I am a human experiment on world diets.When I travel, I usually see a dramatic swing in weight one way or the other. I normally get the same amount of exercise on each trip – i.e. lots of walking, some hiking, the occasional bike ride, futile haggling, tout dodging – and the trips have all lasted at least two months. Therefore, food and drink are the variable factors.
Let us examine the chart below:
A few things stand out, but the most salient point from a personal perspective is that for the last four years I have been chubby when I departed for my trips. Prior to that I was always near my target weight. (Read: creeping obesity)
- In Asia, I always lose weight, which makes sense because they eat a very healthy diet. In Indonesia last year, I lost nine pounds in nine weeks. In India three years ago, I lost 10 pounds in two months, then gained it all back on a 4-day Disney Cruise after returning. I still hate myself for that.
- I gain weight in Europe. However, two years ago I dropped five pounds right away in Turkey and Greece, where the diet is famously healthy. I gained it all back and then some during our month in Italy, where I ate sugary pastries for breakfast, arancini for snacks and pizza the other four meals of the day. My pants went from snug to falling-off to buttons-bursting in 10 weeks.
- You are probably wondering how I got fat in Africa. I am still trying to figure that out too.
This fall, before we head off to Mexico and not Cuba too because it is illegal, I am a bit worried. Mexico recently overtook America as the fattest nation on Earth. Mexico is the one country where they eat worse than we do. After two months of beef tacos and pork tamales, will the locals affectionately call me Gringo Gordo? If Las Vegas odds-makers started taking bets on an over/under at my current weight, then I’d have to bet heavy on me getting heavier. That isn’t good. I return just in time for the winter fattening season known as Christmas. I may have to buy all new clothes for 2016.
Last time I went to Mexico and Cuba, I returned emaciated. Drinking the local water and suffering the consequences will do that to a person. How will I fare this time? I have no idea.
One thing is certain: I will be departing this trip chubby. There is no way around that. Perhaps I should get off this computer and go for a run. I may need a head start.
Do you gain or lose weight when you travel?
What type of traveling do you do?
Follow Planet Bell on Social Media to see how fat I get in Mexico