To study abroad or not to study abroad? It’s a question many students ponder during their college years, and it can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life if you go through with it. It also opens up many opportunities to try new things and travel to new places, and it also includes new food, which could mean gaining weight while abroad, if you’re not careful!
That doesn’t have to happen, though.
Read on the tips on how to not gain weight studying abroad, so you can get the best of both worlds, exciting new experiences, and an education that leads to better career opportunities!
Table of Contents
1) Bring your own food
One of the best ways to avoid gaining weight while studying abroad is to bring your own food. This way, you’ll have control over what you’re eating and won’t be tempted by unhealthy options.
Plus, you’ll save money by not having to eat out all the time.
Here are some tips on what to pack, foods like high-protein snacks, protein bars, protein shakes/smoothies, and low-fat yogurt with granola, or cereal as a topping.
Apples and oranges, especially if traveling during winter, dried fruit such as raisins or figs that can be easily mixed into oatmeal or salads. Vegetables like celery sticks with peanut butter or raw veggies dipped in hummus and fresh fruit juices that can be taken on the go.
Sushi is another great food option. Find a grocery store or supermarket that sells it and bring along some plastic bags for containers. It’s an easy way to carry around a healthy snack like sushi rolls, wrapped in seaweed with rice and veggies.
Sashimi, which is just raw fish without rice, is also very low-calorie and can be purchased in many grocery stores.
But bringing your own food isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about how much. For example, when cooking at home, try using measuring cups to measure out your portions instead of using a larger spoon or fork.
Also, make sure you’re chewing each bite of food 20 times before swallowing to help feel full faster and avoid overeating.
And remember, drinking lots of water helps too!
Keeping yourself hydrated will keep you feeling fuller longer. Drink one glass of water every two hours, and alternate between caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks.
2) Don’t go out for every meal
When you’re trying to lose weight or avoid gaining weight while studying abroad, it’s important to be mindful of how often you go out to eat.
If you go out for every meal, you’re more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods and gain weight. Instead, try cooking some meals at home, so you have more control over what you’re eating.
It will also save you money if you’re traveling abroad, where the cost of living is higher than it is back home.
Remember that just because a dish is labeled as healthy doesn’t mean that it’s actually healthy!
Be sure to read the ingredients carefully before ordering anything, and don’t be afraid to ask your waiter any questions about the food they’re serving.
You can always order something else if you feel like something on the menu isn’t worth your time.
You should also keep track of how many calories you’re consuming by using an app like MyFitnessPal.
Eating small portions throughout the day instead of going out for one big meal is another great way to stay fit while abroad.
3) Eat early and often
When it comes to breakfast, try to get a good meal before you head out for the day. This will help you avoid snacking later on. And, when you do a snack, make sure it’s something healthy like fruits or vegetables.
Another tip is to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. This will help keep your metabolism going and prevent you from overeating later on.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well. You don’t want to wake up feeling dehydrated and then have a sugary drink with your coffee. Try to drink enough that you’re peeing clear or light yellow at least once every 24 hours.
When it comes to your time in class, you should be mindful of what you’re putting into your body. If that is lunch from a local restaurant, then try to stick with foods that are similar to what you normally eat at home. This will help avoid stomach issues and indigestion. You also want to make sure you’re staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water.
Also, try not to be late while having dinner. Eating late for dinner can be another reason of obesity.
4) Stay active (even if it is just walking)
And don’t forget about exercising!
Yes, sometimes it can be hard to find time for working out while studying abroad, but not getting enough exercise will lead to weight gain.
Try packing some exercise clothes so that even if you don’t have time in the morning, you can still work out after dinner. Keep healthy snacks and meals at hand.
No one is going to blame you for eating a croissant or chocolates occasionally.
However, keeping healthy snacks like fruits or nuts at hand will help prevent overeating when those cravings strike.
Additionally, finding ways to eat healthier while abroad is key. You may want to try cooking with different ingredients such as olive oil instead of butter or adding spices to your food like cinnamon that might make your food taste better without adding any calories.
It’s also important to remember that no matter how much you exercise, carrying around extra weight is more difficult than someone who has less weight to carry around.
Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. A lot of people drink alcohol or sugary drinks because they think it will keep them from gaining weight, but this usually just leads to an increase in calorie intake, which eventually leads to weight gain.
Take precautions against snacking too much. Sure, there are times when snacks are necessary, like when you’re cramming for an exam, but be mindful of how often you snack throughout the day.
Chances are you’ll end up eating more than planned if you keep indulging every time hunger strikes.
5) Walk everywhere
One of the best ways to avoid weight gain while studying abroad is to walk everywhere. Walking is a great way to get in some extra steps and burn some extra calories.
Plus, it’s a great way to explore your new surroundings.
Just be sure to pack comfortable shoes! You don’t want to ruin an amazing experience by walking around with sore feet or blisters from wearing improper footwear.
While walking, bring plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated and fend off hunger pangs. A cup or two before you head out for the day can help keep hunger at bay, so you’re not tempted by vending machine snacks or fast food meals when you’re feeling tired after a long day at school.
