Travel Makes You Thinner!

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Travel makes you wise, we all know that, and wisdom makes you sexier and cooler, but on a totally shallow level, travel also makes you thinner, or it can. It works for me.

Travel makes you thinner

You may have noticed that we love our food here at World Travel Family, it’s a big part of travel for us. I’m married to a chef after all.

We’ve loved our Indian food in Malaysia, our huge Laos breakfasts and our gorgeous Thai food on Ko Phangan.

I make no apologies for the fact I want to be thinner, healthy thinner, not sick thinner.

A slender friend ( that’s you Kym!) has chastised me for being a fan of thin, I sympathise with those who’d like to gain weight, but that’s never been my problem.

I’ve always struggled to keep my weight in check. I love my food and wine rather too much, I’ve struggled to keep my weight down with lots of running  and a fair bit of starvation.

Silly, self obsessed girly that I am.

In the build up to this trip I piled on the weight, I was over 70Kg, 11 stone ish, the heaviest I’ve ever been.

I knew what was causing it, sitting at a computer all day. It’s a great way to become unhealthy. That and getting older.

The extra weight made me miserable, uncomfortable and hot. I knew that once we hit the road it would melt away, so I didn’t stress too much.

I worked out years ago that travel makes me thinner. Not just adventurous, outdoor-activity-climbing-up-mountains travel. I did a lot of that,  any sort of travel seems to have  the same effect .

( I have never been on a cruise or any sort of all-inclusive holiday, that just wouldn’t work!)

Only 6 weeks into our trip my trousers were falling down and the “thin-clothes”  I’d brought with me fitted perfectly.

I weighed myself on luggage scales in Bangkok , 62Kg. 8 to 10Kg had melted away in under 2 months. Not bad!

Here are my 10 reasons travel makes me thinner. Not just thinner, healthier, that’s got to be good.

I’m eating less processed food, less sugar, less wheat and my caffeine levels are way lower.

The meals we are enjoying in S. E. Asia are delicious, lighter, healthier and packed with vegetables.

No fish and chips and pizza these days. I feel great and, dare I say it, younger.

10 Reasons Travel Makes me Thinner and Healthier

  • 1. When I wake up at 2am, or 6am, or any am before 8, there is nothing to eat. My tummy may be growling but there is nothing in the fridge other than water. The restaurant opens at 8, I have to wait ’till breakfast. Same goes for those of you who suffer from late-night munchies. Unless you want a walk in the dark, you’re stuffed.
  • 2. Eating in restaurants 3 times a day means portion control is taken care of for me. I get what I pay for and it’s usually enough (I don’t think this would work in the US!). I can’t polish off what’s still left in the pan, no willpower required.
  • 3. Meals are events when they’re eaten in a restaurant. They take time and I really enjoy my food. I can’t wolf down a nondescript sandwich standing up. I get to sit down and enjoy a bowl of Tom Yum and a beer. Meals are something to look forward to and I feel like I’ve eaten.
  • 4. No snacking between meals. No fridge full of goodies to tempt me. If I want extra food I have to go buy something, I usually don’t want it badly enough to search for it or pay for it.
  • 5. Our budget holds me back. We eat enough and we eat well, but I’m not going to waste money on food we don’t need.
  • 6. A mid-morning coffee with a chocolate muffin doesn’t happen any more. Not having a kettle is a blessing in disguise. I have 2 coffees with a very leisurely breakfast. That’s my caffeine for the day. ( When we are near a Starbucks we break this rule, and it’s SO good!). Fizzy drinks aren’t nearly as delicious as fresh fruit shakes, another healthy bonus.
  • 7. Sometimes I skip meals, if I feel like it. I know it’s good for our budget so if I don’t feel like eating when we need to feed the kids, I don’t.
  • 8. Spending so much time sitting in restaurants shrinks our mornings and afternoons. It’s very easy to fill that between meal time with work, swimming, exploring or whatever else we’re doing. No time to get bored and look for snacks.
  • 9. Physical activity levels are maybe higher. I can easily spend all day in the water here on Ko Phangan, not swimming, just leisurely playing and snorkelling. In cities we walk a lot, we have no car, that makes a huge difference. I regularly end up giving a child a piggy back if they’re tired. Pushing a child on a beach swing for hours must be doing something, too. Sometimes I carry around 20Kg of bags, I guess that’s a sort-of work out.
  • 10. On travelling days, those days spent on buses, trains and planes, food isn’t always available. I take snacks for the kids, hungry kids are grumpy kids, but I often don’t bother for myself. I’d rather have proper food than peanuts and milk drinks. So I wait.

