I am currently on a rather indulgent ‘working holiday/extended honeymoon/one last hurrah before baby’ trip. My husband and I have now been away for just shy of 7 months, and I’m must say, I’m pleased (and somewhat surprised) to say I currently do not resemble an overfed pug.
There were moments within this trip, as I tucked into local delicacies (that all have somehow managed to have a deep friend element—YOLO), that I pondered whether I would soon have the ability to simply roll back to Australia… But, somehow—between the roti and the gyros and the burgers and the tacos, I’ve managed to keep things in check with some pretty basic travel ‘rules’.
These guidelines do not include missing out on sampling all the new, exciting and downright delicious cuisines one is bound to come across when travelling the world—because why the eff who I go then, girlfriend!? They also most certainly do not include any of the below concepts:
- Not drinking
- Not eating carbohydrates
- Bringing my own salad to dinner
- Creating a made up ‘intolerance’
Hubs and I, both fitness-lovers and general ‘likers’ of real and healthy food, have kept it pretty simple:
1. We cook our own food as much as possible
After constantly eating out/eating on the run, I’ve found this is the easiest rule to stick to. You crave your own style of cooking after eating rich, foreign meals. Nothing beats cooking your own delicious food: you know what’s going in it, and you can add in as many vegetables as you like. Golden. This is by far the easiest way to keep yourself from stacking on weight while on an extended trip.
2. We’ve been intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce body fat as your body shifts from burning glucose to burning fatty acids and their byproducts while in a fasted state. There are loads more health benefits, but at a very simple level, it’s an easy way to keep your total calorie toll down each day. Aka, we don’t have to say no to red wine at dinner time. So 4-5 days a week, we skip brekkie and get straight into your day with a black coffee to help keep us sane. It’s been a surprisingly easy habit to form. Of course, if we feel unwell (read: hungover…) we don’t fast that day.
3. We follow an online program everywhere we go
4. We get in as much ‘incidental’ movement as possible
Another basic one—but something that we often see other travellers skipping. We walk and cycle as much as possible while travelling—not only do you get to experience more adventures and get a better feel for your location, you’re also unwittingly earning that next mid-afternoon treat!
5. We skip the sweets
I hate to say it, but this is a big one: if you’re consuming a huge amount of sugar each day—be it in soft drinks, ice creams or poured into your morning coffee, you’re going to start to feel soft around the edges pretty damn fast. Of course, we haven’t always said no a creamy gelato or almond croissant—we’re not CRAZY PEOPLE—but it’s not something that we’ve made a habit of.
Our go-to is to order an entree and a main, with a really enjoyable red wine, rather than a main and a dessert—this way by the time the sweet treat menu comes around, we’re so stuffed it’s easy to wave it away. We also make sure we have lots of snacks when we’re departing for a long travel day; so we don’t end up hangry, confused and on the edge of a breakdown in a service station later that day, purchasing the closest thing that resembles a Mars Bar. Fill up on good fats, wholesome carbs and protein earlier on, and you’ll save yourself from a severe sugar craving, my friend.