5 Best Countries to Travel to Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight while travelling I’ve got a few suggestions for you. Using travel as a weight loss tool is a great idea, if you have the time and money. And if you choose your destination wisely.

losing weight

After two and a half years on the road my waistline has gone up and down, sadly it’s currently up, thanks to a year of pure indulgence. Pure, delicious, indulgence.

This year I want to lose some weight so I’ve been thinking about the destinations that left me feeling a bit thinner, and healthier.

1. India – eat the chicken

Chicken curry

If you want to lose weight travelling, the best place to go is India, without a doubt. If you really want to drop the pounds, whatever it takes, head straight for the chicken at Delhi airport. I did, not intentionally, and was unable to leave the bathroom for three days.

When I finally did emerge, I was with some friends, and we made some more friends, who commented at one meal that “I didn’t eat much”. No one has ever said that before, or since, but yes, for my three weeks in India that statement was true.

Another one of my friends went to India and got a parasite. She lost a stone, which she definitely didn’t even have to lose and had to drink tonic for weeks when she came back to get rid of it and get her strength back.

When you do eat, most of the food in India is deliciously vegetarian, so go easy on those naan breads and you could definitely find yourself a few pounds lighter on the way home.

2. Philippines – good luck finding something

fish in philippines

The Philippines is not a country known for its cuisine. And apart from the delicious food I got on the Tao sailing boat, I can’t remember another meal from my three weeks there. Oh, apart from that one we had in El Coron which we waited three hours (no exaggeration) for a dish that was totally inedible.

Correct me if you think differently but from my experience it’s all fast food or boney fish. I do actually remember trying their traditional breakfast with mucho gusto and then having dried out fish skins placed in front of me *heave*.

Look, does any of this look even remotely appealing to you?

21 Delicious Filipino Breakfasts That Are Actually Hangover Cures

As well as the food being grim, the scenery is stunning. There’s so much to do in the Philippines too, scuba, swimming, snorkelling so you can stay active and stay fit, and not eat much.

It’s also very hot, which y’know, kind of saps you of the need to eat, and makes you sweat yourself away. All sounding good for losing those festive pounds, right?

You could try intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is a form of weight loss and a healthier diet, based on time-restricted eating, and it’s becoming more popular with people around the world who are looking to slim down and adopt a better lifestyle. There are many different types of intermittent fasting to choose from from full-day fasts to alternate-day plans, along with the popular method of fasting for 12 hours.

3. Taiwan – everything looked disgusting

Food in Taiwan

The food in Taiwan was grim.

You know when you walk round Soho in London and there’s all the dead, blackened, sticky-looking animals hanging in the windows? That’s what the food scene looked like in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

I didn’t not want to like it. I tried. I researched and went to the number one place in Taipei, Lin Dong Fang, which turned out to serve bits of noodle with scraps of meat skin floating around in hot water. I tried the street food, I seem to remember some eggy, pancake thing, fried as fried could be. GRIM.

I also remember getting all excited about a food market in South Taiwan, it looked cool, great for photos but all the meat was rank. I feel gross just thinking about it. Bleugh.

By the time I finished with India, the Philippines and Taiwan, I’d lost about a stone. 

4. Gambia – try the buffet

Gambia buffet

Couldn’t eat in the Gambia either. I don’t like skanky bits of meat and the buffet I had in the hotel we stayed in made me sick and spewy. As in, before I went to India, it was the only time I’d ever projectile vomited.

We were taken out to the aforementioned buffet, which I knew I shouldn’t eat, but out of politeness went for it, and then spent the next 24 hours unable to remember a time before I was sick every few seconds.

It’s making my stomach clench thinking about it.

I don’t know how long it had been out in the hot Gambian heat, but the fact it was only covered with cling film with no heat or cooling system, didn’t bode well. I ended up having to pay out for the hotel nurse to give me something to help me survive. Not impressed. And when a hotel has a resident nurse, you know there’s going to be issues.

Basically didn’t eat for the rest of the trip, thanks to the memories.

