Everest Girl

5 ways to lose weight on holiday

By Jane LeeEvents - 22 May 2012 12:00 PM | Updated 12:39 PM

5 ways to lose weight on holiday

Why not try an active holiday such as a kayaking trip for your next vacation

Holidays are horrible for one’s waistline.

What is it about the vacation mindset, which lulls us into scoffing everything fried and chocolate-covered in sight – all in the name of sampling local cuisine, of course.

While no one is asking you to run 5km before breakfast, you can keep the dreaded holiday paunch away with these 5 smart strategies that’ll ensure you have fun, get in some relaxing time, while staying active and fit.

Choose an active holiday

If your idea of a vacation is a hike through the Himalayas, a week of biking through the Alps or a sea-kayaking trip in Thailand, you’ll most likely return home in better shape than you were in when you left. 

Research has shown that people report feeling a stronger sense of motivation while engaging in physical activity, when they’re in an environment with new stimuli, or trying out something new.

New surroundings also mean you’re unlikely to focus on the fact you’ve spent half the day hiking up a steep hill. One giant plus? There’s no fitness downtime when you return home, no annoying period of having to get back into shape.

Book a hotel with a gym
Fit in your regular exercise regime by checking into a hotel with a gym

Book a hotel with a gym

If your holiday plans aren’t exactly outdoorsy or athletic, fit in your regular exercise regime by checking into a hotel with a gym. 

Better yet, volunteer to sort out the hotel accommodation for your group, thereby earning goodwill points, while you sneakily ensure your home away from home has all the equipment you need.

While gyms in most hotels are decent with the mandatory treadmill-elliptical-bike cardio combo, and a basic set of free weights, if you need something more elaborate, take it from me and give the hotel a call to double check before you book.

Professionally-taken photos on websites aren’t always the most honest advertising.


Incorporate a fun, outdoor activity

Your entire holiday doesn’t need to take place in a tent for you to incorporate some fun active elements into your plans; you can just make it happen.

It’s not impossible to not fit in a half-day’s worth of easy hiking up a hill, in the woods, along a beach, or some other natural environment. Most urban spaces has a green belt, New York City has Central Park, Sydney has the Bondi-to-Coogee walk, even Colombo has an ocean-front promenade for an evening brisk walk.

These outings can also double up as me-time or a bonding experience if you’re traveling in a group. It sure beats yet another sightseeing tour or getting lost on endless shopping trip.

Walk the sights

The best way to explore a city isn’t via a tour bus, you need to walk it.

Skip the impersonal bus tours, grab a map and some recommendations from your hotel concierge, city-specific websites and make an adventure out of tracking down these tourist sites.

Travel websites such as Tripadvisor, Travelfish and guidebooks such as Time Out, Lonely Planet and Frommer’s all have very useful walking route descriptions. You’ll also find that walking a city leads you to discover gems and local hole-in-the-wall eateries which you would never locate otherwise.

And at the end of the day, guess what, a full day of walking around would have burned off more than 1,000 calories, and you wouldn’t even have considered that exercise.

or on a bike
Biking is a good option to get around

… or on a bike

Depending on where you’re going, places of interest may be too spread out to allow for walking, in which case, check out local bike rentals as an interesting option to get around! 

Bike tour operators can be found in many popular tourist destinations, and most even offer child seats to accommodate your little ones.

With some smart planning, a healthy holiday isn’t impossible. 

This way you’ll return refreshed, relaxed, and in better shape! How’s that for a trifecta of holiday awesomeness? 


Everest Girl is Jane Lee, who is seldom found stationary. She is an accomplished mountain-climber, having recently reached the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. When she is not climbing her way around the world, Jane devotes an inordinate amount of time to training for her next climb, marathon, or adventure sport. A serious endorphin addict, Jane ranks trail running high on her list of loves, and has pounded mud, sand, gravel and rocks on trails in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and her staple favourite, MacRitchie Reservoir. Her favourite motto? “If you’re still standing, then you’re not done yet.”