I'm going to France at the end of this week and I am really nervous about not sticking to my diet. I'm going for one week and then when I come back I go straight on another holiday with my friends. I know that if I don't count calories I will probably give up my diet.

I don't think I will be able to count calories easily as I will be eating out most of the time or eating meals that other people have prepared. In addition, France is known for their calorific cheeses and baguettes which will be hard to stay away from. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on how to survive the holidays?


Cutback xx


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

17 Replies

  • Can I be brutally honest?

    It sounds as though you have already decided that you won't try and diet while you are on holidays. Esp. considering you mentioned cheese at the top of your list of things you might eat ... god I LOVE cheese :D

    If you have already been counting calories then you must have SOME idea of the calorie content of foods. You at least know that proteins are better for you than carbs for example. YOu know what a healthy option is - come on - we KNOW you do :)

    If you are feeling defeated before you even land in France then you will probably just figure "Screw it, I am in France, I am going to eat - I'll get back on the diet later!!!"

    So lets think about that.

    Lets say you gain 2 pounds in France. And (don't know how long the other holiday is but I'll assume 3 weeks) lets say 5 pounds on the other holiday.

    We lose on average 1 pound a week when we diet.

    So on holidays for 4 weeks and then another 7 weeks to lose that weight.

    It will take you THREE MONTHS to get back to where you are right now.

    Do you want to go to Christmas parties, seeing all those people, feeling chubby and blech or feeling GREAT about yourself in a new dress?

    You CAN find healthy choices and you DO know what they are.

    Why not decide that every 2nd day will be a healthy day...or even better that 3 days a week you can lash out and the other 4 you are good.

    You don't have to just dump your diet - there are ways to minimise the damage.

    I KNOW you can do this. You just have to focus :D

  • Thank you so much for your support. I don't think I'll find it too hard to stay away from the cheese but I'll have a problem with their delicious buttered baguettes. Your explanation has put everything into perspective and I am now more determined than ever to pick healthy options as I don't want to have to work for 3 months!

    Cutback xx

  • You really WILL thank yourself for it - and the next holiday you can throw on that bikini and feel awesome !

    Short term pain long term gain.

    Awesome decision :)

  • Must say I disagree with Dave. In the last 4 months I have been on holiday including a 2 week all inclusive for a total of 4 weeks split into 3 breaks. Each time I have gained at least 7 lbs, my worst being 11 lbs in 5 days. On each occasion I have have got straight back on it the day of return and been a little stricter and have lost it all within a week.

    I know this sounds a bit unbelievable but I have been told that wghen dieting and having a blowout the body can't convert everything into fat immediately so your body takes on water which you can soon get rid of.

    I have no idea of the science behind this but it alway works like that for me. I am really strict on return though and for a few days eat less than normal with no carbs.

    I have seen other posts on here where someone gained 3 1/2 kilos over a weekend but lost it all within a few days.

    I would say go away and enjoy. Be careful by all means but you have to have a life as well so don't let the diet spoil your holiday. Just don't treat it as an excuse to fall off the wagon and get straight back on it when you return.

    I'm afraid I cannot help,you with the gpfeelings of guilt you will probably have. Even though I know I can get rid of holiday weight, I still feel guilty as hell but I have had a great time and had lovely food and drink for a while.

  • Andy sorry but this time I have disagree.

    One of the big problems we face is linking food directly to pleasure, thinking that we have to eat fatty or high calorie food to be able to enjoy what we eat.

    Sanctioning holidays as an eaters paradise just more strongly reinforces the links that more food and higher calorie food = pleasure.

    It then just makes dieting even harder when you get back from holidays because it keeps reinforcing that healthy food is boring and dull and NOT pleasurable.

    And continues to prop up the idea that we can just keep delaying a lifestyle change that in the end is incredibly important for our health.

    I was not suggesting that @curtback eat lettuce leaves and skim milk for 4 weeks I simply suggested that she not have a negative attitude towards her weight and maybe 50% of the time make a healthy choice.

    If making the occasional healthy choice is going to ruin a holiday then it just reinforces the fact that there is problem with food here.

    If you gain 11 pounds its mainly because you ate or drank extra calories. Depending on how much alcohol you drank the body may also be hanging onto additional water to counteract what your body can see as a possible dehydration from the alcohol BUT there is no magic holding pen for additional calories. They are turned into fat.

    When you lose 11 pounds in a week your body has lost some water, some fat and also some muscle - in a week 11 lbs means you MUST be losing lean muscle mass.

    It wrecks metabolism, pushes our body into starvation mode making additional weight loss harder and sets us up more strongly for yoyo weight loss.

    Sorry but telling someone to just ditch their diet and eat their heads off on holidays isn't going to help this person in the long run.

