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European Weight Loss

Lodewyk56Lodewyk56 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
I returned yesterday from a 17-day trip to Europe. Before leaving I weighed 207 pounds. I am not quite 6’4”. When I reluctantly got on the scale this morning, I weighed 196!

While in Europe, I pretty much ate what I wanted to at meals. I didn’t snack much except on a few M&Ms. I ate plenty of croissants, pain au chocolat, and other pastries. I had no thought of counting calories or eating healthy. I only had two sodas.

We were on the go constantly, walking a great deal. I got an average of 15,000 steps a day. A couple of days I cracked the 20K step mark. No day was lower than 10K.

At home, I ride a stationary bike for a couple 60-70 minutes six days a week and usually get an average of 12K steps.

I did spent a fair amount of time on trains, subways, trams, ferries, etc. But we were very active.

I’m wondering what happened? There are two things I can think of: I ate two or three meals each day (but again, I ate basically what I wanted in terms of types of food—I don’t think I gorged myself), I didn’t snack much except the few M&Ms to bridge me between meals. And, I was on the move all the time. Of course, I never did any serious excercise except walking and taking a lot of stairs.
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Replies

  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Posts: 1,969Member Member Posts: 1,969Member Member
    Celebrate!
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,543Member Member Posts: 10,543Member Member
    I’ve found that even though I eat more at meals while traveling, I eat fewer snacks because we are on the go. Good job! Hope you had a great trip.
  • beachwalker99beachwalker99 Posts: 130Member Member Posts: 130Member Member
    Congratulations on your weight loss! It sounds like you had a busy and enjoyable vacation.

    I spent about 3 1/2 weeks in Europe earlier this summer, with a week of very active travel at each end and ten days staying with family in the middle. My first-day-home weigh-in was up 1.6 lbs, but I was down 4.2 from that by the end of the week, suggesting that the gain was probably water and I might have actually lost a couple of pounds.

    As other posters have pointed out, portion size and snacks can make a big difference. I too ate and drank what I wanted, but I was mindful of the signals my body was sending about how hungry or full I felt. I also found that the 3 months I'd spent eating at a deficit prior to my trip affected how much I was comfortable eating, so I rarely had more than one large multi-course meal a day, plus a couple of lighter meals. I did sometimes stop for snacks (ice cream, a pastry, or a glass of wine, but this generally meant relaxing at a cafe, something that I think made those treats more satisfying and ultimately less calorific than if I'd been mindlessly munching on the go.
    edited July 21
  • staticsplitstaticsplit Posts: 489Member Member Posts: 489Member Member
    Europe has stricter regulations on things like additives and our food safety is far more extensive, so I imagine that makes a huge difference.

    While I was flippant in my above reply, this is also true to a point. In general I notice less added sugars to things. When I go back to California everything tastes so overly sweet to me. Our portions in restaurants also tend to be smaller.

    I'm going to Paris next week and plan to eat a lot of cheese, baguette, and croissants. Yum. But yep, I'll be walking at least 25k a day and will snack less, so it'll probably work out to around maintenance.
    edited July 21
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 4,953Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,953Member, Premium Member
    Deep fried Twinkie and cheesecake..... sigh.
  • Lodewyk56Lodewyk56 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    I’m not sure the European cooking was all that different from U.S. cooking. I had one pasta dish with a cream sauce that was fabulous (certainly not light), fish and chips, steak and mashed potatoes, lots of fries (I was surprised that many main courses include fries), and croissants for breakfast. I also ate crepes, kebabs, and panini—this was no Weight Watchers tour!

    Part of my loss was likely due to dehydration. I like lots of water with my meals. That’s difficult to come by in Europe. And I normally drink a lot of water throughout the day. That didn’t happen for me while on vacation.

    I also think the lack of between-meal snacks played a large role as mentioned by others. In the normal course of things it’s just too easy to grab a snack and not realize how the calories add up. I know—log everything that goes in the mouth.

    Anyway, it was a pleasant experience to get on the scale.
  • Lodewyk56Lodewyk56 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Someone asked about portion sizes. They were generous.
  • noobootsnooboots Posts: 479Member Member Posts: 479Member Member
    LyndaBSS wrote: »
    Europeans make their food healthy. Don't know where you live, but you would've put on 20 pounds vacationing in the US. Your exercise definitely made a difference. Very happy for you.

    As someone who lives in Scotland where most food seems to be based on a dare of 'I bet you can't deep fry that', I have to laugh.

    signed,
    an American who has tried a deep fried Mars bar, deep fried haggis, deep fried sausage, but for some reason can't bring herself to try a deep fried pizza.

    Hold on a minute, Im sure I saw on a documentary once which featured a fair in an american state, where one of the 'treats' and specialities of the fair was 'deep fried butter'. They call them sticks of butter and then deep fried it!!!

    Deep fried fat. But I'd give it a good go!!!
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 873Member Member Posts: 873Member Member
    I would venture the foods aren't that much different. Obesity rates in Europe are almost the same as in US, although slightly lower. I watch enough of that one UK show with superfat and superskinny people to know that their food is just as fattening is ours, if eaten in the "right" portions.

    My guess? No snacking and doubling or more your activity level. Most people consider 10K steps a goal in the US, so doing 15K to 20K, along with eliminating snacks, well that will go a long way to knocking off weight.
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 873Member Member Posts: 873Member Member
    Eating plenty of fattening US food on vacation here, no step counting though, I lost weight although I knew I ate way more food than I normally do and it was sodium-laden restaurant food. Besides the driving (we drove) we hardly had time to snack and were just "on the go" all the time, not lounging and mindlessly snacking.
  • staticsplitstaticsplit Posts: 489Member Member Posts: 489Member Member
    nooboots wrote: »
    LyndaBSS wrote: »
    Europeans make their food healthy. Don't know where you live, but you would've put on 20 pounds vacationing in the US. Your exercise definitely made a difference. Very happy for you.

    As someone who lives in Scotland where most food seems to be based on a dare of 'I bet you can't deep fry that', I have to laugh.

    signed,
    an American who has tried a deep fried Mars bar, deep fried haggis, deep fried sausage, but for some reason can't bring herself to try a deep fried pizza.

    Hold on a minute, Im sure I saw on a documentary once which featured a fair in an american state, where one of the 'treats' and specialities of the fair was 'deep fried butter'. They call them sticks of butter and then deep fried it!!!

    Deep fried fat. But I'd give it a good go!!!

    I've had deep fried Oreos in the states--they are pretty amazing tbh.

    Deep fried butter is terrifying. I'd probably try a bite though.
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