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.
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
– 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
– 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?
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
– 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
– 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.
READ MORE about weight, fitness and body confidence
Read this Second Nature Review for an honest look at the healthy eating programme. I go through what it’s like to follow it, what to cook, and the great results I’ve had from it. Also, 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
– 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?