Summer livin’ - how to look and feel better on holidays

Here’s how to look and feel better on hols, writes Claire Spreadbury

SUMMER holiday season is here — cue a wave of panic about your less-than-perfect beach body. In reality, it’s unlikely any of us will be shedding stones for our holiday snaps. But, if you want to feel a bit better about yourself, cut down on eating bad stuff and get yourself moving a bit more, personal trainer Laura Williams reveals some habits to can start now that will make a difference by the time you take off...

Keep anything worth eating out of the house

It may sound obvious, but the best remedy for tackling the biggest hunger pang is to stay out of harm’s way. If you’re not having to fight the urge to stay away from the crisp/dip/biscuit stash, you’ll soon find something else to do.

Stick to the 7-minute workout

One of the best things about exercise is that it has a cumulative effect. So if, despite your best intentions, you haven’t yet managed to make that early-morning bootcamp, the seven-minute workout will get you results if you do it regularly.

Locate long-forgotten core muscles

Working all your abdominal muscles, and those around the hips and lower back, will help to give you a flatter-looking tummy, even if you haven’t managed to whittle your waistline by the time you board the plane. Book into a Pilates class or dust off that oversized exercise ball, and you really will be delighted at the results.

Book some exercise classes

Again, an obvious one, but paying in advance for your workout, means you’re more likely to turn up. And, subsequently, burn hundreds of calories.

Give bread the heave-ho

Actually, cutting out bread won’t make you lose weight per se, but it will stop you eating calorie-laden sandwiches, cheese-covered pizzas and rounds of buttered toast, so it’s likely to work as a pre-holiday emergency measure.

Set multiple targets

Create several daily targets to help you achieve an overall goal. 10,000 steps burns around 400 calories; consuming your RDA of around 50g of protein should help to keep you feeling full, while tooth-brushing squats on a Monday, wall-push ups on a Tuesday and hoovering lunges on a Saturday, will all add up pretty quickly.

Buddy up for exercise

Working out with a friend comes with double benefits. First, you make a commitment to turn up at the agreed time, which leaves no room for excuses, whether it’s Netflix or a coffee break. Secondly, it’s more fun than slugging it out on your own.

Discover the joys of journaling

Worthy? Yes. But also highly effective. Logging what you’re eating might mean you think twice about devouring a whole packet of biscuits (if we told you you’d need to walk nearly a mile to burn off a single Hobnob, you might reconsider). Download the My Fitness Pal app and log all your food in it. You can scan in anything with a barcode too, which does make the whole process a lot more pain-free.


It never ceases to stop me in my tracks when I hear my husband intone to our children one of the oft overused phrases from my stockpile of, “Can you just not?” categories.Lindsay Woods: If my children feel I’m doing it wrong then I must be doing it right

In honour of our Made in Munster special edition, Joe McNamee creates a four-course meal showcasing the best produce from the province. And there’s a lot to celebrate.The Menu's Made in Munster six course dinner - One from each county

More From The Irish Examiner