A good surprise of the round-the-world tour is my 15 kg loss and the return to my farm weight after… 10 years of overweight!
This is all the more satisfying since this was not an objective of the trip and it was done effortlessly
At 18, I left the family cocoon for my studies. At the same time, I completely gave up sports and started very bad eating habits
For 10 years, I regularly changed my pants size (upwards you will have understood it) and my weight fluctuated between 90 and 100 kg
In 2010, for our wedding, I tried a diet that… worked! I lost 10 kg in a few weeks. The opposite was amazing, when you almost stop eating, it is quite logical to lose weight! However, 99% of diets are ineffective because they don’t permanently change eating habits. After a while, you can no longer bear the frustration, you crack and you return to your original weight in no time at all. Often with a few extra pounds as a bonus! That’s what happened to me
In 2013, on a whim, I took up the sport seriously again through running. The goal was not really weight loss but a desire to be in better shape. This regular physical activity quickly became necessary for my balance and several times a week I went out running in the morning before going to work. Starting from scratch, I ended up running the half marathon (21 km) after only 3 months!
This significant increase in physical activity did not really have an impact on my weight, or at the margin. I have made up my mind to attribute my overweight to my metabolism. Although my diet wasn’t optimal, far from it, I was still doing more sports than average. Anh doesn’t exercise at all, she eats more or less the same food as me and she’s a lightweight, it’s unfair!
So I had to go around the world to start melting in a few months. Not having too much opportunity to weigh myself and even though I felt that I was losing weight, I was very surprised when I discovered in Bolivia that I weighed 80 kg and that I had lost about 15 kg
15 kg, the weight of my big backpack!
How do you explain this “effortless” weight loss? Quite simply because by traveling, by the force of things, everything has changed
Nomad vs Sedentary
As a sedentary office worker like myself, daily physical activity is somewhat limited. You get up, take the subway, put your buttocks on a chair, get back on the subway, go to bed and start again the next day
We have experienced a more calorie-intensive pace
Travelling for a year, the rhythm is obviously not the same, we move all the time. With a few exceptions, not a day goes by without moving for a visit or to change place. We had to stay in a hundred different places!
However, I find it difficult to assess the impact in terms of caloric expenditure. I was sedentary, I became nomadic but at the same time, I reduced running a lot, rarely having the opportunity or time to do it during the trip
Todo after the trip: even if we will continue to travel, our lifestyle will still be much more sedentary than during the trip. The objective for me is going to be to take back very seriously the sport by setting me a big goal: to do the marathon of Tours in September 2018 (if we are in the area at that time). If I succeed, the next goal is already planned: to get into triathlon!
Fewer food temptations
What we eat well in France!
What we eat badly elsewhere!
Even if we enjoyed ourselves in some countries, we must admit that it is difficult to reach the level of French gastronomy
By having fewer temptations, I tended to eat more “useful” and less “fun”
Our two months in India and Nepal were an excellent introduction. While overall we ate our fill and discovered that vegetarian cuisine can be good and varied, a diet without meat, cheese, or sweet desserts helps you lose weight!
Todo after the trip: living outside of France, I hope to stay as far away from temptations as possible. However, we will have to be careful how we fill our fridge. Objective: no source of temptation in the apartment
For me, who rarely finished my meals without a good little dessert, the change was drastic. I have little merit, in most of the countries we went to, the desserts aren’t visually appealing and aren’t good tasting. With the exception of pastéis de nata which I enjoyed in Macau and some artisanal ice creams in South America and Cuba, I would have spent a year without dessert
They have been beneficially replaced by fruits that are cheap and delicious in Asia and South America
To do after the trip: here too, our distance from France should help but we will have to remain vigilant
Less fatigue and stress
Before going on a trip, I was lucky enough to have a job that I liked, but as a good Parisian, my pace of life was hellish. I worked all the time. My only real breaks from work were subway rides (perfect for relaxing!) and lunch and dinner
These meals were for me a moment of relaxation and pleasure that compensated for the fatigue and daily stress. You had to eat “pleasure”, so much the worse if it was fat and sweet
During the trip, there is less fatigue (it’s still tiring to travel but it’s a “good fatigue”) and stress is very limited. I don’t need to compensate anymore
My relationship with food has changed, I no longer eat to please myself, I eat to feed myself
To do after the trip: probably one of the most difficult points. We will start working again, source of fatigue. We are going to become self-employed, a source of stress and uncertainty. However, I am confident in our ability to find the right rhythm to have a balanced life. Changing cities and environments very regularly should help
On a daily basis, I drank far too many sodas and all the sugar that goes with it. The beginning of the trip didn’t break this bad eating habit. If traveling forces us to change what we eat, it isn’t the case of what we drink. Coca products can be found absolutely everywhere on the planet. In some countries, a coca is even cheaper than a small bottle of water (by the way Coca Cola Company is the biggest seller of bottled water on the planet, maybe this explains it!
