I’ve been to Europe four times in my life so far and even though experiences and environments change throughout each country you visit, one of the constants that I’ve noticed that never changes is that I always come back thinner. I don’t mean to sound conceited or give you the wrong message about the way I travel but after noticing this trend happen to me and a few other people I know, I started to wonder what it was. And even though I eat pretty much anything and everything I want on vacation, here are some of the reasons why I feel I always lose weight and maybe some tips and tricks on how you can loose weight while traveling too.
Particularly I will focus on Europe because this is where I’ve noticed the lifestyle changes in comparison to my daily life in California.
- BREAKFAST IS SMALLER. In Europe it is more customary to eat smaller meals for breakfast like cookies and coffee or a croissant and coffee. Here in the States it is recommended that you eat a bigger breakfast with eggs, pancakes, juice and coffee. Now obviously we all don’t eat giant meals like this every morning but I know I am one of those people that do. I love my bagels, waffles and eggs served with my coffee each morning. But while I was in Europe I got used to those smaller breakfast portions. Except for that one time in Italy when I decided to have two croissants and two cappuccinos in one breakfast sitting.
- NOT AS GREASY. One of the things about food in the States is that it can be superbly greasy, of course this depends on whether you’re eating in or out of your home. But for example, take pizza, here in the states pizza is super greasy, delicious but greasy. In places like Italy, they serve individual pizzas that are larger in size yet the ingredients used are fresher and the pizza is nowhere as greasy as the ones you eat here.
- MINIMAL SNACKING. I noticed that because I was traveling and exploring, I snacked a lot less while on vacation than if I was at home lets say blogging. Here every break leads me to the kitchen but while I am abroad I don’t do this as much. I obviously still snacked but mostly for the sake of trying new foods and probably because I was actually hungry versus eating out of boredom.
- WALKING, WALKING AND WALKING. This to me is the BIGGEST reason as to why you lose more weight while traveling in Europe. For example, if I was traveling in Southern California, I would need to drive from stop to stop. That’s just the way it is. There is no way I am walking from the Hollywood sign to Rodeo Drive, the city is just not laid out for long distance walking. But in Europe, you can pretty much walk anywhere. Even if you’re using some mode of transportation like the metro or the tour busses, you still end up walking a lot more than you would back home. Just one day in London I walked for about 12 hours and just to get to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in France I walked up about 600 steps, chances are I won’t be doing that much leg work here in LA for quite sometime.
- NOT USED TO THE FOOD. Let’s face it the food in Europe tastes a lot different from the food here in the States. And sometimes it’s a hit or miss. Because you’re not as familiar with dishes or restaurants, you may not always select the finest dining or you may not end up in the tasty hole-in-the-wall restaurants, sometimes it’s just a fail. So because of that you may eat a lot less than you would if you were back home having you’re favorite plate of steak and mashed potatoes. And even if you find a great tasting restaurant, even if you eat a lot, the food is still cooked a lot more healthier than in the States (this varies of course.)
- LESS JUNK FOOD AND FAST FOOD. Almost every street in the States has at least four different fast food chains you can choose to eat at, and even though there are some American fast-food chains in Europe, it is nowhere at readily available as it is back home. Also, I’ve visited quite a handful of countries in Europe and I have yet to find a bag of Hot Cheetos anywhere. Here I can collect about 100 bags in roughly twenty minutes. We have a larger selection of candies, chips, juices and sodas.
- TIME CHANGE. It took me a while to catch on to this factor, simply because I thought time change only really affected my sleeping patterns and energy but truth is time change actually changes a lot of things. One of the things it changed for me personally was my period (it came later), my skin (it got cleaner) and my bowel movements (Gross, I know.) But time change also affects when you’re hungry and when you’re not. I would wake up STARVING in the morning, then I wouldn’t be hungry all day until 11pm at night. And by then chances are I wasn’t having dinner at 11pm. So I ate less during the day since I wasn’t as hungry, and didn’t eat at nights when I was starving, which led to my morning hunger. This of course depends on the person and their eating habits.
So there you have it. some of the reasons traveling to Europe changed my body and actually helped me lose weight. Please note this varies , not everybody is the same and not every body is alike. And just to be clear when on vacation you shouldn’t worry too much about whether you’re gaining weight or not, eat up and enjoy life! Because it’s not everyday you get to each French pastries or Italian pizzas.