Stay in shape on holiday: How to keep your summer body on track while still enjoying food

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It’s that time of year when people are heading off on their holidays but for many, the diet doesn’t stop there. Everyone has different goals when it comes to their fitness and health and for some, the thought of over-eating or drinking while away from home can be a worry about undoing progress.

But there’s some good news as a fitness expert has shared her top tips for keeping in shape while on holiday.

Gymbox personal trainer, Martena David, explained it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds for people to stick to their diets and fitness while still enjoying every aspect of their break.

Allow time for rest and recovery

A holiday for most is a time of relaxation; to escape their normal everyday lives and recharge doing something they enjoy.

Whether it be lounging by the pool or zooming down a snow covered ski slope, Martena emphasised that resting the muscles is key.

“The only time our muscles are able to repair, recover and rebuild is through rest,” she said.

“If you’re someone who trains regularly throughout the year, an extra few days’ rest may be beneficial to your recovery and your training.”

Keep active with walks and swims

At this time of the year the weather can be scorching abroad and taking a dip in the pool can be a good way to get the body moving.

Martena said: “If your accommodation has a pool, use the facilities and go for a swim.

“Take advantage of all the sightseeing and get your steps in that way.

“Rather than using trains and taxis, see more of your surrounding sights through long walks.”

Acclimatise training

She warned that people should be careful and consider their new environment when training.

“If you do decide to train on holiday, remember to adapt your training to acclimatise to the current weather conditions,” she said.

“You may find your normal training routine more of a struggle as your body adjusts to a new environment. Think more maintenance for your training that week, rather than progressive.”

And when it comes to dieting, whether a person sticks rigidly to their programme or not, Martena offered a few key points that can help.

High protein diet

She said: “If you struggle with over doing it with your food on holiday, try prioritising your protein in meals.

“This will help keep you fuller for longer and you’re less likely to overeat.”

The best sources of protein can be found in foods such as:

Lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo

Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds

Fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams


Dairy products – milk, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese

Bring own snacks/supplements

If a person has specific dietary needs depending on their goals, the personal trainer revealed it might be best to “bring your own”.

“Depending where you travel, you may find it difficult to find certain snacks/supplements that you’re used to consuming to keep on track,” she said.

“There’s nothing wrong with packing your own and incorporating that into your diet on holiday too. I would encourage it.”

Stay hydrated/manage alcohol intake

If travelling to a hot country, drinking water should be a high priority on everyone’s lists.

Martena explained: “For all the benefits in aiding digestion, carrying nutrients to your cells, protecting organs and tissue plus many more but to keep you hydrated.

“Remember alcohol dehydrates you and carries empty calories, so limit your intake if staying in shape and feeling good is your goal on holiday.”

Incorporate fresh nutritious food into each meal

Martena reminded people that a holiday is a time for relaxation, especially when it comes to nutrition.

“It’s healthy to enjoy all food groups, including foods that carry less nutrition than others,” she said, referencing ice cream and sweet treats.

“A great way of staying on track is keeping your meals balanced with lots of fresh produce like fruit and veg, as well as having carbs and including protein into each of your meals.”

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