Since the summer of 2012, I've been doing a low carb diet on and off. It's the only diet that's actually ever worked for me. My body is weird when it comes to losing weight, and can't do it in a regular way (working out and eating healthy). I tried for years to do the normal method with no success, and finally found that the low carb lifestyle does wonders for me. Obviously, there's many problems with it. For those who don't know what it entails, you can read more about it here, but a basic overview of a keto or low carb diet is that you must keep your carb consumption to under 50 grams a day to allow your body to go into a state of ketosis, which is a fat burning mode. This makes life a bit hard at times. Almost all the good food in the world is full of carbs. A single piece of bread can sometimes have over 50 grams of carbs in it, meaning you basically can't have anything with wheat in it. The basic food groups you can eat are vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat and any low carb products you can get your hands on. Creating a meal plan can be easy, but get's repetitive due to the lack of food choices. When I'm strictly on it (like right now), my day consists of eggs with cheese and meat in the morning, some cheese and veggies for lunch, an Atkins bar as a snack, and some kind of meat and veggies for dinner. It requires a lot of cooking and pre-planning out meals.
Which leads me to the topic of this post; Low carb dieting and travel. It is almost an impossible task. It's tough to hop around or be out all day sightseeing when you are on a keto diet, because the food options are limited for someone who can't eat carbs. Most of the food you can buy on-the-go, unfortunately is full of carbs. If you're lucky, you can find a grocery store, but then you still have to be picky about what you buy. Many restaurants are not big fans of altering your order to make sure it's low carb, especially in countries outside of America. America knows most of their citizens are on some kind of diet, which is why many menus now have low calorie or low carb options, but outside of the US, most places don't care to cater to your weird demands about the food.
So how do you do a low carb diet while traveling? It's all about pre-planning. It kind of sucks to have to worry about food when you're trying to enjoy yourself on the road, but if you're stuck to any food restrictions, whatever your diet consists of, you have to plan in advance so you're not going off with nothing. If you're staying in a hostel or Airbnb location with a kitchen, you can cook your own breakfast in the morning. Most breakfast or brunch places with have low carb options like eggs and meat, so that shouldn't be hard to find. Lunch, dinner and snack time gets a bit harder. Before you leave, purchase some Atkins bars or other low carb snacks you like, and then pack them in your bag. It'll be almost impossible to find these items in a local grocery store in a foreign country, especially when you don't speak the language. If you are starving and find a store, buying a package of meat and cheese usually does the trick for me. Most places also have pre-packaged salads now too, which are good for on-the-go. For dinner, if you do want to splurge for a nice meal, finding a steak option is usually the best way to go, because often it will come with vegetables, which are safe items.
Do I wish it was easier to travel and diet at the same time? Yes, obviously. I wish I didn't have to worry about my weight like so many people do, but I was put into the body I ended up in, and have to deal with that accordingly. For me, low carb is the only thing that works with my system, which means I'll always have a harder time than those who can eat whatever they like and then work out for a bit to negate the calories. I'll always struggle, and it's not ideal, but I can cope. I know food is one of the great delicacies of traveling, and I hate to punish myself while abroad and not eat the wonderful and tasty foods of a new country, but for now, I figure this is for the best, and I hope other low carb or keto travelers can find this helpful for their own journeys.
Anyone have any dieting tips for travel? Let me know in the comments!