Calorie Budgeting While Traveling in Europe

  • 2 Minutes Read

How to manage body weight while traveling in Europe, thanks to calorie tracking and setting a calorie budget.

Calorie Budgeting While Traveling in Europe

Americans love to travel to Europe and summer is a prime time to visit. After much planning and anticipation last month, I set out on a 2 week vacation in Turkey. One of my favorite aspects of exploring a new culture is the opportunity to sample different foods. Yet as a Dietitian, I am acutely aware that vacations can wreak havoc on your weight management plan.

Eating in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is where East meets West. The food blends several cuisines including Central Asian, Balkan and Middle Eastern. Traditional meals are meat/fish centered, a basket of white bread awaits you at every table and there are rich desserts to tempt you. Please read on to 'gain' a few tips for each meal to ensure that you return home with a flavor of the culture, memories and not those extra pounds.

Breakfast: Turkish breakfast is a lavish spread of food. Yet there are healthy and lean options to be found.

Snacks: While enjoying the sites in Istanbul, healthy street snacks are available.

Lunch/Dinner: Take a break from sightseeing and have a meal at one of the numerous quaint outdoor cafes. Look for these lower calorie foods on the menu.

Politely skipping the bread basket is another way to ensure you do not over spend your calorie budget. This will allow you some flexibility to sample a traditional Turkish dessert.

Dessert: The Turkish cuisine is not complete without dessert.

These finger foods are a combination of fruit and nuts such as pistachio. They are held together in a gummy bear type mixture. One piece is about 120 calories.

Keeping track while away: The modern age of travel with free Wi-Fi in cafes and hotels makes it easy to track your calorie intake while away from home. After a long day of adventurous eating, return to your room and log your intake on If you can't locate a certain food in the database, choosing a close equivalent is your best bet.

Finally, weight gain doesn't happen if you overeat at one meal. Gaining weight on vacation tends to happen as a result of overindulging day after day. Don't be hard on yourself if you have a high calorie day. Get back on track as soon as you can, after all you are only human!

Travel->Regional Foods
Aug 15, 2013
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

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