Women

Side-step the holiday baggage trap with expert strategies to keep you slim while you soak up the sun

Drink smart

Cocktail hour? Bring it on! Just ensure you make savvy choices to dodge that calorie overload. ‘Swap drinks such as pina coladas, which are loaded with fat and sugar, for champagne-based cocktails which contain fewer calories and come in smaller glasses, meaning you drink less’, tips Steve Mellor, head of personal training and nutrition at Freedom2Train.

Sneaky stay-slim secrets

Sneaky stay-slim secrets

Then, alternate your alcoholic drinks with water to ease the blow to your waistline (and head!). ‘Double ordering is the way to go,’ says weight-loss expert Lisa Jackson, author of Adore Yourself Slim ($19.55, Simon & Schuster). ‘Every time you order a drink, ask for a pint of water and vow that you won’t go back to the bar until you’ve finished both.’

Do a stealth workout

‘Vow to do a sneaky workout every day of your holiday by doing a variety of activities whenever you have a spare moment’, Lisa suggests. ‘Waiting for your partner to pack his beach bag? Do a few sun salutations or a dozen squats and lunges. Impatient for the kettle to boil? Wall press-ups or pliés will make the time pass in a flash – plus you’ll burn plenty of calories and tone all your major muscle groups. Long walks by the seaside, shopping and sightseeing trips all count as exercise, too’.

Throw some shapes

Looking for a fun way to slash 400 to 600 calories? ‘Hit the dance floor for an hour’, says nutritionist Dr. Christy Fergusson, author of Hot, Healthy, Happy ($19.55, Hay House). But the benefits of a good boogie don’t end there. ‘Dancing in a pair of killer heels won’t just burn loads of calories, it will also strengthen your thighs – perfect for flashing sexy legs on the beach the next day’.

Be adventurous

Ordering chips with every meal isn’t just predictable; it’s bad for your body, too. This side dish is high in saturated fat and often laden with salt. To dodge this fat trap, loosen up and order a local especially, especially those that involve fresh fish or home-grown vegetables. ‘Be adventurous with your food and try local, fresh dishes to avoid eating junk food’, says Natalie Braithwaite, nutritional therapist at Nuffield Health. ‘Eating fresh is often more nutritious, but remember to choose where you eat carefully, as food preparation and water standards vary’.

Eating fresh is often more nutritious

Eating fresh is often more nutritious

Hit the sand

‘Walking barefoot on the sand is amazing exercise for your feet, ankles and legs’, reveals Gillian Reeves, Virgin Active’s national group exercise manager. ‘All the muscles in your toes, feet and ankles automatically work a lot harder when you walk on the beach’. And since hard-working muscles use up more energy, it’s a sure-fire way to stay svelte when you’re away from the gym. ‘Best of all, when you switch on all these little muscles and make them stronger, you work the bigger muscles in your legs and the rest of your body more effectively’. What better excuse for a romantic stroll on the beach?

‘Walking on the sand is amazing exercise for your feet, legs and ankles’

Work out in the water

Swimming laps while your friends sunbathe isn’t very sociable, but you don’t have to tank up and down for hours to get a calorie-blasting blitz. ‘Water provides around 12 times the resistance we get on land, leaning it takes more effort and burns more calories, but has less impact on your joints’, explains personal trainer James Osborn. Try these three head-above-water sessions…

Aqua jogging: Get yourself in the water and ‘run’ as fast as you can for around 30 seconds. Then rest for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times. This full-body exercise is absolutely perfect for weight loss.

Scissor kicks: holding on to the side of the pool, straighten your legs out in front of you so your body is at a right angle. Using your core to keep your legs extended, move your legs horizontally in a scissor motion. The water acts as resistance while your core works to keep your legs up. Three sets of 30 seconds will see your abs legs burning.

The water acts as resistance while your core works to keep your legs up

The water acts as resistance while your core works to keep your legs up

Aqua lunge jumps: Move to waist-deep water and get into a lunge. Bend your knees, with your arms in a running position. Quickly jump up, switch your arms and legs and land back in the lunge with the other foot forward. These sets of 20 reps should get you puffing.

Be a savvy eater

Celebrity personal trainer Dalton Wong reckons the key to staying slim on hols is to follow two simple rules. ‘Eat dessert just once a day – at lunch or dinner, but not both’, says Dalton. ‘And if you drink alcohol, eat a healthy dinner. Pile you plate with veg and lean protein but leave fried foods, dressings and processed carbs. The right choices can save you up to 500 to 1,000 calories in one meal!’

5 body-loving foods

Nutritionist Sarah Walford (nw3nutrition.com) chooses five foods to keep your metabolism revving

1.    Nuts

People who eat lots of nuts tend to have lower BMIs than those who don’t. Although nuts are calorific, they’re packed with protein, good fats, fiber and minerals. The high protein and unsaturated fat content may increase our metabolism and result in less fat gain.

Nuts

Nuts

2.    Fish

As well as being a good source of lean protein, fish (in particular oily fish) is packed with omega -3 essential fatty acids. These healthy fats regulate the breakdown of fat and glucose in the liver, helping you to lose fat and gain lean muscle.

3.    Eggs

The high protein content helps to boost metabolism. Plus, they’re high in choline, which can stimulate the release of growth hormone and regulate metabolism.

eggs

Eggs

4.    Green tea

Drinking green tea may increase your metabolism and reduce body fat – it’s also help to keep you hydrated – vital for maintaining your metabolism.

5.    Chili

Foods that contain chili may increase your metabolism. The active ingredient capsaicin causes a release of stress hormones that will temporarily rev up your fat-burning engine.

Chili

Chili

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