Travelling back from our all-inclusive holiday not so long back, my daughter and I were chatting about the food choices at the hotel, where basically, we were force-fed high carb stodgy food, as that was all there was available. It’s a typical holiday tale, and one I hear quite often from clients too…Before they go, their main concern is usually- “Bridgette how am I going to lose weight while I’m on holiday?” My reply? “You’re not“. Not because you’re a failure, but because you’re not supposed to! You’re on holiday! That’s not to say that you have to put any weight on either, but the thing is with being on holiday…the choice is very often out of your hands…so you may well end up going ‘off plan’, or you may have to eat what you’re given, whether it’s your first choice or not, or you may even be tempted by the Sweet Trolley (although there’s lots of tricks to keep you away, and indeed, not even be bothered, by temptation!).
My daughter said something on the plane home that really stuck with me…She was feeling stodged and bloated from the food on offer all that previous week, when she said to me “I can’t wait to get back to low carb eating!“.
“Wow” I thought…I’d never hear her say that if she was on a traditional denial and restriction diet!
“I can’t wait to get back to going on a diet!”…Not exactly the happiest sounding sentence is it? In fact that’s what it feels like for most of us facing the dreaded inevitable weigh-in when we get back followed by going back on yet another diet…A ‘sentence’…and often a life- sentence at that! (That’s after months of painful dieting before the holiday to get into the beachwear!) But I digress.
You see the key ingredient to successful, long term weight loss, followed by maintenance of your Body Goal is this…the RECOVERY. The ability to just get back on track easily and, indeed, happily, and then stay there.
…It’s the opposite of the yo-yo effect of diet and denial, followed by splurge and blow-out for whatever reason. This then causes the inevitable weight gain that takes you back to square one (and then some if we’re not careful!). In fact’ it’s not even close to that all-or-nothing thinking that goes with being on a traditional diet…
The only way to ensure recovery is really simple…It’s to already be enjoying your food and your way of eating before you go on holiday…that way, you’ll be happy to come back to it. You could see it as an ‘Insurance Policy’ (If you have eaten a lot of sugary foods, then you may have triggered that sugar urge, but there’s always lots you can do about curbing sugar desires that feel out of your control, trust me!).
If you’ve eaten too much stodge while you’re away, going onto a low carb diet will set your body back to where it was before you went away in a matter of a couple of weeks! The fact is that low carb diets ( and when I say diet in this context, I mean in ‘way of eating’, not ‘dieting’) take the drama out of weight loss, and help you get straight back to where you were, then you’ll carry on…
Losing as much weight as you like, comfortably, without the feeling that you’re going to stop this any time soon, and ‘go back’.
You don’t go back, because there’s nothing to go back to.
Stodge soon loses its’ appeal on a low carb diet…In fact you’ll very soon value the feeling of being lighter and more energised much more than the thought of heavy food sitting in your stomach (it takes about 2 weeks for your stomach to shrink so stodgy foods feel uncomfortable for you very soon)…The one piece of feedback I get from clients all the time on a low carb diet is…”I never feel hungry!” “I keep waiting to be hungry but the food just keeps me filled all day!” So when you do encounter a time when you eat differently from what you and your body are beginning to get accustomed to…You just want to get back to that lighter feeling, of being full without being bloated, of enjoying food AND losing weight at the same time…the RECOVERY. No need to be devastated if you’ve put on a couple of pounds while you were away…they will naturally and quickly drop off in a few days…along with the rest!
So to summarise how to enjoy ‘Holiday Diet Success’:
- Get off the diet today! There’s lots of statistics now that show all that pre-holiday weight you might lose before you go away is instantly put back on the minute you reach for the factor 50!
- Take out your Insurance Policy of beginning to enjoy a really satisfying and filling way of eating before you go…you will be able to enjoy your holiday a lot more when you can have a wide range of really filling foods to choose from
- Give yourself a break! REALLY! It’s a funny contradiction, but if you give yourself permission to enjoy a pudding or ice cream, you’re actually far less likely to feel as if you’re missing out, and more likely to say no because of it!
Even if you’re going away in just a couple of weeks time, it’s not too late and you can still begin to take out your Insurance Policy of a more satisfying and pleasurable way of eating before you go.
…That way, you can drop yo-yo dieting right into the bin with the empty sun-cream bottles, where it belongs!