Eating dirty without gaining weight

Last week I was away on an all-inclusive vacation, and even though I had cake twice a day, pancakes and croissants with chocolate sauce for breakfast and ice cream several times a day, I managed to keep my weight from skyrocketing.

As I’ve said before, while I do consider myself to be somewhat of a crusader for health and fitness, I don’t believe in an ascetic life. So, heading into this vacation, I had already thought of a couple of ways to be proactive in terms of damage control.


First of all (though this wasn’t a possibility for me this time around) train as hard as possible in the time leading up to the vacation. Also restrict calories, so you’re essentially underfed and overworked, setting yourself up for some supercompensation.

While you’re away, you’re gonna attack the “kcals in vs kcals out” issue from two angles, movement and nutrition. Movement first:

  • Simply move as much as possible – avoid elevators, taxis and whatever if at all possible. Walk!
  • Try to fit in a couple of sessions of sprints – low equipment requirements, high metabolic effect.
  • Depending on where you go, there’s gonna be different daytrips. If possible go on an active daytrip like hiking, mountainbiking, snorkeling or similar.

We’re not grazers, so lying around all day while stuffing your face is not gonna be good for you. Even though it’s a vacation, it doesn’t mean you have to sit on your ass all day. For a reletively fit person, walking about shouldn’t be hard in any way.

On to the food.

Particularly if you’re somewhere sunny, icecream and cold beer can be problematic – here’s how to avoid excessive weight gain:

  • Avoid liquid calories. Juices, milk etc doesn’t fill you up like “real” food does and will make it easier to take in huge amounts of kcals.
  • Approach all meals with this strategy: First eat a huge plate of (green) veg, then half a plate of protein with another half plate of greens and finally cake, ice cream, pancakes and whatever.
  • Avoid dressings, potato chips and anything deep-fried.
  • If at all possible, eat foods where you can identify the ingredients.
  • Snack on fruit rather than candy, icecream or hotdogs.

Now this may seem like a hassle but in reality it’s really easy to do. I followed the above 90% and at no point did I feel like I was “dieting” or something similar. I enjoyed the fact that I had access to different vegetables at every meal and took advantage of that.

While this approach will also work when you get back home, very few people take the time to prepare such a huge amount of vegetables. It might sound weird, but I really miss having access to a huge amount of washed and sliced fresh cabbage  and red cabbage at every meal. It’s deliiiicious. <3


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  1. Pingback: The proactive damage control diet | Blog of Fame

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