  • Alan,

    Don't intend to get into a big debate. Just stating my experiences. I have been dieting now for 13 months, have lost over 7 stones and have changed the way I eat. I did have blow outs on holiday and guess what high calorie food is pleasurable and will always be. I will never worry about it too much and whether it is a good thing or not my holiday eating has not negatively affected my overall weight loss or how I feel about food.

    A big pie and chips would always give me pleasure whether I have changed my eating habit and lifestyle or not. The fact that I no longer choose to eat this type of food does not mean that I not longer associate high calorie foods with pleasure as I always will and in the real world so would most others.

    I am not encouraging anyone's to go off plan but I am saying that with the right attitude it is not the end of the world.

  • Thank you for your advice! Well done on losing all the weight that you gained! I think that I won't take the chance though because I know how demotivated I'll be if I can't get the weight off.

    Cutback xx

  • Hi cutback, do you remember a few years ago Paul McKenna had a mini TV series where he got people to lose weight by changing the way they ate ? It was a combination of common sense and mindfulness techniques , can't remember all the details but what stuck goes something like this. 1. Eat Only if your genuinely hungry 2. Eat what you want not what you think you should (theory behind doing this is your less likely to overeat if you don't feel deprived ) 3. Eat slowly, and enjoy every mouthful 4. Stop eating as soon as you start to feel satisfied. I never tried to this on a long term basis as I'd rather find interesting ways of enjoying foods that I know are good for me than just eat what I want, but I've found these 4 principles good for short term damage limitation and helping me feel still in charge of what I'm eating in situations where I can't know calorie content. Hope you enjoy your holidays!

  • I didn't see the series but that sounds like really good advice. Thank you so much!

    Cutback xx

  • That's is news to me too, but what good sound solid principles 😊 Away to google Paul McKenna now 😊😊😊

  • My advice is to be mindful about what you eat and drink. (Alcohol has lots of calories ) try and be more active ( sightseeing, swimming Walking, cycling ) to burn off any increase in intake. But enjoy your holiday. When you get home from your holidays weigh yourself. And if you're a bit heavier just go straight back to your calorie counting.

  • I don't drink alcohol so I don't have to worry about that! I will definitely be more active during my holiday and I'll hop on the scales as soon as I get home! Thank you!

    Cutback xx

  • Drink water with ice and lemon rather than juices/ fizzy drinks unless it's a treat. Avoid milky coffee drinks too. Use skimmed milk if you must! Hidden calories !

    Have a great holiday.

  • Hi there, I haven't posted before, but just wanted to allay your fears a bit - I went to Nice for week 3 of my diet and had exactly the same concerns - it isn't really holiday if you're constantly calorie counting, and it's so easy to fall off the wagon once you allow yourself a little leeway.

    My approach was just to eat what I fancied, but NEVER to eat when not hungry. My appetite had already shrunk a little after a couple of weeks of dieting, and I didn't necessarily fancy as much as I usually would have. Avoided heavy cheese/bread/pasta dishes, had as much wine as I wanted, and walked to most destinations. It was fine - I didn't count calories, didn't feel like I was denying myself and still lost 2 kilos (about 4 pounds) over the week. It's absolutely doable, managing both, as long as you put a little thought into the food choices you're making. They have delicious salads in France, seafood etc :)

    I'm now just about at the end of week 5 and there doesn't seem to have been any delayed effect...

  • Congrats on your 2 kg loss. I will definitely try their salads, I never thought about seafood though but it sounds awesome! Thank you so much for your advice!

    Cutback xx

  • Thank you for all your advice guys. I think that instead of counting calories I am going to stick to small portions and opt for salads like Zawadi suggested. I will also only eat when hungry which bananacake suggested. I will also be more active as we will probably want to see all the sights so I will definitely have a workout walking up that Eiffel Tower.

    Thank you so much for making me less scared and nervous!



  • I went to Glastonbury for a week early on in my 12 week plan. I knew it would just be mad to try and keep counting/recording my calories while living in a field and trying to conserve battery life on my phone. So I was just sensible and chose healthy options where I could. I used my experience so far about portion size and to go for tomato based rather than creamy sauces, for example sometimes I left chips/rice on the plate rather than having an oversized portion. I also took a bag of apples and a bag of clementines so I had healthy snacks everyday. Next, unlike Andy above, I did not weigh as soon as I got back, because like you I know it would demotivate me rather than motivate me to see a gain on the scales. I weighed in the following Monday instead and had lost 6lb (over the 2 weeks). Either the week of eating differently had kickstarted my metabolism and made me lose extra, like Andy describes, or I had massively overcompensated while I was away. Either way I now feel confident about 'going off plan'. Have a bit of what you want, the baguettes, butter, cheese etc, but have them in small portions and fill up on healthy salads in between. And have fun :)

You may also like...