You’ve come back with a sun kissed glow, truckloads of goodies and an extra tyre around your tummy. While taking in the sights and sounds it’s easy to overdo the high calories, sugar and savoury treats that lurk at every corner. A couple of kilos may not seem like too much but if you don’t act now, the weight can pile up. It’s time to get on a scale and make a plan to knock off that extra weight ASAP.
Get Back into a Routine
Sipping a margarita at 11 a.m. may seem like decadent heaven on vacay but continue that post-holiday and you’re in trouble. Re-establish your normal eating habits as soon as party time is over. And give away any and all forms of temptation—cake, cookies and fatty nibbles—that may be lurking in some corner of your larder. Instead stock up on fruit and veggies, whole wheat bread and low fat yogurt and milk, so you have no choice but to go back to your healthy lifestyle.
Eat at Home
This is a no-brainer. Unless you eat home cooked meals it’s next to impossible to control the amount of oil or salt in your meal. Nutritionists advise eating only home-cooked meals with healthy ingredients when you’re trying to chip away at your vacation weight gain. Make sure you have lentils, sprouts, veggies, whole grains and lean protein like eggs, chicken and fish handy to whip up delicious, healthy meals. Good snack options include nuts, yogurt and roasted khakhras.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water to rehydrate your body and get rid of water retention, a common fall out of binge eating on holidays. One study showed that drinking two glasses of water before meals can help you shed five pounds faster. It’s also a good idea to give fruit juices and soft drinks a complete miss. Instead have buttermilk and unsweetened nimbu pani.
Kick Start your Exercise Routine
Restart your normal exercise routine even if you took it easy on vacay. It’s also a good idea to increase the intensity of your workout and the length of time you work out to burn that extra flab. So run, walk or bike a little faster and at varying intensities to burn fat faster.
Sneak in a Treat
Just because you’re trying to lose weight it doesn’t mean you can’t have an occasional indulgence. So build in splurges and allow yourself three cheat meals every month. It will be something to look forward to and won’t be enough to spoil your weight loss efforts.
Count to Ten
Each time a craving strikes, count to 10. According to studies, the average craving lasts just about 10 minutes. So before caving in to the urge to devour that piece of cake or samosa give yourself a ten-minute mental time out. Use the time to call a friend, clean a drawer in a cupboard, play with your kid, anything but think about food.
Say No to Alcohol
Go easy on the alcohol. It’s a source of empty calories—an average can of beer has 150 calories while a glass of wine has 85—and lowers your inhibitions so you end up munching on foods you ordinarily wouldn’t have touched. The worst offenders are the creamy, coconut milk-based cocktails like Pina Colada, almost equivalent to slurping up a decadent desert. Just sip on water or a club soda instead.
Keep Track of your Progress
Basically you need to create a 500 calorie deficit daily to lose one pound (or half kg) every week. You can do this by exercising vigorously for one hour every day. Or you could do moderate exercise daily and remove 3250 calories from your daily diet, such as skipping your daily Cappuccino.