Being active is an important part of any weight loss or weight maintenance programme. When you’re active, your body uses more energy (calories). And when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.

Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kg) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Because of changes that occur in the body over time, however, calories may need to be decreased further to continue weight loss.

While diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does, physical activity has a stronger effect in preventing weight gain and maintaining weight loss.

Most people do their best to try and get a reasonable amount of exercise each week but, for many, it’s tough to achieve this – either because time is hard to come by or, more likely, it’s not being given a high enough priority.  That’s when booking a weight loss fitness holiday may be the solution.  For two key reasons: (i) for a whole week (or, even, a weekend) you can concentrate on giving your entire body the workout it needs without distractions of work or home life and (ii) you should get sufficiently motivated to carry on the good work when you get home.

The Healthy Holiday Company owns two niche brands that specialise in holidays that combine fitness training and weight loss.  If you like the idea of plenty of daily exercise, combined with yoga, a cleansing diet and helpful nutrition advice, then a 7 night in:spa retreat to Marrakech, Andalusia or the South of France may be the solution you’re looking for to kick start your fitness regime and your focus on weight loss. Prices start at £1,895 per person sharing.

If your preference is for a fitness focused holiday, then a week with fitscape and its team of expert trainers in the Italian Dolomites or Andalusia may be a better option for you and your weight loss plans.  7 nights from £1,495.

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy a weight loss fitness holiday as part of a group, then The Healthy Holiday Company can recommend numerous alternatives.  Have a look at its ideas for weight loss holidays or fitness weekends.

Coming back to basics, experts recommend that we all try to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. However, to effectively lose or maintain weight, some people may need up to 300 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week, and sessions of activity should be at least 10 minutes in duration.  And don’t forget to do some strength training too. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes such activities as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes such activities as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, or activities such as rock climbing or heavy gardening.

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.