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

– image from Flickr, by Kevin

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. Dreamy. Although she absolutely, definitely wouldn’t say that.

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

– image from Flickr, by RJ Katthoffer 

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 skanky, 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?

3. Taiwan – everything looked disgusting

Food in Taiwan

– image from Flickr, by Thomas Huang 

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

– image from Flickr, by Miguel Discart

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 had projectile vomit.

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.

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

Vietnam

– Photo from Flickr, by Prashant Ram 

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.


If you can, while you’re abroad, stick to a Keto diet. The word ‘diet’ is kinda misleading there as there’s so much food you can eat. See the full guide of healthy meal plans now.


This year, I’ve signed up to do a cycling holiday with Intrepid Travel. Over two weeks I’ll be cycling 500 miles, some days 20 miles, other days 80, and my main goal, apart from completing it alive, is to lose a few pounds. I’ve spent four months in the USA this year, which is the worst place you can go if you want to lose weight. Definitely feeling porky after the Christmas indulgence.

Wish me luck – seeing as Vietnamese is one of my most favourite cuisines, I don’t have that much confidence in myself but I’ll let you know how it goes!

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

More on travelling healthily

things to do in st luciaWhat is cuba really like
Plans for My Month in Vietnam
Resolutions and Goals for 2016, and Now 2017
tagged in fitness, Food

9 Comments

  1. by Kiara Gallop on January 2, 2017  11:02 am Reply

    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! ;-)

    • by Vicky on January 2, 2017  3:29 pm Reply

      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.

  2. by Jen on January 4, 2017  10:16 am Reply

    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 :)

  3. by Claire on January 4, 2017  10:47 am Reply

    Great article! Yes Philippines did it for me. Sickest I've ever been in my life!???

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  5. by Amy @ Short Attention Span Travel on January 7, 2017  9:49 pm Reply

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

    • by Vicky on January 7, 2017  10:48 pm Reply

      Eugh, it's brutal isn't it? Stay away from the meat, especially at airports!

  6. by Lisa on January 25, 2019  3:38 am Reply

    Lol taiwan is the worst place to lose weight. Bubble tea and street food.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on January 28, 2019  2:50 pm Reply

      Oh my god I love Bubble Tea. Don't think I even tried it when I was there but I love the stuff now! Is it bad for you? I had no idea. Booooooo.

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