To answer your question, yes, we’re losing weight while traveling. And no worries, we still consider ourselves foodies who eat out regularly when we travel. Many of you have noticed and mentioned our weight loss recently. We haven’t said a lot about it because … well, accountability of course. If we tell you about it, we’ll surely be accountable to all of you and that is just scary. But the heck with it. Here’s the story. 

Truth is, we’d both gained a considerable amount of weight. Ann’s health issues have required her to be on steroids for the past five years (which can cause weight gain) and limited her ability to exercise. Steve just likes gravy. We both have difficulty resisting dessert. No matter the cause, we’d somehow gotten more, um, fluffy than we’d have liked. Here we are at mile marker 0 in Key West this January.

Mile marker 0 in Key West

Then, in March, our daughter, Meghan, came home to visit. She told us that she was eating healthier and asked us not to cook any of her typical home-cooked favorites like Ann’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Of course, we wanted to support her, and decided we could suck it up and eat healthy for one weekend while she was home. 


PIN FOR LATER

losing weight while traveling post


At the end of the weekend, something clicked. We kind of looked at each other and decided it was time for us to make a change as well. And so began our attempt at losing weight while traveling. To date, we’ve lost 82 pounds between the two of us. Steve is down 45 and Ann is down 37. We’re not done yet, but we’re well on our way, and we’ve developed some new habits we hope to keep for a long time.

How we are losing weight while traveling

There are a million and one different plans out there to help you lose weight. Some folks swear by the Keto diet, while others go low-carb or Paleo or use intermittent fasting. Before we got married Ann had been successful on Weight Watchers and Steve had lost weight on Jenny Craig. But our schedules and some of Ann’s health issues are different now. We knew we had to find something that would work for each of us and work while we’re traveling. 

We wanted a plan that:

  1. Could be done from anywhere (because we travel)
  2. Would be sustainable for life (we can’t see ourselves never having carbs) 
  3. Was not super expensive (more money to save for travel)
  4. Didn’t involve pre-packaged or frozen meals (we love to cook)
  5. Allowed us to have an occasional glass of wine or cocktail (duh) 
  6. Didn’t eliminate ice cream from our diet (we have a house just blocks from Charlie’s Sweet Shop in Pawhuska)

Honestly, we didn’t have a lot of hope we’d find anything that checked all of these boxes. 

Then an ad for an app called Noom scrolled across Ann’s Facebook feed. STOP. RIGHT. HERE. We hope you’ll understand that we are NOT trying to sell you Noom or convince you it’s the greatest diet in the world. Noom does not employ us and this is not a sponsored post. In fact, we’re paying customers. We’re just sharing what’s worked for us, which you are free to take or leave. 

OK, back to our story about losing weight while traveling

After we began to investigate, we saw that Noom was a little different from other programs we’d tried before. Noom was developed by psychologists, who, using lots of scientific facts about nutrition and the human brain, developed a program to teach us why we interact with food the way we do and to show us how to change our eating and exercise habits — forever.

Noom checked all six boxes for us so we began using the app at the end of March. So far, we’re loving it. The best part for us is that as long as we’re really diligent when we’re home (where we have more control over what we cook and eat) we can still eat out at fabulous restaurants and special events when we travel. 

Eating at the Steak Fondue in Medora, North Dakota

What we ate in North Dakota

On our recent sponsored trip to North Dakota, for instance, we were treated to mouth-watering meals. Restaurant managers asked us to try a giant pizza pretzel with beer cheese dipping sauce, buffalo wings, fried pickles, egg rolls, and massive cheeseburgers. 

Buffalo chicken wings and a pizza pretzel at Williston Brewing Co. in Williston, North Dakota

We’ve even had desserts like homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and this fresh-out-of-the-oven pizookie that we feel guilty for even showing in a post about weight loss. 

A pizookie at Outlaws in Williston, North Dakota.

Using what we’d learned through Noom, though, we planned ahead, walked more, and ate small portions. We even took our scale and weighed ourselves each morning. Then, we also savored Every. Single. Bite. Because of careful planning and preparation, we were happy to find that we both lost weight while traveling. 

Since returning home, we became even more diligent and skipped the heavy appetizers and calorie dense desserts. 

A typical day’s eating at home

A typical day at home for us has about 1200-1300 calories which still leaves wiggle room for the occasional glass of wine, low-cal cocktail or other sweet treat:

Breakfast – 160 calories

  • Premier Protein Shake
  • Coffee (black or with a little of the protein shake instead of creamer) 

Mid morning snack – 80 calories

  • Banana -or- honey crisp apple

Lunch – 200 to 300 calories

  • Subway turkey sandwich (no cheese, lots of veggies, and yellow mustard) -or- a bowl of low sodium Progresso or Mexican chicken and rice soup

Afternoon snack – 60 calories

  • 30 green grapes or 1 Cutie

Dinner – 350 to 450 calories

  • Big lettuce salad with lots of veggies, 1 tbsp grated parmesan, 2 tbsp. Croutons, topped with Olive Garden Lite Italian Dressing.
  • 4-6 oz. Grilled protein like chicken, steak, pork chop, salmon, or shrimp
  • Steamed or grilled veggies like asparagus, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms

Dessert – 200 calories

  • Ice cream cone from Charlie’s Sweet Shop (Pawhuska) or Runza (Crete) -or- Angel food cake with fresh berries and a dollop of Redi-Whip 

Evening snack – 80 calories

  • Low-fat Greek yogurt -or- a honey crisp apple

We combine these foods in any way at any time of day, really. And honestly, when we’re at home, we’re probably a little under the number of calories that Noom recommends. Knowing that we’ll be above it sometimes when we’re on the road, consuming fewer calories when we’re home is what we need to do if we want to keep losing weight while we’re traveling. 

