In the health conscious society that we live in at the moment I find that quite a few of my conversations are concerning eating healthy and maintain a healthy weight. A friend who recently booked a trip to the UK asked “How do you avoid putting on weight and also eat healthy while travelling amongst so much new and amazing foods?”.
I have always been lucky to lose weight on every trip bar one – even round Europe with its pasta and beer, even in America with their Burgers and Pepsi – only place I packed it on was when I stayed at my grandmother’s house. It takes a person of stronger will than mine to resist second helpings of her famous roast followed by treacle pudding… don’t even get me started on how amazing her meringues were – just ask my cousins!
But at the same time a trip/holiday is meant to be fun and full of naughty little treats – no one wants to be worrying about how many calories that pina-colada has!
So I threw the question open to my well-travelled friends and here is what we came up with!
Walking tours – great way to orientate yourself while getting a work out!
Eat local – Your hotel restaurant may be easy but the food is probably cheaply made in bulk and full of sugars and fat, instead grab your jacket and head out to a local restaurant, as the local food is often made with local fresh ingredients and so therefore healthier.
Drink – water, it’s cheap, easy to fill up (obviously be careful if you are in a country where you can’t drink tap water) and it’s a lot healthier than a bottle of soft drink two or three times a day – having said that on my trip through Asia I pretty much drank nothing but Coke and I still lost 15Kgs…
Eggs – eat em! A great cheap breakfast when you are travelling through places like Asia and South America and they are jammed packed with protein giving you loads of energy to last you through the rest of the morning.
Massages – I am not sure if they have any weight loss benefits but they make you feel good and restore your muscles after a long day walking or bungee jumping.
Workout – a short fifteen minute intensive workout will get the heart rate up and release the endorphins leaving you pumped for the day, and you can tailor your workout so that you need no more space than it takes to lie down which is perfect for hotel rooms, airports, parks or a hostel common room (just get up and do it before everyone else) – check out this guys site.
Swimming – everyone loves a splash in the waves, whether you’re splashing the California Coast, or a paddle in a lagoon with the crocs in Northern Australia, if your lolling off an island in Thailand or dip in pristine lakes when trekking through Italy – while you are fanning about enjoying yourself why not throw in 15 minutes hard swimming, it will make sun bathing that little bit more relaxing.
Activities – do you know how many muscles steering a quad bike up a hill on a run-down track while in search of a lost lagoon uses, no? Well you will the next day! Get out and try anything and everything, you end up burning energy without even realising, beats the gym any day
Proportions – as tasty as a second helping looks there is a good chance that you may be doing something exciting after lunch so don’t fill up or it might come up…
Sleep – tiredness makes you hungry, so use this as an excuse to sleep in when you can, why not – you are on holiday after all!
Sleeping on the beach in Nha Trang
Eat In – try eating in a couple of nights, eating out every day can result in over eating and is expensive, why not grab some groceries and make dinner for yourself and a few of your fellow hostellers – it’s a great way to make friends.
Picnic – a great way to eat healthy and cost effective is to pack picnics, grab some veggies, meat and cheese and stow them in your backpack as you head out adventuring, then at lunch time all you need is a great spot to sit and watch the world go by and your trusty Swiss Army Knife!
Be accountable to yourself – You keep a travel diary? Well why not embrace the Bridget Jones in all of us and make a note at the top of the page of what naughty things you have eaten that day and how much exercise you have done, some days the naughtiness will outweigh the exercise but other days you will see how awesome you have been and get a little kick! E.G
Naughty: Two Gelatos, Two bottles of wine, Three cocktails… whoops
Good: Two hour walking tour, one hour swim in pool, four hours dancing… also whoops!
Packet Noodles – are cheap and easy, leaving more time and money for partying… but they also expand your waist line fast and are not very yummy!
Snacking – you don’t have time for it! Unless you are stopping to grab a refreshing Gelato that is.
Snacking on Gellato in San Sebastian
Stress – they say that stress makes you hang onto fat cells, so remember you are on holiday and relax!
Carb it up – try having one leafy meal a day, salads may not be your idea of great travel cuisine but you will be surprised at some of the great dishes you will have if you step out of your traditional salad box.
Airport/plane Food – stay clear of the junk food that swarms around you terminal, just cause it’s there doesn’t mean you need to eat it. If you think you will be hungry at the airport bring some fruit with you for while you sit at your gate praying your flight won’t be delayed. Also it sucks!
Stuff your face – its often the case that travellers are scared about when they will have their next meal being on the road all day – but this should result in panic eating, calm down and eat only what you need – you can always find food!
DON’T Supersize your burger and soft drink…
Let me know your top tips???