One of the best parts about traveling is all the amazing food you get to eat. And you can't forget about the unique drinks that you find when you go abroad. The idea of counting calories while traveling is insane. But you also don't want to ruin all the work you put into getting healthy.
As a food addict, honestly I am my happiest when I am eating, I have a few tips to help minimize the weight gain while tasting (and loving) all the new goodies the world has in store.
1. Understand that you will be eating more...and don't freak out.
You're traveling. You don't have a kitchen and the best part is picking up a pastry while walking buy a cute shop in France or going out for pizza in Italy. If you didn't do that because you were watching your weight you are missing out!
What you need to do is keep your expectations on how healthy you will be realistic. Yes you don't want to gain weight since you'll be in a bathing suit off the coast of Greece. But don't feel bad for trying new foods. Understand your weight will change. Even if all you ate was salads your weight would still change because, as most travelers know, our bodies react weird when we go to new places.
So enjoy and keep your expectations on health realistic.
2. Take a walking tour
What better way to stay healthy AND check out more of the city you are visiting? There are tons of walking tours, some free, some you have to pay for. I would recommend taking the tip based, free tours first because they give you an excellent overview of the city and the tour guides are amazing. Then you can branch out from there. Walking tours are usually 3 hours but I have seen some that go on longer then that. Its a good way to stay active while not taking time out of your trip to actually work out.
3. Substitute meals
So you know that your going to have a nice big plate of pasta or some fish and chips with garlic mayo (drool) for dinner. Have light lunches and breakfasts to save some room to feast later on. Personally I ate mostly gelato for lunch while I was in Spain and Italy. Not the healthiest of choices but is was refreshing and so worth it. A small scoop can keep you satisfied for hours and isn't that terrible....
4. Do something adventurous
Don't just stick to normal tours when away. Find an awesome place to do some extreme sports, or even something as simple as kayaking, hiking or swimming. Anything to keep you active (and out of the pubs) for a bit longer will do wonders for your health.
Personally while I was visiting Switzerland I spent a lot of time hiking the Swiss Alps. It was beautiful and exhausting and the perfect workout to burn off some of those Swiss Cheese calories!
5. Try a vegetarian, plant based, meal for dinner in each city.
Yes, you can not get enough of the pigs knuckles you get covered in gravy at the beer halls. I couldn't at least. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. But they were huge, and because I find it impossible to leave food on the plate, my stomach was killing me most of Germany! (Still worth it). So I started to order a plant based meal instead. This cuts down on the calories and helps settle a stomach that isn't use to the rich, amazing food that is all around!
Plus all around the world has some pretty amazing ways to cook vegetables, and as a veggie freak it was amazing to try!
6. Drink water as much as you can!
You're gonna be walking everywhere. Keep hydrated! Water helps reduce bloat and helps a sensitive new stomach digest all the exotic flavors. And you are going to be drinking ALOT. Save the calories for the beer and Red Bull vodkas you'll be cranking out in the clubs in Amsterdam! The rest of the day stick to water, not soda or juice.