Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lose weight while you travel...

And have the time of your life while doing it!

As I mentioned before, I love to travel. Many people come back from their vacations complaining about the weight they’ve gained. So how can you lose weight and have the time of your life? Easy, savor each single bite. A few years ago I went to London on a whim and followed a few simple rules. I walked everywhere, didn’t really have much of a plan and really enjoyed every moment. I would take in my surroundings while eating and I would eat slow. I didn’t have a place to be and if I did they could wait while I finished my Tiramisu. I would also use little tricks such as, get off one bus stop earlier to take more of the city in and walk a few more miles. Sure, most of the time I was lost but I ended up seeing more than I could have ever dreamed of. I wandered around almost every inch of London with in a few days and felt a connection to a city I have never felt before and before I knew it, London and I fell in love.
During one of my first “lost, oh no what have you got your self into this time” adventure I just happened to see the Changing of the Guards. At this point in my first day I had been walking and walking to the point where my feet wanted to fall off. Note to self, have proper shoes for travel. So I took a moment to sit down and give my little puppies some resting time. Then I hear all sorts of noises coming from up the street. So I kept on walking to see what all the fuss was about. In all honestly, it was quite elaborate and I’m happy I stumbled upon it. The crowd of people was immense and the sight of seeing this ritual was quite spectacular. I highly suggest it if you’re ever in London you may want to stumble upon it too.
The next day was raining in London, but I didn’t care I was going to enjoy every minute of this city. So I put my brave face on and went to take in the city and some history. My First stop, Westminster Abbey, or so I thought. How hard can it be to find? For this girl, extremely hard but as luck would have it I am lost again and I almost get my little puppies run over by Tony Blair. How you ask? While wandering London I get stopped by a guard outside of Parliament just as the gates are opening. Not really realizing why this man is stopping me, I become a little perturbed, he should know I need to find Westminster Abbey. Then I see Tony Blair ride right past my nose and next to my toes. That was a close one. After my close encounter, I am still trying to find Westminster, eventually I did but first I find myself tripping upon a beautiful park, Hampstead Heath to be exact. It’s the Central Park of London. It was quite stunning and not to be missed. I found a lovely spot to relax and take a moment to look at my map to find the elusive Westminster, which was not too far away from me. So off I went again, walking to my next destination and I made it in line before they closed for the day. Lucky me!

So moral of the story is walk and walk everywhere and take your time. You'll finish you meal or get to where you need to be when the time is right. In your going with the flow, you never know what you may find or what may find you. You may just end up having the time of your life or at the very least coming home with a good story. So with out further adieu, here are my simple and doable pointers.

Tip Number 1: Savor every bite.

That’s right just eat slow and savor every bite. While traveling take your time while eating. Do not rush anything, enjoy each morsel. The slower you eat the better. You will find yourself feeling full and satisfied, while eating less. Furthermore if you’re on vacation where do you need to be? Your Belgium Chocolate Cake deserves to be enjoyed and enjoy it you shall. I personally love to try to use all my senses while eating. First I like to see that beautiful piece of chocolate cake. I need to plan my attack. From which angle will my first bite be. I like to make every spoonful enjoyable. Next smell, taking in what ever aroma awaits my taste buds. After that, once the chocolaty goodness is on my spoon, comes taste and touch. Hold the morsel in your mouth and with every nibble let you body really taste all the flavors of the cake. Is there a hint of raspberry? Maybe caramel? Maybe just chocolate upon chocolate. Dissect the flavors just a little bit. After all of that I like to listen just for a moment to my taste buds and how much they enjoyed that one small piece of decadence. Now your turn, try it out for size.

Tip Number 2: Only eat when you’re hungry

Just because it’s dinner time doesn’t mean you have to eat or have a large meal. We are programed to eat at certain times through out the day. Well stop, there’s no point, just eat when you’re hungry and stop right before you are full. The reason for stopping when before you are full is because it takes time for the full sensor of your stomach to reach the receptor in the brain. So if you eat slow and stop before you are full, your body will have enough time to process the situation at hand. Now lets say you wander streets lost like myself. You just so happen to stumble upon a local pastry shop but you’re not hungry. This is fine, this is doable, just sample. If you are unable to finish or you spy something you know you’ll love, take it with you for later. Who knows you may even meet someone along the way you want to share it with. Friends are made over food.

Tip Number 3: Walk Everywhere...

And use a pedometer. This is a great little device to track your steps and it usually sets you back $10-$30, so it’s a great deal. Track your steps and see how far you walked on your travels. You may be surprised. Walking is a great way to see a new town or city. Don’t let the weather stop you, just dress for it. For me whenever I get a little too cold, wet or really start to feel the heat, I just duck into a bar, cafe or little shop of some sort. It’s a great way to grab a drink of your choice, warm up or cool down and maybe meet or experience something new. In the not too distance past I was in Colorado and it was snowing out, I mean really coming down where you couldn’t see your nose, I really wanted to explore the little town that I was staying in, so I ventured out. It was quite beautiful, cold and breath taking. I would venture into a shop here and there, maybe make a purchase and help the economy and then I made my final stop at the local bar. I am always up for a hot-toddy in the winter months to warm my body and soul. Thirty or so minutes later the hot-toddy did the trick and I was out walking again, taking in this little ski town.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, remember when it comes to your body always chose pleasure and enjoy what life has to offer you.

Safe Travels!

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