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Traveling to Europe won’t stop LMQC Nutritionist blogger, Jeni Tackett, from sharing her thoughts and observations on how you can have a healthy adventure while on a holiday abroad.

by Nutritionist Blogger, Jeni Tackett, RD, LD

Eating healthy on vacation is always a challenge. You may find yourself drinking more alcohol, eating all of your meals at restaurants, and putting on the pounds after a week or two away from your typical routine.

Jeni takes a quick apple break while on the road in Europe this past summer.

I took a trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Italy over the summer with my husband and son and enjoyed the beautiful sights, amazing food, and delicious beverages.

Travel smart. Eat smarter.

Here are some tips to make your next trip healthier and easier on your waistline:

Move more: We averaged well over the daily 10,000-step goal while on vacation. The benefit of an active vacation is that you can handle some extra calories from your food and beverages.

We stayed in an Airbnb or hotel in Munich, Zurich, and Milan with easy walking access to these cities. In Milan, we toured the city on a bike tour which was an active and fun way to see the city with a local tour guide.

Seek out plant foods: Travel constipation is not fun. Meals at restaurants are often low in fiber. Seek out plant foods such as salads, fresh fruit, and whole grains.

I found porridge (or oatmeal) in Zurich, plentiful fresh fruit in Munich, and salads in Milan. A change in your regular eating habits is hard on the body, so look for some of the foods that you normally enjoy at home that can help keep you regular.

Drink water: I enjoyed the beer in Germany and Switzerland and the wine and spritz in Italy, but I also had water at meals and between meals.

If you travel during the hot months, make sure that you keep water with you for long walks around the cities or tours to destination spots. If you drink alcohol, drink a bottle or glass of water between each alcoholic beverage to help you stay hydrated during your travel.

Enjoy your vacation: While adjusting your movement and food choices can help you have a more enjoyable trip, you can also splurge on your vacation.

I made sure to have gelato and tiramisu in Italy and enjoyed every bite. I did share my tiramisu with my family, but I had my own gelato.

After a vacation, you can resume your normal eating habits and shed any pounds you may have gained while you were away. A healthy lifestyle is the goal, and treating yourself while on vacation is an important part of enjoying life.

A different attitude about food

Meals in Europe can be a delightful culinary adventure.

Europe seems to lack the prevalent diet culture in the United States. During my travels, I did not see foods with low-carb, sugar-free, high-protein claims on the nutrition labels. Yet Europeans also have lower average body weights than Americans.

For example, the average male in the United States weighs 198 pounds, and the average female weighs 169 lbs compared to Italy, where the average male weighs 176 pounds, and the average female weighs 140 pounds.

Italy is known for foods that are viewed as “fattening” in the US, such as pasta, pizza, pastries, and gelato.

What is the difference?

Here are some of my observations:

Fresh food: The foods in Europe are less processed and made with fresh, whole ingredients. I even had a bag of chips that did not taste anything like the cheese powder-covered chips from the US.

While fast food and processed foods do exist in Europe, they are much less common than in the United States.

Smaller portions: The portions of foods were much smaller in Europe. I enjoy a soft pretzel from a restaurant near my home which is 4x the size as the pretzels in Germany. Pasta portions from popular American Italian restaurants are 2-3x the portions of pasta in Italy.

Activity: We walked everywhere in Europe. Even if calorie intake is similar between the US and Europe, activity levels seem higher in European countries.

Many Americans who visit Europe are reporting a weight loss despite consuming lots of foods that are viewed as splurge foods in the US. You can take a lesson from Europe and remember that increased activity along with enjoying your food in moderate portions is a healthy recipe for life.

Bon Voyage!

 

 

Check out other pictures from Jeni’s trip to Europe …

by Nutritionist Blogger, Jeni Tackett, RD, LD

Eating healthy on vacation is always a challenge. You may find yourself drinking more alcohol, eating all of your meals at restaurants, and putting on the pounds after a week or two away from your typical routine.

Jeni takes a quick apple break while on the road in Europe this past summer.

I took a trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Italy over the summer with my husband and son and enjoyed the beautiful sights, amazing food, and delicious beverages.

Travel smart. Eat smarter.

Here are some tips to make your next trip healthier and easier on your waistline:

Move more: We averaged well over the daily 10,000-step goal while on vacation. The benefit of an active vacation is that you can handle some extra calories from your food and beverages.

We stayed in an Airbnb or hotel in Munich, Zurich, and Milan with easy walking access to these cities. In Milan, we toured the city on a bike tour which was an active and fun way to see the city with a local tour guide.

Seek out plant foods: Travel constipation is not fun. Meals at restaurants are often low in fiber. Seek out plant foods such as salads, fresh fruit, and whole grains.

I found porridge (or oatmeal) in Zurich, plentiful fresh fruit in Munich, and salads in Milan. A change in your regular eating habits is hard on the body, so look for some of the foods that you normally enjoy at home that can help keep you regular.

Drink water: I enjoyed the beer in Germany and Switzerland and the wine and spritz in Italy, but I also had water at meals and between meals.

If you travel during the hot months, make sure that you keep water with you for long walks around the cities or tours to destination spots. If you drink alcohol, drink a bottle or glass of water between each alcoholic beverage to help you stay hydrated during your travel.

Enjoy your vacation: While adjusting your movement and food choices can help you have a more enjoyable trip, you can also splurge on your vacation.

I made sure to have gelato and tiramisu in Italy and enjoyed every bite. I did share my tiramisu with my family, but I had my own gelato.

After a vacation, you can resume your normal eating habits and shed any pounds you may have gained while you were away. A healthy lifestyle is the goal, and treating yourself while on vacation is an important part of enjoying life.

A different attitude about food

Meals in Europe can be a delightful culinary adventure.

Europe seems to lack the prevalent diet culture in the United States. During my travels, I did not see foods with low-carb, sugar-free, high-protein claims on the nutrition labels. Yet Europeans also have lower average body weights than Americans.

For example, the average male in the United States weighs 198 pounds, and the average female weighs 169 lbs compared to Italy, where the average male weighs 176 pounds, and the average female weighs 140 pounds.

Italy is known for foods that are viewed as “fattening” in the US, such as pasta, pizza, pastries, and gelato.

What is the difference?

Here are some of my observations:

Fresh food: The foods in Europe are less processed and made with fresh, whole ingredients. I even had a bag of chips that did not taste anything like the cheese powder-covered chips from the US.

While fast food and processed foods do exist in Europe, they are much less common than in the United States.

Smaller portions: The portions of foods were much smaller in Europe. I enjoy a soft pretzel from a restaurant near my home which is 4x the size as the pretzels in Germany. Pasta portions from popular American Italian restaurants are 2-3x the portions of pasta in Italy.

Activity: We walked everywhere in Europe. Even if calorie intake is similar between the US and Europe, activity levels seem higher in European countries.

Many Americans who visit Europe are reporting a weight loss despite consuming lots of foods that are viewed as splurge foods in the US. You can take a lesson from Europe and remember that increased activity along with enjoying your food in moderate portions is a healthy recipe for life.

Bon Voyage!

 

 

Check out other pictures from Jeni’s trip to Europe …

Jeni Tackett

Jeni Tackett

Nutritionist Blogger

Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian who works at Genesis Health Systems as a Health Promotion Coordinator. ​She has always been passionate about a healthy lifestyle and helping others live their healthiest life.