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Losing weight while in European vacation?

I'm planning a 3 week trip to Europe at the end of the summer. With all the walking many miles everyday, I think I will lose weight, but then again, with all the croissants, wine and pasta, etc, maybe I will gain weight. I don't want to be a on a diet during my once in a lifetime trip, but I'll try not to go overboard. If I could eat what I want and remain the same weight I would happily settle for that.

Does anyone have experience with this issue? I know it's not a terrible situation to be in, but I'm curious what others have experienced.

Wed. May 31, 2:17pm

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Yep - went to France for 3 weeks. Ate the cheese, drank the wine and had hot chocolate and croissant every morning for breakfast and I stopped at a patisserie every day for lunch and tried a new pastry. I lost 5 pounds. Yes, I walked a lot, but I don't think that really made up for it. Can't explain it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 3:12 PM

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Eat like the locals-Europeans eat wonderful, real, decadent food and stay slim. They don't fill up on empty calories or eat mindlessly, dining is a ritual and it the cuisine deserves it. Walk whenever you have the chance, and you'll be fine.
Bon voyage!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 3:21 PM

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You will walk until your feet...and the pounds, literally fall off, I promise!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 6:03 PM

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When I lived in Europe I walked about 8 miles on an average day, it was nothing. I ate lots of chocolate but I stayed trim because of all of the activity.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 6:16 PM

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With exercise and not completely overeating or drinking (but still enjoying), you should be just fine. Enjoy your trip! :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006, 1:48 PM

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I've been to most countries in Europe and the only one I gained weight in was the UK (cold damp climates deter you from being outdoors much, and most of the food involves fatty meat + fried, refined carbs). The place I lost the most was Italy -- you miss too much if you *don't* walk everywhere, and Venice has so many steps/bridges that you wake up in the morning feeling like you spent half the day on a stairmaster (and I ate huge pizzas every day). Their cities developed in a time before the car, so the historical parts are usually a very manageable and beautiful couple of square miles. As for the food, Europeans are way more into freshly prepared stuff even on a "quick snack" level, and of course they don't have the goodies you're used to craving. Warning: you might have trouble getting diet coke ("Coke Light") in restaurants, just so you know.

If you're really worried, rent a bike for a day and get day-trip cycling advice from either the internet or the shop. Holland, Belgium and Denmark are very well set up for this sort of thing (maybe Germany too, can't quite remember), and I've cycled in Scotland, northern Italy and the Loire Valley in France pretty easily. I highly recommend seeing something outside the major metropolises this way -- locals seem to be especially receptive to cyclists, too.


Thursday, June 01, 2006, 2:52 PM

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yea, a trip to europe!

First of all great news and exciting too!

I went to Italy last fall, for three weeks, I exercise regularly and eat healthy, when I was in Rome I walked a lot and ate the same indulgent foods and felt fine but some of the other cities I couldn't walk as much but still ate what I wanted cause I was like screw it I am on vacation, I am talking ate things I normally would be like no way, like bottles of wine with a pasta dinner and creme brulee for dessert. THe hotels I stayed in served a free breakfast buffet which I ate to save money on breakfast. Needless to say I obviously gained some weight but no more than 10 lbs I think I was like around 7lbs heavier actually, but my body knows it's limits I ate till I was full and I knew that when I came home I would be back in my routine.

My advice, spend your money on souveniers you can bring home and enjoy the rest of your life to remember a wonderful trip, rather than a dinner that might cost calories and too much money. This is what I wish I did. Really watch what you are spending your money on and think about what you are going to eat before you order.

Thursday, June 01, 2006, 11:58 PM

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Use the trip as an excuse to try local foods that you wouldn't normally eat (at least if you're staying somewhere that's safe and civilized). That way, you'll have great experiences, and if you don't love something, you'll eat less of it.

Remember, the immigrants who came to America were typically the poor peasants, from all countries, so the foods that we love here from different ethnicities (i.e. spaghetti = Italian) are actually the poor peasant food in that country, not the gourmet foods that we may consider them to be. Try not to spend your time eating different versions of the foods that you love back home, try instead to eat foods that you cannot get back home. The dishes will typically be healthier, and additionally, it'll be more of an experience!

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