Some people come back from their vacation with souvenirs and a few extra inches around the waistline. There’s a different breed of people, however, for whom travel is a time to shed the pounds laid on while working a job. These people come back rejuvenated, thinner, stronger, more toned. Their jaw line stands out more, their waist is trip, their legs leaner than before.
Travel is a break from your regular life. That means that if you are signed up at a gym, you’re not going to your gym. If you carefully prepare your meals at home to your nutritional and caloric needs, you won’t have that luxury on the road. You will be eating in new places with new kinds of food, and you won’t have that treadmill at the gym to burn off your extra calories.
So how is it that some people manage to lose weight traveling? A lot of this has to do with the style of travel and the attitude of the traveler.
For these people, travel involves a lot of walking. They walk to museums and they walk around city centers. They rent bicycles to explore greater distances. They go hiking in national parks. Since their travel is about seeing and exploring, they are basically moving non-stop all day. The travelers who lose weight are the ones that are so involved in their adventures they haven’t been thinking about food at all until they realize they are ravenous. If you are moving this much, it will be hard to eat enough to create a calorie surplus, even if you eat plenty when you finally stop to eat.
To sum it up, people who lose weight when traveling move a lot tend to be on more of an “adventure” than “vacation”. They eat plenty of food, but according to their level of hunger and signals from their body.
If you’re nervous about possible weight-gain on an upcoming trip, keep these principals in mind:
Remember that when traveling, the same thermodynamics apply to your body that do at home. Energy in must equal energy out. Otherwise, the excess energy gets stored as fat. If energy out is greater than energy in, you may need may need to buy smaller pants on the road.
Try to move more. Treating your vacation more as an “adventure” than a chance to be lazy will help you lose weight and will also probably give you a more interesting and fulfilling trip. Walk instead of taking cabs, and choose attractions and destinations you can get to by foot or bicycle.
Moving a lot while traveling gives you plenty of liberty to indulge in food. Remember, if you do want to lose weight, not just maintain, be careful about your portion sizes and don’t order seconds because you’ve “earned it” by walking everywhere. Eat when you are hungry. Eat to enjoy and eat to satisfy.
Losing weight while on the road is definitely possible. It may work so well for you that you’ll be looking for ways to mimic your travel life even after you return home.
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella.
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