How I Lost Weight after a 3 Week Trip to Italy

How I Lost Weight after a 3 Week Trip to Italy

Will I travel through Italy again for 3 weeks sampling regional delicacies?
Assolutamente! How was I going to avoid putting on weight eating focaccia and drinking limoncello!? How was I going to manage visiting a country which has a saying in Italian;“Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto” “Eat well, laugh often, love much,” Which in my opinion, defines the amazing Italian way of life. You must experience this mantra when exploring Italy!
Sextantio Albergo Diffuso

Our breakfast server – Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Santo Stefano di Sessanio

The most tempting foods for me

We had one Airbnb hostess that served us amazing meals each evening. I did not think I could eat anymore food, and I finally asked her if Italians really eat this way ( 6 course meals). She adamantly confirmed it (as she pointed to her tiny waist). How is this possible? The small portions she told me. It is more about tasting during each course of an Italian meal.
Everyone has their own food temptations, but these were the regional foods I found myself reaching for during this 21 day trip. The Puglia region was the biggest offender (it was really me). The food was fresh, delicious and abundant. Their philosophy is eat locally and seasonally. A very good one to follow.
Taralli Crackers Puglia

Taralli Crackers in Puglia
Gelato Rome

Gelato in Rome
Focaccia making lecce

Homemade Focaccia in Lecce
Prosciutto Toscano Dop Cured Meats in San Gimignano

Prosciutto Toscano Dop – Cured Meats in San Gimignano

Limoncello on the Amalfi Coast
Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz in Florence

Borratta in Alberobello
Follow this link to get ideas for an Italian Road Trip ItineraryThe party is then what?

After arriving home I came up with a plan that had worked for me in 2005 after 2.5 months in Europe. Low carb. Yep, a good old variation on Atkins or Keto. Here is the plan and it is pretty fool proof if you follow strictly. I had gained approximately 5 lbs in Italy and ended up losing it by following this plan for 3 weeks. I am 5’1″ , so 5 lbs. is more like 8-10 for someone in the 5’7″ range.

  • Calorie counting. I use the Lose It app . It will calculate your calorie intake for weight loss. It has a formula with your age, height and activity level. My calorie intake to lose weight moderately was 1300 calories (thanks to midlife!). Remember you can add in your exercise, so you can typically consume 1550 if you are burning 250 calories working out.

  • Keep your carb intake to within 50-75 grams of carbs a day. I will eat whatever I want as long as the carbs are in that range.
  • I have 2 meals that add up to 20-25 grams of carbs each. My favorite meal is my low carb protein smoothie. Below is the recipe. ​​The remaining carbs I save for a treat like an Enlightened Fudge Bar or dark chocolate
  • I focus on vegetables as you can eat more. I will add a protein to my salad like prosciutto, tofu or chicken. I always add cheese because it is low carb and makes it savory. My other favorite items are avocado & (shamefully) bacon, but both use up the calories pretty fast. I normally eat an omelette stuffed with veggies for dinner.Bolthouse salad dressings are amazing just watch the carbs. Better yet..excellent quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also add in sour kraut and dijon mustard daily which are super healthy and tasty.
  • I workout daily. I like to mix up my cardio. I burn at least 250-400 calories, biking, hiking,  playing pickleball, or power yoga.
  • Every other day I follow this core workout which is so good. You can do it on the floor while watching TV. It takes just 15 minutes and no equipment required ! Self Magazine 15 minute no equipment Core Workout

Low carb high protein blueberry smoothie


1/2 of an avocado
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein 1 scoop
1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter Powder
1/2 Cup frozen bluberries (lower carb fruit)
1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups baby spinach raw
couple pinches of cinnamon
​Blend it in a bullet or blender

Enjoy the trip, and try to focus on moderation versus restricting. ​

The good news is, after a couple of weeks you will be back in your normal routine and down to your optimal weight.!


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Published by Judy Hughes

I am a small group trip leader for 2 travel clubs. We check out cool and off the beaten path places around the World. Adventure is our specialty. I love to take notes and share the travel tips with you in my blog! Hope you check it out!