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Big Trip Ahead. Need a Strategy!

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Old 05-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default Big Trip Ahead. Need a Strategy!

Hi All,

In less than a week, I'm leaving for a big trip. Three days at a conference, then departure for a 10 day trip to Europe. It's sort of a business trip-- I'm going to do research-- but I'm traveling with others. I literally have NO IDEA how I'm going to manage to stay on plan so I'm trying to come up with some good strategies. This is what I have so far, but tips and insights are VERY WELCOME!!

1. For the conference: probably will be buffet style dining, with some plated meals and lots of booze. I don't drink much anyway, so I think I'll choose healthy options from the buffet and if I'm served a meal with an unknown calorie count, I'll skip bread and starchy stuff if possible, and leave half on my plate (this works for me when I'm eating out.)

2. For the European leg: the first three days, I'm going to be alone, and so I should be able to choose my food with a pretty good degree of discipline and I just have to make sure that I don't get tempted by baked goods and pastries.

3. For the next part, I'm really not sure. I'm traveling with several older people whom I don't know well. I expect that they will want to show off the local culture and encourage me to try local foods. I want to stay on track, but I think it will be rude not to be amenable to trying things. I'm thinking my best be might be to use the eat half of the plate, strategy. I'm not sure if I'll be very good at finding my way around the menus in the two countries I'm visiting, or really even what the food will be like....

Travelers out there... how have you coped with these situations. I'm about 5 weeks into being very much back on plan and I DO NOT want to derail myself, but I feel like this is a high risk situation especially since I'll be away from my scale, which is not good for me.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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It sounds like you've got a good plan for eating. My only suggestion is one that Ian has posted about -- he bought a travel scale that he packs and takes along. He said that he weighs on his home one and his travel one and compares as they are sometimes different weights, but that it has helped him. That's the only thing I could add to this.

Also, be sure to enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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It sounds like you've got a good plan for eating. My only suggestion is one that Ian has posted about -- he bought a travel scale that he packs and takes along. He said that he weighs on his home one and his travel one and compares as they are sometimes different weights, but that it has helped him. That's the only thing I could add to this.

Also, be sure to enjoy your trip!
Betsy, thank you! I do remember Ian posting something about that. I wonder if it's really small enough to tote around and I think that would be super helpful to me. Heading over to Amazon to see what I find!
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End of 2014 Challenge

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill

SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Sounds like you've got a pretty great strategy already! Two years ago, I spent 10 days in Ireland (most wonderful place I've ever been too, btw) & I lost 4 lbs while I was there simply because of all the walking I did. I had already lost 20 lbs that year but I didn't even skip dessert in Ireland & still lost a few more pounds. Europe is magical that way
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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I agree with the above. Your plan sounds good, having a little of anything is ok. Ian used the gym at his hotel as well, which is a good option, and if not, walking around site seeing will definitely help.

Also don't feel bad about telling the older people you are travelling with that you are trying to watch what you eat. You don't have to go into detail, but mentioning it on your first outing might make it less awkward when you're not cleaning off your plate at every meal.

Good luck and have a super great time!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:13 PM   #6
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I travel fairly often and my travel scale always travels with me. I actually didn't buy it to be a travel scale, I got it because it was the cheapest one available at a shop in the UK called Argos (think Target but without goods in the aisles, you go to the store, order from a catalogue and they bring your stuff from the back). It used to be my home scale as well but I got gifted a new fancier scale and so now have a travel-specific scale as well.

Anyway, I think this one on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Quality-Kitche...rds=food+scale looks similar to the one I have. For me, I feel a little weird popping out my scale in public to weigh a croissant or whatever, but someone like my brother who started his own weight loss journey doesn't seem to mind and in fact will discreetly bring out his scale to weigh stuff at a cafe or casual dining establishment. I usually try to get take out where I can and weigh when I get back or I eat half and weigh the other half later.

Other than that, your strategies seem excellent. You can't go wrong with eating half and cutting carbs. Another suggestion would be to plan times to eat. Often when travelling especially with a group, there's a lot of unnecessary munching that happens just because you're a tourist in the place and want to try the local cuisine. Even if it's just little bites here and there during the day, it adds up because tourist food is often less healthy than what you might eat in someone's house for example. So make a decision on when you want to eat and stick to it and don't feel pressured to go off plan because of the people around you.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
Betsy, thank you! I do remember Ian posting something about that. I wonder if it's really small enough to tote around and I think that would be super helpful to me. Heading over to Amazon to see what I find!
I just ordered for my summer travels, although they won't be foreign.

http://www.amazon.com/NewlineNY-SBB0...s=travel+scale

For what it's worth, I ordered the red/orange one to decrease the likelihood of forgetting it in a hotel!
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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Hello Ubergirl... I hope that you do have a good time on this trip. It really does sound like you have it planned out well and I hope that the buffet does have healthy goodies for you.....