It’ll also keep you more alert and focused during classes, which will make them much more enjoyable.
6) Be social but don’t drink alcohol
When you’re abroad, it’s easy to fall into the trap of drinking alcohol every time you go out. But alcohol is full of empty calories that can quickly lead to weight gain.
Instead, focus on being social in other ways. Go out dancing, explore your new city, or try new activities with your friends.
You’ll have just as much fun, minus the hangover and extra pounds. Also, don’t forget to eat healthy. Eat a nutritious breakfast (granola, oatmeal, toast), lunch (salad), and dinner (grilled chicken breast) each day.
Eating well and staying active will help you avoid gaining weight while studying abroad. Asking for vegetables and whole grains over pasta and bread is a good start to ensuring you’re getting enough nutrients from your food.
Taking care of yourself while away from home will make coming back easier! Stay hydrated, drink lots of water, and avoid sugary drinks like soda, iced tea, and fruit juice.
Drink coffee if you like caffeine, but remember to stick to one cup per day, since it has more caffeine than a regular cup of tea or less-caffeinated beverages like hot chocolate.
Avoid processed foods and opt for fresh fruits and veggies instead. Healthy eating habits are important when living abroad, so be sure to pack them into your routine now, so you won’t have trouble later on.
For example, not only should you watch what you eat while abroad, but also how often you work out.
Keep an eye on how many calories are in what you’re consuming by using apps like MyFitnessPal or Google’s Calorie Counter.
Even if it’s not always possible to cook meals at home, remember to always keep snacks handy (nuts, granola bars) so they’ll be available when hunger strikes between meals and throughout the day.
7) Measure your portions
A major part of how to not gain weight while studying abroad is being mindful of your portion sizes.
Overeating is easy to do when you’re presented with an abundance of food, so it’s essential to be aware of how much you’re eating.
A good way to measure your portions is by using your hand as a guide. One fist equals one serving of pasta or rice, and two fists equal one serving of meat or chicken.
It may take some time to get used to this new measurement system, but it will become second nature in no time! In addition to measuring your portions, it’s also important to eat healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains instead of processed snacks that are full of sodium and sugar.
And if you find yourself craving something sweet, make sure you only have a small piece. You can always grab another snack later if you still want more!
When dining out, split a meal with someone else or order half of the meal and save the other half for later. Another great tip for how to avoid weight gain while studying abroad is to eat slowly and savor each bite.
If you’re feeling hungry throughout the day, pack protein-rich snacks like fruit, nuts, low-fat cheese sticks, or yogurt.
These types of snacks will keep you satisfied without ruining your diet.
For those who are worried about how to lose weight while studying abroad, don’t worry. The key is doing what you normally would at home, staying active, and drinking plenty of water. Whether it’s running, cycling, or playing sports outside after class.
8) Keep up with fitness routines from home
It can be difficult to keep up with fitness routines from home while studying abroad, but it’s important to try! Here are a few tips:
1. Get enough sleep
When you’re well-rested, you’re less likely to make unhealthy choices.
2. Eat breakfast
Starting your day with a nutritious meal will help you make better choices throughout the day.
3. Drink plenty of water
Water helps flush out toxins and keeps you feeling full.
4. Be mindful of what you eat
Choose foods that fuel your body rather than slow it down.
5. Watch how much sugar you consume
Too much sugar slows down your metabolism and makes it hard for you to burn fat or build muscle mass.
6. Limit your alcohol intake
Drinking in moderation is ok, but don’t forget how many calories alcohol contains.
7. Stay active
There are plenty of fun ways to stay active in different cultures, for instance, joining dance classes.
8. Focus on the health benefits instead of weight loss
Remember that living an active lifestyle while studying abroad will improve your mood and give you more energy! The best way to lose weight while studying abroad is by being physically active. Remember not to count calories, just focus on eating healthy food and exercising regularly.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is it normal to gain weight while studying abroad?
The pressure of being in a new place can lead you to overindulge in food. The experience can be exhilarating, and many people find themselves throwing their diets out of whack as they indulge in parties, shopping sprees, late-night study sessions, and other activities. Additionally, eating at restaurants while abroad is generally more expensive than dining at home, so you might not be able to control your portion sizes. When you start studying abroad, it’s important that you keep tabs on your diet. So it is quite normal to gain weight while studying abroad.
How can I stay healthy while studying abroad?
If you’re going abroad for a short period of time, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet. You might find yourself eating out more often, or indulging in foods that aren’t part of your regular diet back home. But if you are committed to keeping a fit body, then you can stay healthy.
Do you weigh less in different countries?
Yes, it is possible. It happens because the gravitational force of the earth is different in different parts of the world. So, your weight will slightly differ due to it.
Wrapping it up
If you’re worried about packing on the pounds while studying abroad, don’t be! With a bit of effort, it’s easy to stay healthy and avoid weight gain. There is nothing much to be worried about as you know how to not gain weight studying abroad by now. It’s just a matter of taking care of yourself. These tips will help you get started and make your experience abroad even better!