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Do you diet on holiday?

I'm going on holiday 4th June. Self-catering, caravan holiday in Dorset. I was planning to ditch the diet for the whole 10 days. One reason is because I want to have a break and dieting will ruin my holiday, I like to have cream tea (once or twice) and treats. Also if I'm still counting calories it will be awkward as I'll eat out more often then and going to the chippy once or twice makes meal time easier.

I won't be able to use the calorie counting app on my holiday either as I doubt I'll get signal.

But I don't want to put the weight back on. I do a lot of walking on my holiday, from the caravan to the town (it's 15 mintues according to goggle) and around places we visit. I've been there before and one of the reasons I wanted to improve my fitness lately, besides calorie counting and losing weight, is because I wanted to be able to do all the walking on holiday without getting too tired. I think I'll still get tired as I do HIT workouts so it's not the same. And I was tired after wandering around a local beach over a week ago.

I'm wondering if all the walking will help to burn the extra calories. It's a bit of a dilemna, basically a diet will ruin my holiday. I go once a year and only for those days will I be eating unhealthy. I don't really go mad, just one or two takeways, chippy and pasties (which I haven't had in ages).

I'm just wondering if anybody has any experience. Maybe if I try and eat healthy and be strict for one or two of the days, or just not buy too many sweets and chocolate? Any advice for me? I know I'm a bit indecisive, I don't want to put the weight back on and I also don't want to ruin my holiday by resticting what I eat too much.

10 Replies

To answer your title question, no, neither do I revert to eating processed food/refined carbohydrates; I continue to eat real, whole-foods.

Your passage infers you feel deprived. Aim to enjoy everything you eat, but don't fall for the food industry hype of having to eat a bit of everything that you might fancy.

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I don't know how I can eat the same foods or healthy foods I eat now when I don't have the means to cook or store them in a caravan. Everything will have to be fried or microwaved as the ovens are usually useless.

Also food is more expensive there as there are no cheap food shops. So it's all a bit of a challenge and I won't know until I get there.

I will try to eat healthy of course after all I know what's good and bad now.

Salad I guess is the option


Dieting and holidaying is challenging - but you don't want to undo all the hard work...I have several approaches to this- and generally they keep me in check- or just a few pounds on:

Yes walk - and try and do either some hills walks or a good interval stomp so you get your heart rate going. My favourite is walking by the sea - wind in your hair, smell of the sea - and visually just brilliant:-)

I try to plan as much as I can in advance - so even on a foreign holiday i have packed things that i can eat without overloading on extra calories. I generally try to stick to my usual breakfast - museli yogurt and some sort of fruit. If it is a fry up - I tend to go for poached eggs, grilled mushrooms and tinned tomato - I have more of less drilled myself not to overload on sausage and bacon.

Try not to eat bread

Lunch - I try to go for a healthy option - or have good lunch and a snack tea.

I take snacks such as apples, and Atkins chocolate crisp bars - to cover the gaps when hungry. A glass of milk also sometimes is enough.

Lastly - I never order chips for myself - but pinch a few of someone elses:-)

They are my best strategies - I only put on around on my last holiday few weeks ago - and i did not feel deprived at all ( a previous holiday was another story tho....)

Holiday time is precious - do enjoy it and find a balance of eating a bit of what you want and not repenting at leisure when you get home:-)

Good luck and happy holidays:-)

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Mindful Eating is the key, 😊 relax and enjoy yourself but try not to overeat, enjoy your food, savour it but just think twice before having seconds or dessert 😊 You will already have learnt good habits that will see you through 😊 Good luck

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I go for a lot of walking/camping/festival type holidays and I'm totally with you on getting no signal for mfp and wanting to just enjoy yourself. My tips are as follows, and they're from experience, and if I've gained on holiday it's only been a pound or so, so this definitely works:

Be realistic with yourself about possible weight gain when you get back - allow for around 1-2lb gain, and have healthy stuff in the house so you can get straight back on it when you get back - soups, veg, fruit etc.

