Top tips to avoid weight gain on holiday

Ah, summer holidays - no alarm clocks for work or school, no routine. I love heading off on holidays and am one of those people who pack and repack the suitcase for a week before I go away.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me that they have had a great holiday but gained some extra baggage around the middle. That’s not unusual, one study has shown that the average weight gain on holiday is about 5lb. But weight gain isn’t an inevitable result of your holiday. So how can you avoid it?

Now if I told you to be really virtuous on your holiday you’d most likely close down this page straight away. The reality is we will eat out more and give very little thought to physical activity. Being active and eating well is so much easier when we’re in a routine. Here are some of the top tips I try to stick to myself during the summer holidays whether at home or abroad.

Keep moving

Try to be active for at least an hour each day. If you think about it, we have more time that usual during the holidays so fitting in a walk or doing something fun and active as a family can be easier. You never know, it could even be the start of regular healthy habit. If you’re off to a hotter climate bring the walking shoes with you and get active in the cooler times of the day.

If you eat out

  • Use a smaller plate – the amount of food on the plate will look bigger than if we use a bigger plate
  • Choose fruit and vegetable to fill at least a third of your plate – ask for sauces and dressings on the side and add a small amount if you want
  • Rather than going straight for seconds wait for 10-15 minutes – if you’re still hungry then have some extra
  • Share starters and desserts
  • For more tips see our healthy menu options when eating out


  • If you have a big meal then have a smaller amount than usual at the next meal and do something active in between


  • Water is the best thirst quencher and a better option than sugary drinks
  • Alcohol – we often forget about the calories in alcohol. Have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks

man and sons jumping from sand dunes

I love the break from routines especially the food shopping and cooking! Hopefully some of these tips will work for you and you’ll feel healthy as well as revived after your summer holiday.

Enjoy the holidays!


Posted: 10/07/2014 15:11:22 by Marian O’Reilly
Filed under: Diet, Exercise, Infographics, Travel, Weight loss

About Me

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Marian O’Reilly
Hi, my name is Marian O’Reilly and I’m the Chief Specialist in Nutrition at safefood. My job is varied ranging from nutrition research, working on mass media campaigns to dealing with public queries on healthy eating. I live in Co. Cork with my husband and our one year son. I’m a lover of the outdoors and in my spare time will be found out walking.