Healthspan July 26, 2018

Don’t exclude your health when you go all-inclusive

It’s easy to get the post-holiday blues: missing relaxing under the sun, having no responsibilities, eating and drinking your body weight in yummy food and cocktails, but don’t allow yourself to feel down because of holiday weight gain.

Gaining weight on holiday happens to the best of us, but it’s simple to stick to a diet and exercise plan whilst enjoying your fun in the sun meaning you can return home guilt free and still feeling healthy. One study found that vacations resulted in significant weight gain when looking at 1 to 3-week long holidays, and the weight persisted 6 weeks later;1 so, what’s the best way to tackle this trend?

Swap your drinks

Holidays are made for letting loose and relaxing, whether you’re swapping out your water for lemonade or something stronger, there are low calorie options to help you keep on track with your health and still enjoy yourself.

Low calorie cocktails

Laying in the sun and enjoying a cocktail feels like it’s a ritual on a hot holiday; choosing the right cocktail for you may take time but knowing your low-cal choices is a good start! Don’t forget to drink responsibly.

Drinks to avoid

Calorie content

Alternative drinks

Calorie content

Long Island Iced Tea


Minty Mojito






Piña Colada


Gin & Tonic


Mai Tai


Vodka & Soda


White Russian


Rum & Diet Coke






Low calorie soft drinks

While you may keep on top of your alcoholic drinks, don’t forget to keep hydrated whether that’s with water or a fizzy drink.

Drinks to avoid

Alternative drinks

Coca-Cola Classic

Coke Zero (sugar free) or Diet Coke (sweetener in place of sugar plus calorie free)


Sprite Zero (sugar, calorie and caffeine free)


Fanta Zero (sugar and calorie free)

Drinks to avoid Alternative drinks Coca-Cola Classic Coke Zero (sugar free) or Diet Coke (sweetener in place of sugar plus calorie free) Sprite Sprite Zero (sugar, calorie and caffeine free) Fanta Fanta Zero (sugar and calorie free)

Generally, fruit juice from concentrate will have added preservatives therefore option for a fresh orange juice will be the better option; although just eating an orange will do you even more good with 98mg of vitamin C, 4.4g fibre, 74mg of calcium and 131 mcg of beta-carotene, all of which are lost in the juicing process! 2

Sharing is caring

Vacation is the time to overindulge, especially if you’re on an all-inclusive holiday where the drinks are constantly flowing and you can help yourself to bigger portions and more desserts; but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you must eat more quantities, more often.

Sharing food not only shows intimacy and familiarity, but it’s a great way to indulge without overindulging! So why not have that dessert? Share it with the person or people you’re with and enjoy it together, without feeling guilty afterwards.

Sweat it off

Being on a relaxing holiday makes it very easy to lose your day-to-day routine, if you don’t pack your gym gear you have already said to yourself that you’re not going to work out, you won’t have the time, or you deserve a break – but you can lose up to 50% of fitness gains in a single week of inactivity.3

Being in a resort gives you many options to still train without being a nuisance; swimming in the pool or going for a run before breakfast will help keep your fitness level up, but don’t forget to hydrate, effervescent electrolytes can help you with that! Many holiday resorts come with a gym, giving you the option to even do an intense workout that you would do from the comfort of your gym at home. But if you don’t have access to a gym, or just fancy something different have a look at these quick hotel room exercises that will help keep you in tip top shape, make sure to keep track of your progress with the NutriCoach tracker and app, that way you know where you left off when you get back from your vacation.

Reverse diet

If you’re on a calorie-restrictive diet before you go on holiday, why not consider reverse dieting? This trend is popular within the body building world, where after a period of weight-loss dieting, they bring their calorie intake back up to a healthy and sustainable level whilst keeping body fat increase to a minimum. The premise of this diet is to build up your calorie intake gradually, specifically over a number of weeks, so that you don’t binge after coming off of a calorie restrictive diet.

Reverse dieting takes control and willpower of slowly building up calorie intake by around 150 calories per week after a weight-loss diet; however, once you have built yourself up to your “maintenance calories”, this is the amount you can stick to and not feel guilty!

1 Cooper, J.A. and Tokar, T., (2016). A prospective study on vacation weight gain in adults. Physiology & behavior, 156, pp.43-47.
2 Lewis, J. (2017). Nutritional Value for Raw Carrot Juice.
3 Magill, P. (2014). Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, Milers to Ultramarathoners—Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free.
4 Cruel, J. (2018). 10 of the Lowest Calorie Cocktails You Can Drink.
5 Her Campus. (2017). The 10 Highest & Lowest Calorie Drinks to Watch Out for Over Spring Break.




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