Feeling that I was starting to lose weight, I thought that reducing my soda consumption might be a good idea. Having reduced it little by little, I’ve hardly been drinking any since we arrived in South America
There, the juices of mango, lemon, orange, guava, pineapple, … are incredible! These juices can be treacherous because they are more caloric than you might think but they are full of vitamins and 100% natural
At the end of the trip, I allowed myself to break this “regime”: I couldn’t decently be in Cuba and not enjoy the Mojitos, Free Cuba and Pina Colada
What to do after the trip: I have the impression that I am cured of my form of soda addiction. The objective will be to avoid a relapse and to always have fruit in the apartment to make delicious natural juices
In France, I rarely ate meals without meat. More out of habit than out of real gustatory pleasure. Meat and especially beef are however very caloric
While spending two months in India and Nepal, we were in vegetarian and even vegan areas. We ate extremely little meat during this period and realized that it was possible to survive like this 😃
In Asia, relatively little beef and more chicken, which is already much less caloric. Thailand and the Philippines have also been an opportunity to enjoy eating fresh fish
In Argentina and Chile, I discovered the incredible pieces of beef. An absolute delight! Never before had I enjoyed eating meat so much. This encouraged me all the more to prefer quality to quantity in the future: eating less meat but of better quality
Todo after the trip: even though I understood in Argentina that I couldn’t become a vegetarian, I decided to reduce my meat consumption. To watch my figure but also out of conviction. Too much meat consumption is indeed a catastrophe for the ecology and a scandal for the animal suffering induced. When I eat it, I will try to buy it at the butcher’s and give priority to quality
Another bad eating habit I had: I had been skipping breakfast for years. Breakfast tended to make me sick to my stomach, so I stopped eating it
As a result, I was in hypoglycemia all morning and I would devour at noon, which was a bad idea
In many places where we stayed, breakfast was included. Being a bit stingy on the edges, I couldn’t not enjoy it
Unlike France, most countries have a salty breakfast (eggs, ham, cheese, …). I then became aware that it was the sweet breakfast that did not suit me and that gave me a stomach ache. A good salty breakfast with a good natural fruit juice suits me perfectly, I’m in great shape in the morning and I eat less at noon
To do after the trip: make sure that the salty breakfast definitely becomes part of my daily routine
Raw products, no processed products
The quality of our plate in Western countries has deteriorated considerably in recent decades. The fault lies with our changing habits (we almost don’t cook anymore) and with the food industry. Prepared dishes that are so convenient are very caloric (even salads!) and even in restaurants it is very rare to have home-made food made from raw products
Whether in Asia or South America, frozen products are (almost) non-existent and what we have on our plate is usually cooked from fresh products. I’m afraid that we can’t escape pesticides or GMOs (thank you Monsanto!) but I tend to think that we’re doing a little better than in Western countries
To do after the trip: probably one of the most difficult points. I want to eliminate processed products from my diet and cook daily with fresh products. To do this, I will have to… learn how to cook! Starting almost from scratch! The brief: simple, quick and healthy cooking from raw products that are easy to find anywhere in the world. My ambition is to learn a new recipe every week. If I keep up this pace, in a year’s time I’ll have mastered about fifty recipes, enough to bring variety every day. If you have recipes, I’m interested!