Going on vacation is often a time for indulgence. You may eat a bit more at breakfast as you take advantage of the delicious offerings of your hotel’s breakfast buffet; lunch and dinner out every day. A bit of walking around to see the sights, but you are probably not hitting the gym or engaging in your normal level of physical activity. No major issues—in a week or two, you will be back home and back on track. But, when you are traveling long-term, the ‘’I’m on vacation’’ excuse will not fly for months of unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity. As someone who has been on the road for over 20 months ,and experienced many weight fluctuations during this time, I would like to share some tips that helped keep me on track.
Avoid the Urge to Use Transportation All the Time
When you are on vacation, it is natural to want to take taxis, be close to all major attractions and expend as little energy possible getting to the various restaurants and attractions. We would rather not walk if we can grab a cheap taxi or hop on the subway. But, when you are traveling long-term, regularly walking is your best bet for getting adequate physical activity as you may not have the option to join a gym or take part in some sort of ‘’official’’ exercise. Changing the way you view walking can help you do it more often in lieu of hopping on some form of transportation. Do not view it as the least efficient way of reaching your destination, look at it as your daily dose of physical activity. In one city I spend a lot of time in, I trek 30 minutes to my daily vegetarian lunch spot and back again—tempting to hop in a taxi, but when I view it as my exercise for the day, it is a lot easier to choose that option. Even if something is not in total walking distance, at least walk part of the way.
Balance Out Your Calories
If you are on the road long-term, you are probably going to be eating out a lot, especially if you are somewhere with a lower cost of living. I have been in SE Asia, and even though I have cooked meals at home quite often, I eat out a lot more since the prices here do not exactly bust my budget. Eating out almost always means more calories, unless you are really disciplined about choosing the healthier options on the menu, or are eating at places that specifically serve healthy food. I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater, but I still like my sweets and plenty of not-so-healthy foods like gooey pastas and pizza. But, I make an effort to balance out calories—lunch most days is at a local vegetarian place or a home-made stir fry loaded with tofu and veggies. This way, I can enjoy my treats without my weight ballooning.