I Always Lose Weight Traveling

So our travel diet does and always has, kept the pounds off me. I’ve always, without fail, lost weight while travelling.

Some countries make this difficult, the US is particularly different. In general, the more western diets with higher amounts of processed food are the hardest to stay slim in.

It’s not rocket science is it? Just those dietary rules that we all know and choose to avoid. Eat good food, don’t snack, control portions and only eat when you’re hungry. I feel so much better, my clothes are comfortable and I really do feel younger. It’s all good!

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

14 thoughts on “Travel Makes You Thinner!”

  1. I need to travel more like you Alyson! We are doing much slower travel, so with our own place we cook loads. Probably too many treats too.

  2. I agree that travel can make you healthier simply because you tend to be much more active but food-wise I think I found it easier to eat healthily back home. In New Zealand and Australia where we were still cooking for ourselves we managed to eat quite similarly to how we would in the UK but once we hit Indonesia we went off the rails. We were travelling fast and found much of the local food difficult to stomach as it was greasy, meaty and sugary (I’m a fussy eater too which doesn’t help), so we ended up missing meals or snacking on rubbish instead. It was incredibly unhealthy and Andrew, who loses weight quickly, began to look ill and gaunt. A few months later we’re still trying to get a balance and figure out ways to eat healthily in Asia – it’s harder work than I thought it would be when we were planning this trip.

  3. I agree! At least in Southeast Asia since I put on 10kg in America!
    I’m in rural Cambodia at the moment and have a 7km cycle to the local school to teach English which is way more exercise than I would do at home, especially considering I had a desk job and worked next to numerous cafes and fish and chip shops!
    It’s also way too hot during the day to even contemplate lunch, and I’ve just had food poisoning so my stomach has definitely shrunk! Hope it stays that way!

    • I’m extremely envious of you Stacey! Teaching in Cambodia must be so rewarding, I get a buzz out of educating my own kids but when I was younger I would have loved to do something like that. When I lived in London and used to cycle or walk along the Thames every day to work, the weight stayed off easily. It was Australia that piled it on for me, jumping in a car every time I needed to go anywhere, along with a terrible diet.

  4. I agree, Alyson. Believe it or not – after working so hard at home to get down to 70kg (I was nearly 80!!!), when we went on our cruise, I thought “uh oh”. But even with all you can eat buffets and 24/7 room service, I didn’t put on any weight for a month of being away from home.

    I think the lack of processed food, yummy local options, and LOTS of walking did the trick. It’s just living healthy. What a pity I can’t say I’ve done the same since we came home…

  5. Totally Agree!! I found we ate so much healthier on the road. Healthy inexpensive fresh food is so much more available in other countries. (Granted we live in the southern USA) We loved traveling to the markets and buying fresh and local foods. We marveled at the abundance of the fresh produce that would be so expensive in our local farmers market or whole foods. Also so much of the east is naturally gluten free. New Zealand was very gluten free friendly.

  6. A lot of travellers talk about this “added” benefit-it is a healthy way to do it because you are not consciously dieting or working out which is where people fall down at home; they lose momentum because of boredom or lack of motivation and feeling deprived. You are just “living” a healthy lifestyle.

  7. Do not do a home stay for a month in Thailand then! Oh my goodness, I have never eaten as much in my life as I have this month. I now know how to say ‘I’m full’ in Thai.

  8. Slender is a much nicer word than what I’ve dealt with all my life.
    Starvation on Stilts
    Annie Rexic
    Lucky my “slender” self has managed to keep up a healthy self-esteem.
    I am just one of those people that would LOVE to be 60kgs.
    Still, I am healthy and always have been and I’m out the otherside of the cruel childhood days.
    I’m really happy for you Alyson and for everyone when they can feel comfortable doing whatever it takes to become the size they want to be as long as it’s all a healthy balance.
    I’m absolutely loving all your posts . Is the Chef writing many? Am I missing them for some reason?

  9. So agree – to the extent that I try to add a couple of pounds before going somewhere like the Himalayas, as I know I’ll lose plenty and need the resources to cope with the mountains. And no – it doesn’t work in the US!


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