How to avoid summer holiday weight gain

Caroline Cassidy

The annual summer holiday is the perfect time to recharge those batteries, feel rejuvenated and re-energised, but with all that relaxation it's not uncommon to come home a few pounds heavier.

Avoid holiday weight gain
Avoid holiday weight gain

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No matter how hard you've worked to achieve that beautiful bikini body, somewhere between the breakfast buffet and the cocktails by the pool, that once flat tummy often develops into more of a pot belly.

If you don't want all your hard work to go to waste, here's how to avoid holiday weight gain.

Beware the buffet
Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, the hotel buffet is a calorie-packed minefield for slimmers. With the huge variety of food on offer and the chance to go back for a refill, temptation often overcomes even the most dedicated of dieters. Hard as it may seem, try and keep the calories at bay by taking one plate of food and savouring every mouthful. Remember, tomorrow is another day and brings with it another buffet so don't feel you have to try everything on offer in one go.

Cocktail calories
For many beach-going holidaymakers, a cocktail by the pool is part of the fun. Allow yourself one or two, by all means, but be aware that alcohol and fruit juices are a hidden source of extra calories. Add cream into the mix and you'll be packing on those pounds before you can say pina colada. Enjoy the odd cocktail, by all means, but alternate with a refreshing glass of H2O to keep the weight gain to a minimum.

Even it out
There's no fun in denying yourself everything you enjoy while on holiday. A little indulgence never hurt anyone, especially if you can even things out later on. For instance, if you can't resist a cocktail of an evening, maybe skip dessert or vice versa.

Eat fresh
Most Brits have probably spent the winter tucking into hearty roast dinners and warding off the cold weather blues with comfort food. But the summer is the perfect time to eat fresh, healthy grub that's packed with good stuff. If you're by the sea, for instance, take advantage of the truly fresh fish on offer. Locally-grown fruit and veg, rather than the foreign imports you find in UK supermarkets, might also prove a revelation. Before you know it you'll be happily getting your five-a-day.

Take an evening constitutional
Even if your summer holiday usually consists of lying on the beach with a good book and lashings of sun-tan lotion, this year try making the most of the surrounding area. Take a romantic barefoot stroll along the beach each evening or get out of the hotel and explore the local area as even a little exercise can burn off some of that holiday bloat. And if you've gone all-inclusive, make the most of the activities on offer, not just the food.