How to stay fit when eating abroad?

1. Eat whatever you like in moderation for the first week – but only for taste.

My fitness journey began less than 5 months ago and a great deal of my progress was due in large part to eating healthy and living that crossfit lifestyle. With this plan of conscious eating and healthy living, I was able to lose 21lbs. and build a small amount of muscle mass. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was rooted from my regular routine and plunged into the depths of daily dining on the delicious food of India! I arrived in Chennai on October 19th, 2016 and my senses were overloaded with awesome eats! From Briyani to Dosa, and Chola Puri to Porata – there is no limit to the array and level of spicy foods that are grated, churned, and fried in Tamil Nadu!

However, all this food means that your weight-loss goals would need to be put on hold – at least for the first week. But don’t dismay or deny yourself the pleasure of indulging for the first week in moderation. Taste that dish that smells so wonderful but make sure to leave room in your tummy and that you don’t overeat until you feel full. If you eat what you want but do so consciously, you will not return to you starting weight. Yes, you will add a couple of pounds but you will be able to manage them because you have been preparing your metabolism. Remember, you are eating for taste, not to be full. If you eat what you want and don’t restrict yourself, you will satisfy your wanderlust and be better motivated to continue your journey. In the next few weeks I will share how I got myself back on track with my weight-loss goals.

That is my advice, this is what I’m doing – until next time, happy eating!

2. Do what you can to find a Crossfit box or Gym and restart your workout.

Before I left New York on October 18th, 2016 I weighed myself in the morning on an empty stomach, and came in at 161.4lbs. When I retuned on November 30th, 2016 and weighed myself in the same manner, I was 164.8lbs – I had gained 3.4lbs! Was I happy I gained weight – hell no! But, was I happy I put only 3.4lbs – absolutely! Prior to my journey I had mentally prepared myself by accepting that I was certainly going to gain weight, and that would be fine, if I remained conscious of my progress. I knew how hard I had worked to reach my current weight and so while I wasn’t going to deprive myself of yummy, delicious foods, I needed to accept the inevitable and also form a solid plan of action.

My first step was to find a Crossfit box, the presence of which has grown immensely abroad. When I was unable to find one close enough to where I was staying, I decided to look for a decently priced gym. I found one that charged only $15 USD a month on a pay-as-you-go plan and eased myself back into my workout routine. There are a few things to keep in mind however, if you decide to follow this step. Firstly, if you can’t find either a box or a gym, or don’t feel like shelling out anymore cash than you need to, find a beach or a park and create your own WOD or dynamic routine. Secondly, if you do find a box or gym, be sure to take note of any cultural guidelines currently in place. For example, I could only workout at certain times of the day when the female-only gym was open.

Finally, enjoy the change of scenery! While, yes, it was gym, like any other gym, and smelled the same, I had a blast observing the workout styles and behaviors of fitness freaks abroad. Also, running along a beautiful beach in awesome weather made this part of my fitness journey quite bearable 🙂