Have you decided to lose some weight and stay in shape? If you travel frequently, this goal is twice as difficult. Why; Let’s face it, when you travel, usually your diet and exercise routine takes a vacation in itself.
But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve been a professional travel writer for over 30 years and have maintained my size four shape despite hundreds of heavy meals on the road and mountains of demanding work, and I’m 67 years old. People keep asking me how I do it. These are my strategies – and they definitely work if you want to improve your backside!
First, I aim to exercise anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour a day – no matter where I am in the world. Usually, you’ll find me in a hotel gym using the treadmill and machines, but on the rare occasion that my hotel doesn’t have a gym, I make do in my hotel room. I always do at least a 20-minute Jane Fonda routine on the floor of my hotel room, and I’ve been doing this since 1984. I do a whole mix of planks, sit-ups, sit-ups, you name it, to get my circulation going. If I want to add aerobics to the mix, I might walk in place or jump rope – without the rope – to “go through the motions”. I’m famous for doing this in my overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. And then there’s the time I was in a tree house in Thailand, having returned to my room at 11:00 pm after a big meal. I noticed that my shower had a lot of steps leading down, so I did aerobics in there. Where there is a will there is a way.
I am very careful with meals – dinner is usually a nice piece of fish, grilled vegetables (no oil) and a baked potato – with butter and salt. I tend to eat the same thing for lunch – a good source of protein, some starch and lots of vegetables. Breakfast is either a bowl of oatmeal and fruit, or two scrambled eggs (no butter) and toast and fruit.
Of course, I allow myself treats. If there’s a Nutella crepe on the menu, you know I’m going to include it in that day’s calorie intake. Ditto for chocolate lava cake, cherry clafout, or carrot cake.
And speaking of carrot cake – if you’re on cruises, you’re really in luck when it comes to diet and exercise. You may not realize it, but luxury cruise ships usually have a Special Requests section dedicated solely to your culinary preferences. Go ahead and order that Lobster Thermidor – but you can actually ask for it to be made with minimal butter and oil. They will cater to all your preferences, for low fat, gluten free, kosher, vegan, you name it.
I want to have a meeting with the Executive Chef, first thing after boarding, and ask for all kinds of special meals – say, a low-fat ratatouille made with very little oil. My typical carrot cake request is to skip the oil and replace it with pumpkin puree, plus lots of raisins and walnuts, and frozen yogurt instead of cream cheese. And you know what? It’s usually tastier than the full-freight version.
I also try not to be too picky and enjoy the cuisine on cruise ships. If there’s a wild mushroom tart on the menu, I’ll definitely take two bites of it and forgo a piece of bread. The same goes for coconut shrimp.
And here’s something else – I recently met a very sophisticated World Cruiser who always skips lunch. Instead, he brought a Ninja bullet on board, along with protein powder. Room service provides her with berries and she mixes them all together for lunch every day to keep her weight down. This is really clever.
Snack wise too – a handful of nuts, dried apples, raisins, Laughing Cow cheese crackers – all in my arsenal and carry-on.
And I always wear shorts or a skort to the gym. Reminds my body who’s boss!
So get out there and fulfill your wanderlust – you’ll look great sightseeing in your skinny jeans!
For more on my Wanderlust and Wellness travels, follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.