Vacation Weight Gain: Why holiday workouts are so important

A growing number of travelers are looking for holiday workouts to balance a higher calorie intake when away. This article discusses vacation weight gain and potential remedies. 

It’s no secret that you put weight on when you’re on holiday. But researchers from Cornell University have gone one step further and actually tried to quantify this in a New England Journal of Medicine report. They surveyed 2,924 people from the US, Germany and Japan to see whether there was a general trend of putting on weight during holiday periods. The survey was carried out over the busiest holiday periods, during which weight change was tracked. You can see a graph of the results below:

Vacation weight gain holiday workouts find gym

Change in weight over holiday periods and after. Source: Cornell University

The results were conclusive, and confirmed what we’ve always known. In all three countries there was an increase in weight. Germany was the highest, with an average 1% increase in weight, whilst the US and Japan saw increases of 0.7%. This equated to 0.8kg, close to two pounds in Germany, and around 1.5 pounds in the US and Japan.

Do I need to worry about vacation weight gain?

Yes, enough to start thinking about factoring holiday workouts into your vacation plan. The weight increases in this study seem fairly small, but the test subjects had different behavioural traits to normal. This is because their weight was being measured regularly. Brian Wasnick, the co-author of the study, acknowledges that those people surveyed would have been more diet conscious than the average citizen during the holiday period.

Vacation food holiday workouts find a gym

Worryingly, those in the study took five months on average to lose the pounds they put on in the holiday period. A number of participants had not lost this weight by the following holiday season, meaning that holiday weight gain became perpetual weight gain. This can plunge you into a vicious cycle. Wasnick notes how difficult it is to lose this weight, suggesting, “Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, make an October resolution” to avoid weight gain in the first place.

How can I avoid putting weight on during holidays?

The simple answer is to take on Wasnick’s advice and eat less. However, with an active program of holiday workouts you don’t need to miss out on vacation indulgence. Many people abandon their exercise regime during holidays, often with negative results. A key reason for this is being away from home, without access to certain important facilities. But as we’ve shown, there are plenty of ways to stay active when on vacation and keeping fit while travelling.

Holiday exercise holiday workouts find a gym

So when you go away on vacation, you can continue to indulge yourself as long as you include holiday workouts in your schedule. Find a gym close to where you’re staying and don’t deviate from your usual exercise plan. TrainAway can help you both find and access a gym for your holiday workouts. In this way, you won’t end the vacation period heavier, and you can still enjoy yourself just the same.

TrainAway Day Pass Process. Holiday workouts find a gym

By using the TrainAway app, you can join the growing trend of travelers continuing their workout even when away from home. TrainAway allows you to search a database of over 140,000 gyms worldwide so you can always find one near where you’re staying. Download the TrainAway app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit to learn more.


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