to constantly watch your calories, you ask? You don’t have to do that! Of course, enjoyment is part of it. “Of course we tend to eat a little less healthily and a little more on vacation than at home. Ultimately, however, we only gain weight through a calorie surplus, that is, when we eat more than we consume,” she explains. In other words: If after feasting you spend the rest of the day lounging on the pool lounger and barely moving, it’s very likely that you’ll take a few kilos home with you.

After lazing around, take a swim in the sea

But even if the scale actually shows a higher weight in the end, it’s only half as bad: “If you weigh more after your vacation, that doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve gained fat,” says Stef. “To gain a pound, you need to eat about 7,000 calories more than you burn. In most cases, the extra pounds are simply water retention, which disappears after a few days of healthy eating. Luckily, you don’t gain weight that quickly .”

These 6 tips will help you avoid gaining weight on vacation

You should enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about extra kilos. The good news: It’s pretty simple once you know how. These tips will help you avoid gaining weight on vacation:

1. Be active on vacation

If you don’t want to gain weight on vacation, it’s counterproductive to just lie on the beach all day and only get up for meals. You don’t necessarily have to do sports; everyday movements are also super efficient. “Our daily exercise is the most important factor in burning more calories and therefore being able to tolerate one or two more ice creams,” explains Stef with a wink.

This is even scientifically proven by the so-called NEAT effect. NEAT stands for “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis” and includes all everyday activities such as cleaning, gardening or climbing stairs in which you burn calories without consciously doing exercise. A study has shown that NEAT increases overall energy expenditure (so you can eat more without gaining weight), improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease through additional exercise. Small movements in everyday life should not be underestimated, as they account for around 15 to 30 percent of your total calorie consumption.

2. Eat according to the 80:20 principle

Stef’s tip for treating yourself occasionally without feeling guilty is the 80:20 principle. “If we eat 80 percent healthily, we still have 20 percent left for enjoyment. Of course, this ratio can change on vacation and we can have a little more fun than usual. However, we may still be able to maintain some basic rules, such as For example, drinking 2 to 3 liters of water and eating at least 400 grams of vegetables.” Do you find it difficult to drink enough every day? These 7 tips will help.

Book tip: Starve, restrict, ban? Not with the 20:80 principle from NDR nutrition doc and physician Dr. Mathias Riedl. In his book “Losing Weight According to the 20:80 Principle” he explains how you can finally lose weight in the long term and keep it off very easily.

3. Avoid sugary drinks

A cold lemonade or iced tea is often a perfect refreshment on vacation. Unfortunately, they are usually heavily sweetened and provide empty calories that you can definitely cut down on. You should also be careful with fruit juices or smoothies and only enjoy them in moderation. “The truth is that they often contain a lot of sugar, which increases blood sugar levels,” explains Stef. These 8 drinks are the better choice.

Instead of juice or cocktail, enjoy a non-alcoholic beer or pimped water

Instead, simply drink pure water (still or carbonated) that you refine with a few slices of lemon, orange or cucumber. It’s delicious, refreshing and adds flavor to boring water without adding extra calories.

By the way: Beer, cocktails and other alcoholic drinks are also real sugar bombs. Of course, you can go crazy on vacation, but non-alcoholic beer is definitely the better choice because it is a healthy and low-calorie thirst quencher – compared to the version with alcohol. You can read how many calories you actually save here.

4. Vegetables as a filling base

If there is a lot of delicious food and often high-calorie dishes at the buffet, weight loss expert Stef recommends eating a generous portion of vegetables first. As a first course, she suggests a large plate of fresh salad or vegetables. “This satisfies the first hunger and supplies our body with vitamins and fiber.”

5. Try new sports

“I like to try out new sports on vacation or do something that I rarely do at home,” says Stef. To do this, it is a good idea to use the surroundings or location of your holiday destination. For example, if you’re by the sea, you could try water sports like kiting or windsurfing. In the mountains you can take a climbing course, boulder on the rocks or try out a via ferrata or simply go hiking instead of climbing the peaks with the cable car. “Or how about 20 lengths in the pool before breakfast or a mountain bike tour to explore the area?” advises the expert.

Trying new things is always fun – and burns calories

And if there are few sports options on vacation, then that’s not so bad: “A week of feasting won’t ruin your success. The other weeks of the year are more important.”

6. Enjoyment instead of prohibitions

Under no circumstances should you prohibit yourself from doing anything on vacation. Instead, the motto is: enjoy consciously. This way, you won’t gain weight on vacation, even from that delicious dessert you treat yourself to every night.

Stef’s tip: “I like to choose something that I really like and then combine it with fresh fruit, for example.” Especially on vacation there is often a lot to choose from and the fruit tastes much tastier than at home. In the end I have a lot on my plate and I don’t feel like I have to go without anything at all.”

Vacation is about relaxation. That’s exactly what you should do. Unnecessary stress is more likely to cause you to gain weight, as your body demands more energy and high-calorie foods when under stress. The easiest thing to do is to simply forget about this stress and not put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to diet and exercise.

Delicious recipes to avoid gaining weight on vacation

It’s not just a challenge to eat a balanced diet while on vacation. Especially when traveling at the airport, train station or motorway service station, the selection of healthy alternatives is often limited or overpriced. It is helpful to always have a few snacks with you or to cook or prepare something in advance.

Fresh fruit, like watermelon, is a great filler

Super light snack recipes to avoid gaining weight on vacation include:

  • Vegetable sticks
  • Fruit, such as melon or berries
  • Quick wraps
  • Protein waffles (chickpea or lentil waffles)
  • Healthy bars, e.g. from Clif Bar
  • Nuts of all kinds
  • Energyballs

Conclusion: Prevent holiday fat with exercise

With these tips you can go on vacation – without having to worry about gaining weight. Above all, activity in everyday life is important. Of course, there has to be a lazy day at the beach every now and then.

Above all, use the time to consciously enjoy the food and feel full. In everyday life, we too often just gulp it down quickly. “Our bodies need some time to realize that we are full,” explains Stef. “There are no bans at the buffet – but chew each bite 20 times – or longer if you can manage it. You can also use this trick at home to train your satiety.”

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