Bon voyage, bonjour, bienvenue, and most importantly bon apetit! European vacations have so much to offer including rich history, beautiful architecture, unique cultures, and most importantly, an extremely diverse cuisine! If you’re a foodie, you’re stoked for your upcoming trip across the pond. With great food comes great risks to your belt-line so if you’re inclined to conserving your physique, I’ve got some great tips.
Vacationers headed for the Mediterranean beaches in late Spring and Summer are better off preparing for Europe beforehand. A 12-week diet will give you plenty of time and allow you to save plenty of money in preparation for your trip. I wrote a piece on my blog about saving money, time, and energy during a diet.
Culturally dense Europe provides a new adventure around every corner. People of all different walks of life and backgrounds have coexisted for centuries on the city streets. The best way to immerse yourself in the culture is to head out of your hostel or B&B for a walk. Walking tours are a fantastic way to soak up your surroundings while burning a few calories.
Fuel up for your morning walk by stopping at a cafe and grabbing a European breakfast, which is usually quite simple. Cafe au lait, cappuccino, latte and a small pastry will provide you with plenty of caffeine and carbohydrates (energy). A simple breakfast of around 300-400 calories will be plenty for several hours of exploration. Large breakfasts can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin which lead to the inevitable crash during digestion. You wouldn’t want to end up back in your hotel bed napping the day away with so much scenery!
The cuisine is just too good to skimp on meals all day, every day, so you’ll have earned a great dinner with your daytime strolls and light, European breakfast and snacks. Long, lively dinners are the norm amongst the locals in the restaurants. American travelers are ushered in from the streets and treated like family in the best spots and you’ll get the 5-course treatment. I suggest sipping a glass of vino while you wait for your food to avoid the bread basket binge. A main course of learn protein like chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb will keep you fuller than a high carbohydrate meal such as pasta, potatoes, or polenta. Should you have room for dessert, go for it since you’re on vacation and the gelato is out of this world good in Italy!
The discos and night clubs are popular amongst locals and American travelers alike. Fast paced, European house music is the perfect nightcap for you to literally “dance your ass off!” Two hours on the dance floor can burn up to 1,000 calories and offset the day’s delicious meals and evening drinks. Limit that bar tab to four drinks and you’ll feel much better the night of, and the morning after. Low blood sugar after a night of heavy drinking causes severe hunger pangs that could lead to a poor diet of junk!
The combination of walking, watching your early calorie intake, and limiting your alcohol will do wonders for your physique and mood on your upcoming European trip. Even the exercise obsessed will be satisfied using the hotel gym or even hotel room. Check out the plethora of workouts available on the web here!