12 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight when Traveling

by Jules on May 24, 2010

Keep fit and try something new...

See your travels as a great excuse to immerse yourself in the local culture and indulge in the local cuisine. And if you keep fit and healthy when traveling then you’ll avoid coming back from that holiday several pounds heavier. Follow these tips and you’ll still be able to get back into your traveling clothes on the return journey;

Eat local – Sample the local cuisine, which can be healthy, especially throughout Asia and the Mediterranean where the focus is on fresh well flavored food. Think tomato based curries (rather than cream), salads (without the dressing), exotic fruits, olives, sushi – you get the picture!
Go for a jog – Explore the local neighborhood out on a run. Many hotels provide route maps and if you’re in a smoggy congested city then choose a hotel with a gym, especially if it’s on the top floor with an awesome view.
Plan your meals – Plan your meal times throughout a day so that you are eating little and often. Small meals or snacks are better than having one huge blowout meal.
Walk more – Discover local sights that you’d otherwise miss by walking as much as you can. You’ll interact more with the locals and save a bit of money too.
Get active – Check out the local sports and activity tours that are on offer; maybe kite surfing or hiking is your thing? Or try something more sedate like fishing or snorkeling. Just try something new.
Take a pack-up – If you’re out and about on a tour, pack portable foods like bananas, packets of dried fruit, nuts and snack bars.
Try something new – Check out the local events guides and see if anyone is running taster sessions locally; try Tai Chi in Hong Kong, Krav Maga in Israel or Muay Thai Boxing in Thailand.

Check out our other tips and advice articles including What To Pack In A Holiday First Aid Kit and How To Be A Healthy Traveler.

Beware the all-inclusive trap – If you’re going on an all-inclusive holiday make sure you avoid the chips and fried food (at least for a few meals) and get stuck into the fresh local fruit, salad and vegetables instead.
Carry your own bags – Yes you’ll annoy the porters, especially those determined guys at airports, but you’ll get a bit of free exercise and keep an eye on your bags at the same time.
Eat fresh – Substitute the fatty processed meal options with some good fresh produce, whether you source it at a local market if you’re self catering or a restaurant. Being in a different country is a great opportunity to try all the local fruit and different fresh foods. A good tip is to also request a vegetarian meal on your flight which tends to be a healthier option. And try to ensure that each meal consists of a balance of carbohydrates, vegetables/salad/fruit and protein. Mix up the different food groups as well so you don’t eat the same food at each meal.
Drink loads of water – You need to keep your fluid levels topped up throughout the day, especially if you’re in a hot destination. Do not get dehydrated as you will feel miserable and unfortunately the beer and cocktails at the bar will not do your health any favors. Limit your alcohol intake and alternate between alcoholic and soft drinks.
Workout on the go – If you’re into yoga or Pilates then try a few stretches when you’re by the pool or on the beach. Back in the privacy of your room you could do some sit ups, press ups and use the furniture as workout props.

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