If you’re planning a holiday, beware.

Holidays cause 88 percent of us to gain weight. Here’s how to avoid doing the same when you return home:

1 On the plane home

To fight jet lag and your metabolism spinning out of control, give a wide berth to the in-flight meals. harvards scientists found that that fasting during flights primes your “feeding clock”, which tracksmeal times, not time zones. always eat as soon as you land and your body will instantly be reset.

2 Landing + one minute

Pop a peppermint. studies at texas university discovered that the smell of peppermint instantly lifts both mood andmotivation, offering maximum protection against the depression of landing at a busy airport after a great holiday. it’ll also make youmore keen for your post-flight meal.

3 Landing + four hours

Put the kettle on for a cup of rooibos tea. the brew stokes your metabolismand enhances your mood according to research from the university fo stellenbosch. it’s also sweeter than most of the herbal teas, so you won’t need to add waistline-targeting sugar.

4 Landing + 6.21 hours

The exact time the post-holiday blues hit with a vengeance, according to a recent Virgin atlantic study. beat ’emby sticking to your holiday routines. “if you’ve been enjoying a pre-dinner beer, keep doing it,” says sociologist Frank Furedi of Kent university. “this will make you feel more in control
of your mood and less stressed. as a result, your body’s production of the hormone cortisol – linked to mid-section weight gain – will be limited.”

5 First evening

Researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan university found the most effective way to minimise the pain of return is to unpack immediately. “a half-unpacked suitcase is a constant reminder your holiday is over,” says study author Dr David Holmes. “and if you’re down about anything, like a return to reality, you leave yourself prone to comfort eating and excessive portions in your first few meals back.”

6 First weekend

Have a final blow-out, eating the cuisine of the country you’ve just returned from. “this taps directly into your store of happy memories,” says Furedi and a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating three large meals per day resulted in no snacking and the loss
of five percent body weight over eight weeks.