Staying on Your Diet in Italy

One of the best parts of any trip is getting to try the local delicacies. And, if you’re going to Italy, you will never look at pizza or pasta the same way again. Nothing can compare to eating food from where it originated, but if you’re not careful, a few corny souvenirs won’t be the only additional luggage you are hauling back home. It is very easy to forget that an all-carb diet can have some pretty severe side effects—a.k.a. not being able to button your favorite jeans.

How do you enjoy all of the delicious carbs that Italy has to offer without completely throwing a balanced diet out of the window? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. You CAN enjoy all of those carb-filled foods, while keeping your diet in balance, and keeping your weight gain down.

One of the easiest tricks to remember is that if you are staying in a hotel with a gym, you can use those carbs to fuel your workouts or to refuel post-working out. If you’re keeping up with your fitness routine, the carbs won’t affect you as negatively as they would if you were sedentary. Obviously it’s not ideal to eat all carbs all the time, but a short-term solution is to keep active while treating yourself. And if you don’t have access to a gym on your trip, walking is a good alternative. Chances are you will be walking more than a few miles a day exploring the beauty around every corner. Hitting your step goal will be easy and your heart rate will be up, so use those carbs to keep you going.

What you also need to acknowledge is you can enjoy your pizza and pasta and gelato in moderation. You don’t have to eat the entire pizza every night. Maybe indulge one night, but not every night. You can get a small gelato after dinner or in the afternoon, just don’t get it twice a day.

The good news is that in Europe, restaurant portion sizes generally aren’t as large as in the U.S. On the other hand, not every restaurant will have smaller portions. You know what a big meal looks like, so use your judgment.

Most importantly, you do not need to eat carbs for every meal. You will find fresh fruit and vegetables at stands in almost every piazza. Or a delicious caprese salad at most restaurants.

And, believe it or not, it’s very easy to find other food groups besides carbs for smaller meals, especially if you are looking to demolish a plate or two of homemade gnocchi later in the evening.

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t enjoy all the things Italy has to offer, especially the food! Just remember to stay active and in balance and you’ll come home without all of the extra baggage.


About The Author

Fueled by yoga and coffee, Francesca D'Annibale has traveled extensively both with work and for leisure. Her favorite destinations are Rome and Budapest.

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