Take healthy stuff on holiday with you. Apples, satsumas, tomatoes all keep fine out of the fridge. Baby gem lettuces keep well in a cup of water just covering the base. Everytime you leave the caravan, take an apple with you as your go to snack. This should at least reduce the craving for less healthy foods.

Definitely have fish n chips, especially after a long walk. But these days I automatically peel back the batter and go straight for the steamed fish inside. If you can bring yourself to leave the batter, it's instantly a much healthier meal. Try to only have as many chips as you need to feel full, the portions are always larger than you need, so try to make sure you don't eat the full portion.

Lastly, keep an eye out for all those differences you're looking for. If you do a long walk without needing a break etc, celebrate it, it's amazing to get our health back after losing weight, I think it has to be one of the most important aspects of the whole process. These things will motivate you massively for the next stage of your weight loss journey.

Enjoy :)


It is all about compromise - some days take salad in tubs and have a light meal in the evening that you can heat in the caravan, and other days treat yourself to a meal out, but share a portion of chips, feed the crust of the pasty to the dog or seagulls, and choose wisely for dessert! You might gain a couple of lbs but these will come off again quickly once you get back on track.


Thanks everyone. I'm going to try for a happy medium. I usually have fish cake, maybe I will have less chips. And not too much junk. We'll see and I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks for the support, I'm glad nobody was harsh and said don't you dare overeat! LOL

This is a great forum


I think you decide how much you are willing to put on and lose again and that frames your holiday decisions. Some of us find we go absolutely mad once we are off the leash. Other times we realise our tastes have changed a little and we don't want as much of the high fat or high sugar options. It is worth having the smallest sized portions you would be happy with. And if you don't want all of it, give it or throw it away. I would also take some veg soups, and some sugar free jellies because that helps keep those mains smaller - 3 courses. In the chip shop would you be happy swopping some chips for some mushy peas, baked beans or pickles? Eating out just be really picky about exactly what you want and how you want it cooked. Do plan some treats, don't leave them to chance, or you will have more than one or two a day. The main thing is to really enjoy your well deserved holiday and get straight back on it when you come back.


Hi Jenwriter, this probably isn't want you want to hear but ... I was doing really well with my diet and exercise program before I went on holiday to Tuscany for 10 days over Easter. I tried to be reasonably good there ... Had only fruit and plain yogurt for breakfast while my husband and sons ate almond croissants every morning, I never had any ice- cream ( everyone else had one per day) I had soup instead of pasta 3 times and went easy on the bread at every meal. Yet when I came back I found I had put the 3 kilos I had lost before the holiday back on :( while hubby, who ate everything he wanted to, lost 4 kilos !! Truly there is no justice in the world. I think what happened is that since I was on holiday, I was not exercising ( I normally run three times a week and cycle mostly every day, for transport as well as exercise). Also, I was not tracking my food with Fitness Pal as I usually do and I was eating quite a lot of pasta for someone who normally avoids it. hubby on the other hand does not exercise at all, so the walking on holiday helped him lose weight. In my case, the walking was not enough to make up for the not running and not cycling. The shock and unfairness of putting the weight back on had a really bad psychological effect on me. I felt it was useless to continue my efforts if anything approaching normal eating was going to send me back straight to square one. In fact it is only this week that I have decided to start again, mainly because the fat around my abdomen is very much there and I can't afford to ignore it :( So take care while on holiday and keep in mind that you may well put on weight. Try and prepare yourself psychologically for it so that you don't fall off the bandwagon as hard as I did ! Wish you luck!

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Thanks for the advice. I've lost a lot of weight this week and I'm not too concerned at the moment if I put the weight on. I probably will be upset but I know what to do now to lose it.

I didn't think about the difference in exercise, that what I'm doing maybe more than walking.

I will have to prepare myself for putting on weight when I go away and try not to to get too put off and hope I don't put too much on.

Wish you all the best with you're weight loss journey, you will lose the weight again.

Thanks Robert, I appreciate your honestly and thanks for sharing, it's good to know so I can prepare myself as least mentally


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