When you are primed to handle nutrients (especially carbohydrates) well, i.e. through consistent training, your body becomes very efficient at shuttling them from the bloodstream straight into the cell (muscle tissue).
When you are not partitioning nutrients well, your body becomes inefficient at shuttling nutrients from the bloodstream and glucose tends to sit in the blood stream for longer rather than being stored within the cell and utilised.
There are two reason as to why this happens:
But don’t be deflated by this, the reason for your physique pumping back up so quickly once you’re home again is simple: You start training properly again! The amount of carbohydrate you eat hasn’t necessarily changed, but how you store/utilise it has.
One last considerable factor to consider is that the foods consumed whilst on holiday are often cooked using different methods and ingredients that you are used to. Your body loves consistency and has your fluid dynamics tightly regulated. When different food types are introduced drastically, this can be thrown off, leading to increased water retention.
Increased water retention combined with muscles lacking fullness from glycogen storage means that you now have a layer of water in between the sub-cutaneous layer and your muscle tissue – blurring things further.
This means that even if you keep your training solid, your physique can still change slightly. But don’t be disheartened by this. If you maintain your transformation protocols and keep consistent with nutrition and training when home, these alterations are not permanent.
This is why those on quick fix plans end up in an endless cycle of getting fit and then rebounding on holiday in comparison to those on the long-term transformation journey. Those that have taken the time to solidify their structures, strategies and systems and understand the importance of consistency across training and nutrition, will find their physiques are easier to maintain, and will not rebound, but bounce back to the shape they were in before the holiday.
This is what we mean by being in the shape of your life for life – not just for Marbella!
To sum up, it’s normal to lose definition when on holiday. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost muscle overnight from skipping a few days of training, and it also doesn’t mean you’ve gained a tonne of body fat.
Don’t let it demotivate or throw you.
Simply enjoy the down time, understand the above processes, and when you get back absolutely kill it in the gym!