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How do you manage to travel and stay on your diet?

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Old 09-23-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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Default How do you manage to travel and stay on your diet?

I have to travel for three weeks in October. Travel has always meant that I go off plan because I have less control over when and where I eat. I need to break this pattern!
I will be staying with friends for the three weeks. My first set of friends love to cook great, rich, fatty meals. My other set of friends refuse to cook and we go out for every lunch and dinner. This travel is international travel so I can't look up the menus online before I go. How do I manage to control my eating when I have so little control about what and where I eat?
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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I have been traveling/living in Europe for about 5 weeks now and I have lost about 10 pounds since I got here. I would recommend talking to your friends and explain to them that if they want to make rich, fatty foods, if they would also prepare one healthy vegetable dish. What I've been doing is taking a very VERY small portion of the fatty food and filling the rest of my plate up with the vegetable dishes. It really depends on where you will be staying, if you're going to Europe(like me), eating out at restaurants shouldn't present too much of a problem because most European restaurants serve smaller portions and it's much easier to find nutritious options than at U.S. restaurants. But like I said, it really depends on where you're going. It's very difficult to eat healthy when staying with others without seeming rude :/

If all else fails, just walk a lot! I lost 8 of my 10 lbs in 3 weeks just by walking a lot, despite the croissants my host mother loved to serve us!(with butter and honey :O ). Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Hopefully lots of walking.Not sure where you are going.Is it a walkable city?
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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I recently went on a fairly short trip and I had a single goal. To come back weighing less than I went and that is exactly what happened.

1) I controlled my portions
2) I walked a lot
3) Ate light during the day and made dinner my big meal
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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Thanks nelie for the hints. It is going to be a challenge.
Peachy, you must be loving your experience! Europe! AND losing weight! Woots to you!
Harrismm, I'm off to visit friends in England (south coast) for 9 days and then to more friends in Florence Italy. The land of pasta and gelato. Two big issues for me, the gelato more than the pasta. Pasta I can make here, as I make my own pesto and I make my own pasta too. But gelato! There IS no substitute for this delicious frozen treat. I've been there before and know of some serious walking routes so your idea of walking is on the schedule. I think though that I'll have to walk for miles and miles and MILES to work off the pasta, chianti and gelato. THIS is what is a bit daunting because isn't it hard to work off those extra calories? I always thought that unless you control the diet, you won't be successful. You can exercise without dieting but you won't see the same results than you would if you controlled your food. Sometimes I wonder if I use my exercise as an excuse to overeat (I can HAVE that because I did 20 minutes on the treadmill vs the reality of 200 calories ONLY that I've burned through exercise).
I'll keep everyone updated about what happens. I leave early next week and am back in midOctober. I'll set the goal of maintaining my weight and exercising daily and take it from there.
Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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Well a couple years ago, I went to China, ate a ton of food. I didn't try to control it in any way. There was always lots of good food. We also just walked and walked. I came back 6 lbs lighter. I had similar experiences traveling to Europe. The only time I seem to not lose weight on vacation is when there isn't a lot of walking involved.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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Maybe the basic foods of China aren't as carb based? I wouldn't be so concerned if I was travelling to, say, Japan -- the land of fish and rice noodles and small portions. Or any Asian country except for India/South Asia (land of dal and rice and curry and chapatis and pappadums and samosas...)

But Italy is the land of biscotti, torroni, pasta, gelato, Perugina chocolates, pizza...I think I better pack my walking shoes!!!!
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:37 PM   #8
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Oh you should've seen the things we had. Lots of noodles. The portions also weren't small because we were 'guests'. So much food and we were expected to eat. The one thing that amused me were the deep fried and battered ribs. (This was before I gave up meat but I thought things like that only existed in the US) I also had ice cream almost every day there.

Also I've been to Greece, Germany and Switzerland with similar experiences.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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Wow! You sound like you've travelled a whole lot, and successfully too! I'll make sure I write down your three rules and take it from there.
Thank you so much.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
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Try to have fun and exercise when you can.Eat half portions....ENJOY< ENJOY< ENJOY.Will you have online access to 3fc to check in??We can keep you in line!!!
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:34 PM   #11
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I completely understand the challenge. Everytime I travel anywhere I gain a bazillion pounds because every trip is a gastro-tour for me. I'm concerned about this too because I'm considering taking a job offer in Africa which involves a living situation where I won't have control over the food and everytime I've travelled in Africa I've gained at least 10lbs and that's usually in like 3 weeks... So I'm really interested in the advice you're getting.

On the bright side at least you're conscious of your plan now and so that will make you more conscious of what you're putting in your mouth.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:41 AM   #12
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I've mostly failed at losing while traveling. As long as I stay fairly active however, I've managed not to gain. I guess the first rule is going to have to be portion rather than calorie control. And you are right, the calories are about 95% of weight loss according to studies. I've never lost anything from exercise, only maintained. I'm too old to do strenuous exercise like running or weights anymore, so I don't know about that. The mention of China reminded me of one time my oldest son and I were on a train to Bejing and he bought a lunch from the woman that came around. I was sitting across from him and when he opened it I still remember the look on his face when it was full of chicken feet. It was hysterical and I still laugh about it now. I was in Poland for six weeks by myself this summer (dental work) so I went mostly to McDonalds but I maintained. If you lose, you deserve huge kudos. I am going to have to face this when I go out to CA to visit my son this spring and I have worried about it, almost to the point where I don't want to go. I also have to go back to Poland. I just can't think about it right now since this food plan is stil really new. they don't eat a lot of salads or veggies there.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:36 PM   #13
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Very timely for me. I always have lost weight on vacations but think it's because my job so sedentary and my vacations active. However now that I have a serious exercise habit, will I see that post-vacation weight drop that's always been a bonus? 2 week travel vacation coming up in October and I'm a wee bit worried...
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #14
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It is gonna be a challenge, and I WILL see if I can scam some internet time to log in to keep me in line. I normally GAIN when I'm off my routine. So here's my plan and my goals for the 3 weeks:
1. Walk every day.
2. Eat my treats AFTER I walk and ONLY IF I WALK.
3. Portion control.
4. Enjoy! I'm only there once! Doesn't mean I'll binge. But I'll have some Chianti with dinner and perhaps some bruscetta which I normally wouldn't have...
Airline food bites, though. And since the travel time is so long -- 3 hour train to the airport, then 2 hour wait for the flight, then a 7 hour flight with 2 meals and snacks, then another flight, then a 3 hour train ride to my final destination. How on EARTH to manage this with airport food? And with the restrictions on what you can carry on these days, I fear I'm doomed!
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:39 PM   #15
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Everyone has given you great advice, but I always pack my own snacks for the airport.

fresh fruit like a banana, orange, apple, pear, asian pear, grapes, etc.

unsalted nuts & seeds + dried fruit = I make my own trail mix. You can get boxes of fruit for $1 @ Walgreens.

and for that matter, a pack of peanuts or other nuts packs nice, too!

frozen fruit is not a liquid when you pack it into a quart sized bag. you can wait til it thaws a little, eat it half frozen & pour any juice over ice & drink it.

Luna or Lara bars are good for emergencies. Make sure there's no more than 10gm sugar.

unsweetened spoon sized shredded wheat. I put these in a baggie for a quick snack.

Tofurkey Jurky. This is a little high in sodium, but it wasn't a liquid & packed nicely.


We do have gelato here in the states you know. (there is a shop not 5 blocks from here. I have to forget about it so I don't go more than 3x a year)

It sounds like you have a great plan lined up, HAVE FUN!!!
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