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How to maintain on vacation?

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Hi everyone, I am going on a trip to Spain and need some advice on how to eat. I am currently 15 years old, weigh ~113 lbs and have somewhat maintained a light-moderately active lifestyle on 2200 calories a day. On my trip I will be eating lunch and dinners in restaurants (mostly Spanish food). I will be walking a lot, normally 3-8 miles a day and will be on my feet most of the time. I want to enjoy the food that Spain has to offer but I really don't want to gain weight. That being said, I also really don't want to lose weight and I want to have enough energy. How can I manage eating in restaurants while enjoying my vacation?  

Oh! And if anybody knows much about Spain, do they have a good amount of vegetarian food there? (I'm a pescetarian).  

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Bump! Please guys, for the last year I have always lost weight on trips!

Firstly, that vacation sounds amazing. I am so jealous!

My tips are to take along healthy and calorie dense snacks so that you will have something to eat when you're in the car or walking around and there is no restaurant or eating opportunity around. On vacation, it's likely that your meals will be unorganized and chaotic, meals will be missed, you might be having coffee and creamer for breakfast, whatever- so you can't just rely on the local food!

When you go to restaurants, just choose the foods that sound the healthiest and ask if they are vegetarian or you could ask for the meat to be omitted. There's no harm in asking! 

Have fun! :)


I don't think you'll need to do much of anything.

I spent ten days in Italy eating bread and cheese and lost two pounds. 

Spain should have good food options in general, and if you're on your feet a lot, as long as you don't go out of your way, every day, to overindulge, I seriously doubt there will be any problems.

FYI: If Spain is like Italy, the places we stayed had amazing breakfasts.  Even the cheaper places.  Word of warning, though: Europe is not as tolerant of asking for alterations in menus as is the United States.  There is more of an idea that the restaurant/chef knows how the food ought to be.  That's not to say that they won't do it or that you'll not be able to find options, but there may be some resistance.

I think you should just enjoy the trip, not even be concerned about any weight gain.  I surely would not think you wanted to lose weight on a great vacation like that.

One thing a person can do is just try to exclude/minimize, when logical, high-calorie "extras" like gravies, sauces, butters, extra desserts, etc that pack on the calories but could be moderated.  Veggies, fruits, and healthy foods will be available, so one can just be selective.

Basically, since you are 15 and your body needs fuel and healthy foods, I would suggest "moderation in all things" but mainly -- have the vacation of your life!

The fact that you are going to be walking a lot is a big plus!

Best of luck!

Have to agree, have been to Spain and they are not as easy going about requests for menu modifications. However, on my last trip there I did not gain any weight in 7 days of enjoying vacation. I drank good wine, ate cheese and bread, had lots and lots of fresh meals loaded with seasonal produce and meats. Protion control was key, but walking up and down hills for miles and miles does allow you a bit more room in the food budget. Have fun!
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I would also say to enjoy your trip and not think too much about how much you should or shouldn't be eating.  With the extra walking, you should be able to enjoy without concern.  We went to Spain last fall, with our 12 year-old daughter, and we had a great time eating lots of Spanish cuisine.

It is a meat-focused cuisine, but you should be able to find plenty of non-meat items, if being pescetarian includes seafood.  Also, one thing we loved is that often even "regular" restaurants that are not tapas bars have several different portion sizes.  You can get a regular, main-dish-sized dish, called a racion; or a half-racion, often called a media, which is about 1/2 size, or a tapas or pinchos (or pinxos) size, a large bite or two - though in our experience, usually bigger than that.  They usually bring the dishes out when they're ready, not as specific courses.  And lots of times, people share.  So the three of us could try lots of food without eating huge meals.  It helped my daughter especially, as she's an adventurous eater but is tiny, so doesn't need to eat a lot to feel full.

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