Summer is more or less upon us and many gym goers will be flaunting their tanned and toned, beach ready bodies on the world’s beaches. But how do you stay beach ready for the entire duration of your holiday? All-inclusive buffets, cocktails by the pool and hours spent lazing in the sunshine aren’t exactly conducive to staying shredded, particularly if your holiday is a couple of weeks long.

Fortunately you don’t need to spend hours in the gym instead of enjoying your time in the sun, there are a few things that can be done during your well-deserved holiday to ensure that all of the hard work you put in to looking and feeling your best doesn’t go to waste.

  • Before you go make sure you try to bring your calorie intake back up to at least maintenance levels. There is no time that the body is more primed to pile on the fat than after a diet, which is why you often see physique competitors a couple of weeks after their show looking anything but stage ready after relentless post show binge eating and enjoying life to the maximum. If your body is already used to the higher calorie intake it won’t be as much of a shock to your system when your intake most likely increases.

  • Accept other forms of exercise. The gym isn’t the only way to keep your body looking svelte and things such as swimming, surfing and hiking are all brilliant forms of physical exertion that allow you to spend quality time with friends and loved ones. NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and involves the day to day activities which increase your energy expenditure without you even realising, by increasing NEAT you probably won’t be building any more muscle but it may just help to negate the effects of that second (or third) ice cream on the beach.

  • A holiday is a brilliant time to take on a new challenge or just try something different. Ever tried an open water swim or taken a surf lesson? They’re physically tough and will help to keep you active whilst on holiday whilst giving you quality bonding time. If you’re really worried about gaining too much body fat then there’s nothing to stop you from planning an activity holiday. Plenty of companies offer adventure and activity holidays with anything from water sports to yoga retreats to boot camps. If you don’t fancy a package holiday then plan your own with activities scheduled in.

  • To look after your nutrition a little better then self-catering could be the answer, not to mention that it may save you a bit of money too. You’ll still get to sample all of the local delights but in a way which suits your nutritional goals. There’s also the added bonus of getting to explore foreign supermarkets and try to decipher the food labels on all of the unusual and exciting foods!

  • My ultimate tip is to relax. Your friends and family won’t thank you for trying to be a fitness neurotic and constantly worrying about how your biceps look when you’re supposed to be enjoying some time away from real life. Eat to satisfy your hunger (the buffet will still be there tomorrow), indulge in a trip to the dessert table and give yourself a break. A week or two of being away from your training and nutrition plan isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things and you won’t destroy months of work in just a couple of weeks.


- Charlotte Fisher
Nutritional Science Student