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I am going to Europe and am worried about about gaining weight while I am gone. What are some recommendations to keep me from coming with more “baggage” than when I left?
by Vic2016

I am going to Europe and am worried about about gaining weight while I am gone. What are some recommendations to keep me from coming with more “baggage” than when I left?


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Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

Europe is a culinary dream and an excellent chance to change your eating habits to a healthier model. Yes, you will still find a McDonalds or two, but they are not on every corner as in the US. Europeans tend to see eating as an experience to be savored and enjoyed and focus on quality more than quality. In addition, you will find most people walking for exercise. There isn't the obsession with health clubs and working out until you drop.

Here are some suggestions to help you fit in:

Be Adventurous. Try the local cuisine and don't ask for lots of modifications/substitutions. Have your group order different dishes with the intent that you will all share.

Eat European. Most people have their biggest meal at lunch so follow suit. Plan your days so you have a nice hour or two break mid-day so you can really sit and enjoy your meal. Have a freshly baked croissant for breakfast while in Paris, but pair it with some fresh fruit and cheese or an egg.

Walk, Walk & Walk Some More. Whenever possible, walk around the city. Not only will you get exercise, but also, have the opportunity to find those little "hole in the wall" cafes and become part of the culture.

Limit Your Alcohol. Don't go overboard with fine Italian wines and German beers. Remember quality over quantity.

Be Colorful. Make sure your plates include many colors to ensure you are getting a well-balanced meal.

Eat Local and Fresh. One thing you will notice is a lack of large grocery stores. Most markets get their produce and breads daily and keep limited quanitites so it is always fresh. In addition, farmer's markets are everywhere and have everything you need to make an amazing picnic meal.

Share. The portions you will find in most authentic European restaurants are super-sized, but it is still a good to share or even ask for the child's portion of one or two dishes.

Don't Skip The Specialties. Macaroons and crepes in France, cannoli and tiramisu in Italy, sticky toffee pudding in London are things you don't want to miss, but they can become addictive so make sure try the local specialities just once.

The most important thing to remember is that your European vacation maybe a once in a lifetime adventure so don' waste time and energy fretting over what to eat.


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