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Five Ways Not To Gain Weight When You Travel ...

Evelyn Hannon

As a travel writer I am on the road more than the average woman. That means more time away from my daily routine when I can plan my own meals and keep an eye on my caloric intake. On cruise or touring holidays we all want to relax and not worry about extra calories. We just want to enjoy all the delicious meals served to us and partake in all the wine and cocktail party invitations extended to us. Right?

Well, if I did that I would soon be up lots of pounds that would be very difficult to get rid of in the future. Here are my five tips for not gaining weight on holiday and still not feeling sorry for myself because everybody else around the table is having much more fun than I am.

1 Create some leeway for yourself. In the two weeks leading up to your holiday find ways to shed just one pound. One pound in 14 days is not an impossible task. One pound is equal to about 3500 calories that you cut from your regular diet - an extra piece of toast here, a bag of salted peanuts there is all it takes. Now think about all the fun you can have spending those calories while you are away. For example a 6-oz glass of wine is 150 calories. Fifteen potato chips are about the same number of calories. If you have that 300 calories every night for 10 nights you will just about gain that one pound back. That's fine. That's why you lost it pre-vacation in the first place.
1 Buffet breakfasts on cruises or at hotels are becoming more and more lavish. Yes, of course partake especially if 'specialties of the region' are being served. Who can resist good smoked salmon or cheese-filled crepes smothered in rich sour cream? My rule is yogurt, fruit and cereal first. That will provide my real fuel for the morning. Then I treat myself to a smallish portion of the option that is really making my mouth water. This way I leave the table ready for a day of sightseeing, satisfied but not bloated.
1 No spaghettiAt lunch there is usually an excellent salad bar and nine times out of ten at least one pasta dish along with other main choices. This is your time to partake in veggie heaven. Load your plate three quarters full of salad choices all the while being very careful not to smother your food in oily dressing. Remember that a little dressing does go a long way. Then walk right by the pasta, the key is to ignore it completely and instead look for a lean protein like fish, chicken or turkey to fill up that other quarter of your dish. If you do that you can treat yourself to the dessert of your choice. However, you must be strong enough to leave half of the 'goody' unfinished. That shouldn't be a hardship. You will really be full anyway.
1 Mid-afternoons there are usually treats available. Lavish afternoon teas are served for those who are feeling peckish and in need of huge amounts of calories. I use this time to head for the coffee machine and create a cappuchino for myself. That, with a chocolate biscotti hits the spot and leaves room for calories at dinner.
1 You walk into a cocktail party pre-dinner and servers are circulating and offering drinks on the house. If you know you will want more alcoholic drinks with dinner, stay strong. For now, cut down by diluting your choice with club soda. Or, order Perrier with just a squeeze of lemon; these are no extra calories at all. Then, if you have the willpower, bypass the h'ors d'euvres. I promise that there will be more than plenty of food at your elegant sit-down meal.
BONUS: At dinner, keep your eye on the server who refills your wine glass when you are distracted by lively conversation with your meal mates. Signal 'no more' to him and he will bypass you for the rest of the meal. Ask for water instead so you still have something to sip on.

BONUS: When you can, don't let the bread basket and butter dishes tempt you. I confess I'm not always successful.

BONUS: There will always be a special closing dinner of sorts. If you have followed all of the above suggestions you can eat whatever you like except for the big fancy desserts. Certainly do taste tests of all the treats but try to leave 50% on your plate. This way The Travel Goddess will be kind to you. When you get home your jeans will still fit.

Women's words on food...

I came from a family that considered gravy a beverage.
Erma Bombeck, 1993

Roast beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy...
Roast beef, Medium, is safe, and sane, and sure.
Edna Ferber, 1913

Soup not only warms you and is easy to swallow and
digest, it also creates the illusion in the back of your
mind that mother is there.
Marlene Dietrich, 1962

Noodles are not only amusing but delicious.
Julia Child, 1978

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
Sophia Loren, 1979






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