How to prevent travel kilos (body kilos that is) – by guest expert Natalie Edwards APD

With school holidays upon us it seems half of Melbourne is flying out for some fun in the sun.  Travel nutrition is an important consideration, especially food safety, but also making sure your flop and drop holiday doesn’t lead to the kilo creep. One of our previous Sub of the Month’s is on a holiday in Turkey and Italy, so who better than to give us the scoop:

About our expert:

Natalie Edwards one of Emma's APD mentee'sNatalie Edwards was the October 2012 Sub of the Month and is one of Emma’s APD mentee’s.  She loves to spread the word about nutritious food on her own blog Nat’s Nutritious and Delicious with Facebook page.  She loves travel and exploring new cuisines and hopes she can  show that eating like a dietitian isn’t only healthy but tasty too!  She’s just posted on her blog a favourite recipe inspired from her Italy travels.

I have heard it many times before, ‘I went to Europe and gained 5 kilos! The food was too good, the alcohol was flowing and I couldn’t help but overindulge on everything that came my way. Now I am home I regret putting on all the weight because now I am finding it very hard to lose it.’ Does this sound familiar?

So the question is…can you travel with enjoyment and not come home with excess baggage?  I believe so and here are a few ways to enjoy your stay and keep the kilos at bay.

Keep on moving!

Walking is free of cost, allows you to take plenty of amazing pictures and burns the kJ’s. It’s also a great way to get an overview of your new surroundings and meet the locals. In my eyes there is nothing better then getting out of bed early in the morning in an unknown place and enjoying the scenery before the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the day ahead. If your day ahead is going to involve sitting on a minibus, early morning walks are the one way you know you will clock up some exercise.

Eat and drink strategically

I absolutely love food and so I’m constantly doing a balancing act between staying healthy and over indulging. This is particularly challenging when overseas. Food is a huge part of many countries cultures and I don’t like missing out on a cultural foodie experience. Here are a few tips to keep off the weight but not miss out:

Nat eating pretzel with friend

Compensate: With all the sights to see and photos to take, it’s not too hard to focus on eating light throughout the day, so you can save up for a special meal in the evening.  Choose fruit, yoghurt, muesli or poached eggs on toast to start the day. For lunch choose a salad, sandwich or something light. Stock your hotel or hostel with staples like cereal to eat out of a mug and carry a can opener and small knife in your swag.

You will be shocked to know that there are many recipes you can cook up with a hotel appliance!  Yes, really. Like grilling a cheese sandwich with the iron….hmmmm.  Or maybe this Chickpea Kettle Soup from Aussie blogger Stone Soup.  Also check out this video by Lonely Planet on cooking in your hotel room with oatmeal in the coffee maker and bacon and eggs with the iron!

Try the 3:1 ratio: If your traveling for a long period of time I suggest you have 3 days where you choose the healthier options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and one day where you enjoy a little overindulging. You can always choose the healthier cultural dish over the three days, for example: tomato pasta rather than creamy sauce, steamed dim sims over fried ones. On your fourth day perhaps you might like to have a cultural banquet or a 3-course meal trying traditional food from that country.

Watch your liquid kJ’s: I am one of those rare people that doesn’t really like alcohol. Amazing I know.  So, I’m not going to lie, the challenge most face when on holidays isn’t really my weakness. Fast fact: Alcohol contains 29 kJ’s per gram, when you compare this to other energy sources (Fat 37kJ/g Protein 17kJ/g Carbohydrate 16kJ/g) you can see alcohol is kilojoule dense. Again, use the 3:1 ratio- Have 3 days alcohol free. On the fourth day enjoy a vino or two!  But if you’re on a wine tour through France, I suppose different rules can apply.

Editor’s comment:

Thanks Nat…so jealous of Turkey and Italy.  And those tips are fantastic advice.  What about you lovely readers?  Whats on your bucket list? Got a travel nutrition tip to share?


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