5 Tips to Get in Shape for your Winter Vacation

by Emma Hackwood

So you’ve booked your winter vacation, but now you want to get in shape to look good in that bathing suit of yours. Our Flightie and fitness guru Candice Jamieson shares some of her tried and tested tips for helping you get in shape for your winter vacation.

1. Set a goal for yourself

Setting a goals and a timeline for yourself is critical for success. You don’t know where you are going unless you have a destination in mind. This is the same with getting in shape and planning for your holiday.  A healthy target is to lose between 1- 2 pounds per week, which means you have to burn a additional 500 – 1000 calories per week. If you want to lose 10 pounds this means you will have to give yourself a minimum of 5 weeks.

Once you have a good timeline, break down what it is you need to do to accomplish that goal. If you need to burn an extra 500 calories, where can you fit in a new exercise class? What modifications do you need to make to your diet to account for a few less calories? Do you need to make your meals for the next 3 days so that you are prepared? What bad habit can you give up so that you can keep on track?

Set reminders and follow ups. If your realistic goal is to be down one pant size, purchase those pants and try them on at the end of every week. Or, it can be as simple as assessing how you have been mid week. Did a unexpected dinner or meeting come up and you need to re-coordinate your workout schedule or eat healthy modifications for the rest of the week?  Once the first few days or week is over, think back to what was hard for you and have a back up plan for the next week. In the event it happens again, now you will at least be a bit more prepared.

2. Add in extra exercise

female working out

Photo by Emma Matthews

Weights versus Cardio

Both methods of working out will change the shape of your body.  Adding weights to your routines will get your heart racing, increase the calories burned and boost your metabolism. Once your metabolism is higher, your body burns fat and therefore, you lose weight. Likewise, doing more cardio will help you to burn off those extra calories you need. The benefits of adding weights to all your workouts is that for 36 hours after you train, you’re boosting your metabolism. The effects of adding those weights last longer then those 45 minutes you just busted but for on a cardio machine. Combining both weights and cardio is ideal. If you are a novice to the gym life and you’re not sure what to do, start with a boot camp or fitness class at your local gym.


Yoga Retreat in Belize

Yoga is great for overall toning, building core strength and overall mental stability. Classes range from usually 50 – 90 minutes and there are a variety of different classes to try. Some classes will focus on breathing techniques which are great for reducing stress, while others will focus on more athletic toning and increased strength.  Yoga classes will help you burn around 200 calories per class so adding it to your routine will not only help reduce stress, but get you to that targeted shape you are looking to achieve.

Spin Class

This is one of the most challenging yet rewarding fitness methods around. Spin is great for increasing strength and burning all those extra calories you need. However, this is not for the faint of heart. Spin classes combine strength, speed intervals and endurance. One of my favorite parts is the matching of upbeat dance anthems that make this traditionally exhausting class much more fun.

A photo posted by Spin Society (@spinsociety) on

Spin is a great way to push yourself to the limits as each class can help you burn between 400-600 calories. Remember to eat a decent meal and hydrate before class, you will need all that energy and your body will sweat out any water you have already hydrated with.

Lots of gyms and studios will offer free trial passes or reduced rates for new members. Check out your local area or websites like Groupon (www.groupon.com).

3. Eat, eat and drink!

Your body needs nourishment to survive, so it’s is very important that what you are putting in to your body gives you the vitamins, energy and nutrition to burn off all those extra unwanted calories.  Did you know that by starving yourself your body stops burning calories and begins to store it as fat? You actually slow down your metabolism and your body will hold on to every single calorie and morsel of food, so you will actually prevent the loss of weight. It’s as if your body is a grizzly bear and is planning to hibernate. You are actually doing far worse for yourself by not eating, then are you by eating healthy.

You are going to have cravings and want to indulge! My favourite thing to do is eat what I am craving but modify it to healthy versions. Craving pizza mid week?  Make your own on a tortilla wrap or pita, use sugar free tomato paste, add veggies, moderate cheese and bake. You are still having pizza just the healthiest version you can. Taco Tuesday? Make your own taco seasoning:

Combine the below ingredients to your mostly cooked lean ground beef and simmer until cooked thoroughly.

spices and powders

1 tbl spoon Garlic Powder

1/2 tbl spoon chili powder

1/2 tbl spoon of cayenne pepper

a pinch of salt and pepper

Add the meat, veggies, cheese and salsa to your favourite hard or soft shell taco and you are set!

Craving carbonated beverages?

Have a sparkling water and add a bit of crystal light; it will help soothe the cravings. Creating and cooking your own meals will help to reduce weight significantly. When you know what you are putting in to your body, you can moderate how much sugar you are in taking and you will save some extra cash in the process.

Are you hungry or just dehydrated? Drinking water before every meal will help trigger your brain to tell you how hungry you actually are. You might just be dehydrated and need those extra sips of water. Did you know when you are dehydrated your skin shows more cracks, flaws, difference in pigmentation, and wrinkles? Keeping hydrated not only helps you lose weight but it will make you look better too!


Eating during the day and in between your larger meals is super important. It gives you a little kick of energy, but also pushes your metabolism so your body doesn’t shut down and hold on to those calories as I mentioned. Proper snacking is key; some great ideas are hummus and veggies, Quest protein bars, Greek yogurt or nuts with a piece of fruit. Ever get those late night cravings? That is actually your brain telling you that you are tired and you need to sleep. Being tired or dehydrated feels the same as being hungry. Which are you?

4. Teamwork is dream work

A photo posted by Spin Society (@spinsociety) on

Get your bestie or partner involved; they will be great for moral support. Having a friend to work out with, talk to when you are feeling down, or holding you accountable to show up to class with them is a great way to create some new great habits. How crappy would you feel if you bailed on your friend and your gym class at the last minute  because you were feeling a bit drained after work?  They’re also the best because you wont be lonely on a Saturday night when you are eating healthier options and not drinking. Have a girl or guys night, make some healthy food, and catch up on some newly released movies or some old favourites.

5. One step at a time

Remember one step at a time; nothing happens over night. Creating habits takes time and you will have to keep on the same path. If you get a little lost do not beat yourself up, it happens. Assess how things are going in your weekly goal follow up and then re-plan for the next time.  Everyone crawls before they walk and getting in shape is no different!

snorkelling feet in the ocean