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America is the fattest nation in the world – because holiday-makers pile on more pounds on a trip to the States than anywhere else on the planet, a study revealed yesterday.
Researchers found those who jet off to the other side of the Atlantic return home eight pounds heavier than when they left.
Larger portions, all you can eat buffets and snacking throughout the day were blamed for the dramatic weight gain over a two week holiday.
The Caribbean and its all-you-can-eat inclusive resorts secured it second spot in the Holiday Fat Map, while France was third and Italy fourth. Greece completed the top five.
But Brits’ binge-eating has meant four in ten have ballooned in size so quickly they haven’t been able to squeeze into clothes they wore at the beginning of their holiday.
Technical director Peter Seddon for weight loss treatment Obesimed which commissioned the research, said: ‘’Holidays are an opportunity to relax and enjoy the local cuisine but it is surprising how easily the pounds can creep on during a two week trip away.
‘’A large chunk of holiday-makers do little else but lounge around the pool and use their two week break as an excuse to indulge themselves and let themselves go.
‘’Many adults behave themselves all year round watching what they eat and regularly exercising so it’s understandable why they might switch off on holiday.
‘’But they shouldn’t go overboard, as when they return home and get back into their daily routine it might be tricky to shift the weight.
‘’It’s easy to underestimate the calories in large portions so readjusting to smaller portion sizes when returning from holiday is critical to getting back to an ideal weight or kick starting weight loss.
‘’Obesimed can help to cut the vicious circle of eating large servings that may have trapped some holiday makers and help combat continued portion distortion at home.
‘’It also helps those worried about gaining weight on holiday ensure their eyes aren’t bigger than their bellies so they feel just as satisfied with less food.’’
The study quizzed 2,000 Brits on their holidaying habits – where they visited, reasons behind their fluctuating weight and their post-holiday weight loss routine.
It found six in ten regularly gain weight and typically put on five pounds during their time away.
But a quarter have put on at least seven pounds and one in twenty have stuck on a stone or more.
Holidaying at home sees Brits adding at least seven pounds and emerged sixth in the list of ‘fat destinations’.
Spain, Portugal and Africa also emerged as the other destinations which see travellers returning home at least six pounds heavier.
Half of Brits polled blamed larger portions for their extending waistline and the same number said it was down to them ‘lounging around all day’.
Four in ten said alcohol was at fault, one in six find it hard ‘saying no to seconds’ and one in five said free refills were responsible.
The survey also found half of holiday makers only realise they have piled on the pounds once they return home.
One in five notice their bigger shape when looking through holiday snaps and the same number said it’s only when they see their reflection in the mirror.
But two thirds have been left feeling depressed by their rapid weight gain.
The report also looked into Brits’ attitudes towards sensible eating whilst on their summer holiday.
Half admit they use their two week break as an excuse to overeat and more than a third (35 per cent) shift weight beforehand specifically so they’re ‘allowed to eat what they want’ and not feel guilty.
And while four in ten Brits diet – with one in ten managing to shift up to a stone in order to look their best – a third ditch their healthy eating as soon as they get to the airport.
The survey found four in ten go on a post-hol diet and shed eight pounds which takes them six weeks on average.
One in five crash diet, 55 per cent exercise, six in ten have smaller portions and 31 per cent cut out alcohol.
But one in six manage to maintain their new weight for just three weeks before falling off their diet wagon.
WHERE BRITS PUT ON THE MOST WEIGHT
COUNTRY POUNDS GAINED
It’s easy to underestimate the calories in large portions so readjusting to smaller portion sizes when returning from holiday is criticalPeter Seddon, technical director for weight loss treatment Obesimed