The boiling hot gym sessions, the extensive dieting, the alcohol ban! The spending cut backs, the quiet nights in avoiding night’s out!! It has all led to this point, your highly anticipated, highly sought after, greatly discussed Summer hoilday. The months of sacrifice to look great in the beaming rays has arrived and hopefully it’s time to BIRG (bask in reflected glory) about your new physique.
If your current lifestyle of late has just been summarised above, do you also fit the profile of someone who lets their initial holiday ‘BIRGing’ quickly turn into CORSing (cutting off reflected success), as over indulgence begins to chip away at those hard-earned fitness results?
Irrespective of whether you BIRG, CORS or do neither it’s usually accepted in the mindset of those outside of the avid holiday exerciser that most of us will return back to home soil out of condition to some degree.
So as a means to alley these fears and minimise the anticipated holiday paunch, the following short article will guide you through some simple easy to follow tips to help maintain your hard-earned beach body.
FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL
Ok so before I discuss things like nutrition and exercise I know being told to try and eat healthy and train on holiday all the time is never going to be realistic. However, before you flip the page let me just say my one big tip is not just about what you eat but when you eat it.
Before I get into this statement, did you know that nearly 50% of the global Caucasian population is gluten intolerant. Quite a shocking statistic I know and you’re now probably wondering if you are as well, so to check whether you fall into this category or not here are some considerations for you to consider.
Q. After eating gluten based foods such as anything containing white flour (i.e. bread, pastry, rice, pasta, biscuits, cakes), beer, breaded meats and almost all processed foods do you present any of the following conditions?
- Stomach bloating (To the point where the stomach feels hard to touch)
- Stool inconsistency
- General fatigue
Further to these short-term issues, more long-term chronic conditions such irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy have all be linked to a gluten intolerance.
Remember non-Caucasian populations can present these same issues as well, but because Caucasian individuals carry 2 specific genes (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) they are said to have a stronger chance of getting such symptoms.
So, why is me telling you about gluten intolerance in an article about tips to maintain a beach physique relevant I hear you ask? Well let’s think about it, what are the common gluten based foods/beverages that you will generally find at most beaches and on most holidays. Naturally the list often includes ice cream, sandwiches, rolls, chips, sweets, chocolate, alcohol, donuts, cookies and so on….
Hopefully the links between poor gluten based food consumption and a diminished six pack are now a little more obvious, so to help avoid any panic here are my top tips to get around this frequent body altering holiday conundrum.
Keep quenching your thirst by trying to drink water throughout the day instead of fizzy drinks, processed fruit juices, stimulants (tea/coffee) and alcohol; it will keep you hydrated for longer and improve your energy levels; never travel to the beach without it.
- Exercise can also help to reduce stomach bloating, therefore taking on board alcohol during your night out and combining it with lots of dancing might not make you feel so sluggish!
- As an extra bonus drinking water alongside alcohol can also reduce your chances of stomach bloating and minimise the likelihood of getting a bad hangover.
- Remember if you are sleeping in a hot climate you might need to consume 1-2 litres of water every morning to replace your bodies lost fluids overnight and prevent any succeeding dehydration.
As touched on earlier try not to eat heavy gluten based foods at all if possible but especially within 2-3 hours of hitting the beach. Why?
- For some, larger gluten based meals will take hours sometimes more than 3 to digest which at times means regular bloating and a subsequent unsettled stomach.
- Smaller gluten based foods for some will potentially digest within 90 minutes, however as research has proven the constant insulin spiking from consuming these foods often leaves you craving more sugar and processed foods afterwards.
Carry fruit and small nutritious foods to the beach and eat every 2-3 hours
- If you plan to stay all inclusive this summer especially then pack your bag after breakfast with as many lower sugar fruits, nuts, seeds and boiled eggs as possible. Although not likely to be organic these will still provide you with more nutrients and sustainable energy than any gluten based food.
Do 10 minutes of exercise! Let’s face it; the only way to keep those calories from turning into fat is by burning them off. It’s just a matter of balancing the odds, right? With the planned activities and commitments to others, doing some exercise when away especially gym based might be a tough ask. However, if you do find 10 to 20 minutes spare in your hotel room try doing some short HIIT workouts (High impact interval training).
- Did you know you can burn more calories in 15 minutes of HIIT than 1 hour on a treadmill running at the same speed and, a simple HIIT workout will increase your calorie burning rate throughout the day.
- An example beginner’s workout which could be done in a hotel room would be doing high knees, a fast feet movement (skipping), squat thrusts or mountain climbers for 30 seconds then walk/stay active on the spot for 30 seconds to 1 minute, repeating 10 to 20 times.
As this short article draws to a close I hope you can now understand my above timing vs. consumption paradox and, see that it is how you prepare with your timings alongside what you consume which governs your ability to sustain your ideal weight and muscle tone.
My hope is after reading this and my previous beach body tips article you should now hopefully have the knowledge in your armour to take you a long way towards achieving and sustaining a great all year-round physique.
(MSc, BSc (Hons), ASCC, MGBT)
SB Fitness Founder