Losing weight while traveling: 10 lbs in 1 month

Losing weight while traveling is no breeze. I am so damn proud of myself. I lost 10 lbs while traveling for a month although it took me 3 attempts in 3 years.

Starting in 2014, I’ve traveled for 4-5 weeks every October for work. Every year since, I’ve gained about 10 lbs on the road and another 5 or so lbs during the holiday season.

In 2014, I had zero control. I ate all the guavas in Singapore and couldn’t resist my daily boba milk tea in South Korea. I was running and training during this time but ate way more calories than I burned.

In 2015, off I went to Europe. Although still running, I felt the need to eat all the pastries in Paris and drink all the beers in Berlin. That same mindset tagged along with me to Amsterdam and London.

In 2016 now 20 lbs heavier, I needed change. The goal was never to lose weight but rather to not gain another 10 lbs. In the end, I actually lost weight.

How to lose weight while traveling

  • Make time for fitness
  • Indulge in moderation
  • Limit drinking calories
  • Say no
  • Be consistent

Making time for fitness
Every other day and sometimes every day, I would wake up at 6am to take a Flywheel class before going to work. It’s not easy waking up early, but it was the only time I had for a workout. Also incorporating small things like walking instead of Ubering and opting for stairs helps a lot.

Indulging in moderation
I love eating new food and I was still able to do this. I made sure that I was eating smaller portions and sharing whenever possible. Rule of thumb is always order a size small. Another trick for eating out is taking half your meal home and boxing it before you start eating.

Limit drinking calories
If you’re anything like me, I’m always hungry. I minimized drinking my calories and saved them for snacking. I stuck to sparkling water or sugar-free coffee.

Saying no
It’s way too easy to go out for a drink every night especially when others are treating. This was very difficult for me because I love being social but I had to learn to say no. Also, you don’t always need dessert or snacks. And if you have strong willpower (I don’t, so I just avoid situations), you can still be social and not make poor decisions.

Be consistent
This is probably the most important. Making change for a day won’t do much but keeping at it for a long duration will. I took it one day at a time and the next thing I knew, I was back home a month later.

To be fair it was a lot easier this year partly because I was traveling within the USA (2 weeks in SF, 1 week in CHI, and 1 week in NY). I wasn’t as compelled to splurge on food and it was more convenient to find workout partners or classes.

Regardless, I’m still super proud of myself. Now that I’ve done it, I know I can do it again. I’m not yet sure where I’ll be traveling to next year, but wherever it is, I know I’m ready for the challenge.

Photos by Colin Young-Wolff.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

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