Read this Second Nature Review for an honest look at a healthy eating programme that works. I go through what it’s like to follow it, what to cook, and the great results I’ve had from it. Also, check out what it’s like to go on a yoga retreat, and, to keep the balance, how to keep your body confidence on holiday

5. Activity holidays – push it, push it real good


One of the other things you could do, to lose weight travelling, which is something I’m testing out, is to try an active holiday.

I’ve tried it before. After eating as much as possible in Austin and New Orleans I needed a way to detox, retox, and metox… if that’s a thing. I signed up to do a week with the Tennessee Fitness Spa and ended up losing half a stone in a week, which was excellent news.

So not technically a country, but I’d definitely recommend the spa for weight loss, and it wasn’t nearly as expensive as other spas and fitness camps I’ve seen either.

I’ve also done a cycling holiday to Vietnam with Intrepid Travel. Over two weeks I cycled 500 miles – some days 20 miles, other days 80 – and my main goal, apart from completing it alive, is to lose a few pounds.

How to lose weight travelling

If you want to lose weight while travelling, you’ll need to choose your destination wisely. And definitely don’t pick the US!

What is Costa Rica like?

Look at the citizens, eat healthily while you’re there, and do lots of walking and fun sightseeing too. After the end of my 4 years of travel, I was the fittest and slimmest I’d ever been. All that travelling, walking and physical activity paid off.

If you don’t have 4 years to spend on this, fast forward the process with my travel weight loss tips above. And good luck!

Anywhere you’d recommend to go to lose a few pounds?


  1. I won’t lie this feels very ignorant, as a lot of Asian cuisine takes your stomach some getting used to if you don’t eat it frequently. Found this article looking for real tips of countries where the cuisine is fairly healthy so that I might lose weight while eating it, but instead found an article seemingly mocking my culture and promoting health issues as a weight loss strategy (? also not a good thing to be posting on the internet, if it was meant to be a joke i didn’t find it very funny). You went to a Taiwanese night market and didn’t get a single bubble tea? Said everything there smells bad? It feels like you are very uneducated despite traveling so many places. Food is an inseparable part of the culture in both India and the Philippines, as are Taiwanese night markets to Taiwan. To go and make comments like these would make locals feel very uncomfortable.

  2. Food all over India, Filipina, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore are amazing and spices are up to self caliber to absorb. If you are not used to Indian, Filipina or any Asian cuisine your stomach will need adjustment. It is quite dumb to recommend it as part of a weight-loss plan.

  3. Ohh!!! I always love travelling to the Philippines. Great place & great hospitality! There are a lot of nice foods a side from that milk fish!I am currently in Canada and I am excited to travel other countries to experience their food as well! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh really!!! As a frequent traveler I love to travel here & there. Always search for some special thing. Loosing weight in such a great way is excellent & exclusively special. Great place & great hospitality. Just love this.

  5. I am laughing hysterically because I, too, ate the chicken at the Delhi airport and deeply regretted it!! Ugh. So true.

  6. Hahaha this is so true. When I travelled across Asia for 9 months my weight went up and down by country… I actually put on weight in India though… but I had lost a stone in Nepal before hand so it was ok. Lost weight in Thailand too, but that could have been something to do with drinking all the buckets and forgetting to eat 🙂

  7. I’ve just had a look at the cycling holiday and it looks awesome! I love cycling holidays (I cycled 400 kilometres across Cuba last March) and I’d love to return to Vietnam too. Can’t wait to hear all about it! In terms of losing weight I’d just need to go somewhere that doesn’t understand vegetarianism; I wouldn’t be able to eat anything! 😉

    1. Oh I’m sure there are lots of places like that! I remember going on a canal cruise in Russia and they just couldn’t get their heads round my friend’s vegetarianism. Couldn’t comprehend it.

      Wow, that’s awesome you did that in Cuba. Must’ve seen so much different stuff to the usual. I did a cycling holiday through France one year and it was so good. Just me and some friends went together. That was about 10 year ago now though, can’t believe I’ve left it so long to go on another one.

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