118 pounds later…

Between the two of us, Rhys and I have lost 118 pounds since April. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN in NINE months. That’s extreme. So what changed?

Grand Canyon 012

New Year 023

On the surface, not a whole lot. Yes, we’re walking more – but no additional exercise. We eat when we’re hungry, and we’re not on any sort of diet. But wait… let’s look at that a little closer.

Food has been important in every culture we’ve visited, and we’ve tried most local cuisines we’ve come across. They vary wildly – Japan featured generally healthy foods that emphasized the natural flavors of the ingredients, Thailand loved their spices so much that it was difficult to tell the base of a dish underneath the hot, Italy was carb-loading, and the Czech Republic is largely a deep-fried cheese, meat-and-potatoes country. Yet, we lose weight in every one of them. So…?

Looking at our habits, in addition to simply moving more, we have changed the way we eat. We share meals more often, and the portion sizes it takes to get us full have definitely shrunk. Our eating schedule is probably more healthy now, too – we eat breakfast, and lunch is invariably the largest meal of the day (though still not huge). It’s not uncommon for us to continually snack throughout the day.

Not only do we eat less, but the food we have eaten – everywhere – has been fresher, less processed, with less chemicals, preservatives, and salt. Food in America is way over-processed; so many other countries have strict limits on what can constitute “food” (or a population who simply won’t purchase it.) It is telling that the American population segments with the worst obesity problems are not those who can routinely afford the nice meals out and the nice foods, but those who eat fast food or cheap processed foods more often – because they are less expensive. Even fast food is different around the globe – and we have grown much less drawn to it as the trip winds closer to an end.

As an experiment, we decided to look up some sample meals we used to eat back home – before we left. Please keep in mind that a normal person’s DAILY caloric intake is between 1500-2000 calories (1200-1500 for someone losing weight), and then get a load of the table below. I knew a lot of it was bad for you (cheeseburger meal = bad, duh), but some of it was shocking. Over 600 calories for one bean burrito? Seriously? I don’t want to become a crazy calorie counter, and I love the gentle, almost accidental, way we’ve slimmed down over the course of the trip – but I know from experience it isn’t so easy in America, so we need to be prepared if we don’t want to gain every pound back.

Shocking, isn’t it?

4 thoughts on “118 pounds later…

  1. Wow! 118lbs is awesome! The walking surely has helped! Portion control also has been instrumental in weight loss. I say you've earned having your favorite American foods when you get back! Perhaps just as a reward and not as an all the time thing! What did you do abot clothes? I'm sure the close you started out with are too big now! Hope to see you guys sometime when you get back. Regards, Mary

  2. This is one of the things I'm looking forward to most about traveling, food. Between trying to be more conscious about actual nutritional value(protein/fiber especially) and trying to eat meat only sparingly I've become all too aware of how skewed our sense of food is in this country.Awesome blog/site btw. It was recommended to me by a friend when he learned I had a bit of a travel bug starting to develop after living in the same place my whole life. I am currently planning to make a similar venture out into the world. I find it rather inspiring that you two decided to make this trip, and I appreciate you sharing your experiences.Hope the homecoming goes well and the transition back into routines is a smooth one.I have to wonder if once a person has made a trip like this, if they don't get the urge to do so again at some point. Do you two feel content to leave it at that? Or does it feel as if you're just getting started?

  3. Christopher -Thank you for the comment! We are glad that our story is spreading beyond our personal friends and family. We wish you best of luck in your travels and, if we can assist or provide advice in any way, please let us know!Regarding future travels, it feels like the beginning. Already we have a mental itinerary built for our next trip whenever it takes place. It will be nice to be home for a while, but it'll also be nice to set out again, this time as an experienced traveler. We also plan on traveling more on our own, as the experience is much different as two than it is as one.

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