I would drink alot of water.... That will help with the swelling of travel and probably with the sodium in the menu... and the wonderful people that you are traveling with... you could talk to them about sampling a bite from their plate of the food that they want you to taste.... That way its not so much and you can still get to sample it... (I don't know if they are the kind of people that share,.. but I think must of us are)

But have fun We want to hear fun stories of your trip (Europe)
Hugs to you and I know you can do whatever you set your mind too!
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethFromDayton View Post
I just ordered for my summer travels, although they won't be foreign.

http://www.amazon.com/NewlineNY-SBB0...s=travel+scale

For what it's worth, I ordered the red/orange one to decrease the likelihood of forgetting it in a hotel!
I just ordered one too. What a great idea!

toasted smoke LOL. It hadn't even occurred to me to bring a food scale and weigh things! Although I'm sure it's a great idea, but I think as long as I can weigh myself, I'll be able to keep it in check.
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End of 2014 Challenge

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill

SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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Hi ya. I am back from two weeks in Turkey and Brussels. As mentioned by friends above, the travel scale worked well for me as did finding the gym at the hotel. Other things you might consider are:

i) keeping your breakfast super light. Everywhere offers a boiled egg (70 calories) and if you are lucky you can combine this with a small fruit salad or even some ordinary salad.

ii) salads, lots of restaurants have yummy, reasonably low calorie ones.

iii) skip dessert. No-one will care.

iv) don't always go for dinner and lunch with your colleagues. Say you have some work to do. Or have to phone home. I managed to eat with my colleagues just a few times during my whole trip and when I did most of them were salads.

v) agree with yourself that you may need to go off plan for one or two meals. It may be inevitable but enjoy it. And it won't cause too much of a problem if it is just the odd one.

vi) watch what you eat on the plane. I avoided eating on the plane altogether, except on the way back when they had fish on the menu.

vii) keep posting here, if you can.

I'm back from my trip seven pounds lighter (to be confirmed tomorrow when I weigh in) so all is well!

Hope this helps. You need to be creative, but you can do it!
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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can you identify what are the eating pitfalls you think you might face? It might be easier to put strategies in place if you can clearly identify them.

For example for me it is the evening time in a hotel room alone when i feel snacky. I usually stash 100 calorie almond packs in my bag to deal with that situation. If not, i might find myself lurkig by the vending machine...

You mentionned avoiding pastries. Can a rule be that if you find yourself in a bakery, you can only have tea or coffee?

One of the strategies i apply when i have no control over what is served is: <will i ever have the opportunity to eat this kind of food again?> If yes, i don't have any. If no, i permit myself the opportunity to try something but in a limited way and not feel guilty about it.

It sounds like you already have some rules for yourself.

At a recent conference my approach was to peruse the buffet, fill my plate with salad and then put on only the things i really wanted to eat, with no return trip to the buffet.

I also make sure to have snacks i like, but for which i am not tempted to eat too much of in my bag for those moments where i am hungry but no source of healthy foods (eg. jetlagged in a hotel in the middle of the night).

Hotel breakfasts - can usually ask for yogourt and nuts/muesli/fruit. make it fit with your plan. That is likely the easiest meal to deal with. I usually try to avoid the buffet if there is one.

I find that high-end restaurants everywhere tend to have smaller portions, although the sauces can be very rich. Depending what i have eaten during the day, i will order 2 appetizers instead of an appie and a main. Or, i will only order a main. The other thing is to say to the waiter that you are not particularly hungry, what might be some of the lighter options on the menu?

journal what you are eating. Keep yourself accountable for every taste, lick and bite. you should still be aware of what you are eating even if you are travelling.

good luck!
It is a business trip - focus on the other members of the party instead of the food, get them to talk, entertain them.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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IanG and C'est la Vie Thank you both so much for your tips and tricks! Ian, a close friend just came back from a visit to Turkey and mentioned she had lost weight while she was there too! I'm going to Germany and the Czech Republic, staying in small hotels that don't have gyms. Part of the problem is that I don't really know what kind of food to expect on the menus and part of the problem is that I'm not sure what to expect from the people I'm traveling with.

So, here's my current strategy list:

1. Plan on eating a light breakfast.
2. Pack a few "stave off the starvings" packs of almonds. (normally when I travel I bring a couple of cheese sticks, and apple, and some nuts but since it's a long trip I didn't see myself carrying food around, but actually I think I should)
3. Try to order smart and if I can't, then leave half on my plate.
4. Avoid airplane food. (I normally only eat my own food on airplanes.)
5. Expect that there may be one or two meals where I really can't stay on plan-- don't let that throw me.
6. Drink only coffee or tea in bakeries.
7. Bring my travel scale and weigh daily.
8. Drink lots of water to help with the puffies.
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End of 2014 Challenge

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill

SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
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I always used to lose weight in Europe, mainly because of all the walking but also because their restaurant portion sizes are ....normal ! lol there aren't overflowing plates of blooming onions etc. ha ha

I think your strategies all sound great - and maybe the hotel will have scales in the bathroom

Remember, if you're really stuck, you can do the tried and true "noo wahhh i'm scared of new foreign food i don't want to try that" type of thing ha ha!
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #14
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Sounds like you've got a lot of good strategies in place; good luck!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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All good tips. I second packing enough snacks! Stuff with protein and fat and carbs, like Clif bars or nuts.

Also, don't worry too much if you get home and you're up a few pounds...It's probably just water and will come off quickly.

GL!
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