If you go backpacking for a while or travel around for longer, you do it mainly to see the world and not to lose weight. Yet it may just be that during a long journey you suddenly start to notice that your clothes are looser. Of course it depends on how active you are on your trip and how many parties you pack. I traveled solo around the world several times and always came back a few kilos lighter without consciously trying to lose weight.
How is that possible? I’d like to tell you below!
7 reasons why you can lose weight during a tour.
1. You are more active on vacation than at home
You travel to see the world and experience new things. Often you have to do something for that. Think of learning to surf, climbing a volcano or discovering waterfalls hidden in the green jungle.
Because you still have the feeling that it is now or never when traveling, you may also be willing to push your physical limits a little more. For example, I hiked through the mountains in Nepal for five weeks, cycled from Western to Eastern Australia and visited as many waterfalls as I could in Bali. All this together ensures that you move more and burn more calories than at home.
2. You eat fewer snacks when traveling than at home
The fact that I always lose weight when traveling also has to do with the opposite, which is that I always gain weight when I get back home. As much as I love making healthy choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I also regularly fall prey to snack binges. It is seldom limited to a handful of nuts, usually a whole bag of chips, a bar of Tony’s or half a jar of peanut butter dies immediately.
When I’m traveling it’s a whole different story. I don’t have a kitchen cupboard full of goodies with me and I don’t always feel like going out in the evening to score snacks. Eventually that snack impulse ebbs away by itself and I am just as satisfied with a bottle of water.
3. You eat out more often and therefore eat smaller portions
It depends a bit on which region you travel to, but in Asia, for example, you have few places with self-catering facilities. In addition, it is often much cheaper to eat out. Not everywhere are the portions so large that you are packed and ordering a second dish also feels a bit exaggerated. Because your body then has time to register that you have eaten, you notice that those smaller portions are just as sufficient. In addition, due to the higher temperatures on holiday, you will simply have less appetite.
4. You think snacking is a waste of money
I once calculated that I spent more than €700 in a year at Albert Heijn to Go and the Kiosk. All those little snacks on the way to work won’t hurt you as much financially if you have money coming in every month. When you are on a tour, there is often no money coming in, unless you go to work in Australia, for example. As a result, you have the choice with your savings to spend it on food or fun experiences. For me, that choice always falls on the experiences.
5. You have less stress and boredom while traveling
Stress and boredom are generally the reasons for me to snack. And all that emotional eating leads to serious extra calories for which you then have to go for a run to limit the damage.
Fortunately, on a tour you have a lot less to deal with boredom and the stress is also of a completely different nature. Of course you sometimes have stressful moments when you fly or when you have to be somewhere on time, but it is different from stress that you bring with you from work. In any case, it’s not the type of stress that you suppress in the evening with a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s to feel better again.
6. You are a bit more careful with food and therefore eat less
Of course it can always happen, but preferably you don’t get food poisoning during the trip. As a result, you are a lot more careful with food and that also ensures that you eat less or go for safe options such as soup, curry or rice with vegetables. Although you will also lose serious kilos if you catch an intestinal infection, that is of course not what you want. Rather choose the safe options and then maybe skip some food.
7. Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating
Especially if you are traveling alone and have just had a long day of travel, food is not always your first priority. Sometimes you just want to check into your hostel, meet new people and recover from a long day on the bus. You also don’t always feel like going out on your own and that’s why you decide to skip dinner. Of course you shouldn’t make a habit of it, but this way of fasting for half a day now and then can’t hurt that much.
(ed) Thanks to Justin van de Backpackcentrale for his first guest blog on our site. Read more about Justin below.