Healthy meal at home

Our grocery cart now includes more fresh produce and stuff you find on all the outside walls of the grocery store (fruits, veggies, yogurt, lean meat) and less of the stuff in the middle aisles (chips, snacks, pre-packaged and processed foods).

Shopping for fruits and veggies

Size matters (when it comes to portions, anyway)

One big thing we’ve learned along the way is that portion size matters. We measure nearly everything before we eat. For instance, a salad is an easy place for us to put too much dressing. But when we carefully measure two tablespoons, we know we’re getting the exact number of calories we’re planning on. 

Steve measures salad dressing at dinner.

Also, we purchased a food scale so that we can know how many ounces of chicken, beef, fish, or pork we’re getting for our meal at home. And doing all that measuring pays off when we’re in a restaurant, too. After measuring out four ounces of meat enough times, we’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing it in a restaurant. We also log everything we eat in the app. 

It was fun this week to upload new security photos for an upcoming cruise and see the difference 12 weeks has made.

Steve's profile pic

Ann's profile pic

There are lots of other healthy habits we’ve picked up along the way, but we’re not going to bore you with those details here. You likely came here for travel inspiration, we know. That said, if you do have questions, you can always ask us anything in the comments below or send us a private message on one of our social media channels like Facebook or Instagram

We’ll get back to blogging about travel, now. But since some of you had asked, we wanted you to know why you’ve been seeing less of us lately.


Note: If you are interested in trying the Noom app, you can click HERE or send us private message on any of our social media channels or email us at postcardjar@gmail.com. We’ll send you a link to a discount code for 20% off. While we are not an affiliate of Noom, like any other user who refers another person, we do receive a credit for each referral who continues past the free trial. 

  • Curious to see what Iowa has to offer to visitors besides corn? ⁣
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FOLLOW ALONG on our Instagram and Facebook stories as we travel to Iowa Sept. 19-22. We're going to be exploring Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa, and we can't wait to take you with us!⁣
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We'll hit all the popular attractions like the Surf Ballroom, The Music Man Square, and the Historic Park Inn. And, we'll take you behind the scenes at several unique eateries and venues. ⁣
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Our coverage of our trip to Iowa begins the morning of Sept. 19. We hope you'll join us on what is sure to be another fun-filled Midwest travel adventure. ⁣
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Also, let us know your recommendations for things to see and do in the Clear Lake/Mason City area if you have ideas. We'd love to hear from you. ⁣
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@clearlakeiowa @visitmasoncityiowa @traveliowa @midwesttravelnetwork
  • Steve is 47 today! ⁣
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A definite advantage of getting older and gaining experience in traveling is not being so terrified to hop on the plane and go.⁣
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This is 17 year-old Steve, way back in 1990, as he prepared to leave for Argentina where he would spend six months living with a host family as an exchange student.⁣
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As it turns out, Steve's time in Argentina was wonderful, and he remembers it fondly. After his time in there, he went on to get a degree in Spanish, spend a semester abroad in Costa Rica, participate in missions and community-service trips in third world countries, and finally be a teacher and eventually a school administrator. None of this would have happened if he hand't conquered his fear and gotten on the plane.⁣
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So if you're nervous to travel somewhere, that's understandable. But put your fear aside and go--a life changing experience awaits you.
  • Just over two years ago, we stopped in Pawhuska to have lunch at Ree Drummond's @PWMercantile. From the person opening the door for us to the folks tending the line giving us water, we felt welcome from the moment we set foot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.⁣
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But it turns out it wasn't just @thepioneerwoman and her husband, Ladd, who went above and beyond to welcome visitors. No, it turns out what they did was just par for the course in this town that's home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we've met in all our travels. ⁣
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So we bought a house there. We got it in part, so we could be a part of the community we've come to love. But we also got it so we could help welcome folks to town and let them know how glad we are they came to visit. Come and see Pawhuska. And when you do, stay awhile.
  • Fried dill pickles are a little different in North Dakota than they are in most other places we've been. Instead of just dipping some dill chips in batter, dropping them in the fryer, and then serving them in a basket with ranch, the folks there take their time and make a dish to remember.⁣
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They start with a dill pickle spear, wrap that in Havarti cheese, then put a wonton wrapper around it all. Then, they fry it, and slice it open just so before serving them alongside a spicy aioli dipping sauce. We had these at a complimentary meal at Outlaws Bar and Grill in @visitwilliston, North Dakota.⁣
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Let's be honest, these pickles are just one of many reasons we look forward to our return to @northdakotalegendary next year.
  • Have you ever had the chance to watch a cruise ship come into or leave port? These massive ships, often 1,000 feet or more long, can maneuver themselves by the dock so gently that you don't even realize you've stopped (or started) moving.⁣
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In Bermuda, we had the chance to watch the Norwegian Escape depart. We watched as she pushed away from the dock, then spun 180 degrees on a point before heading out to sea.⁣
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We've seen ships do this dozens of times. In fact, we've been on ships and have been part of this type of maneuvering dozens of times. And yet, given the sheer size of the vessels, it never ceases to impress.
  • You know you want to. Do it. Just book the ticket and go. At the end of your life, you likely won't remember most of the stuff you bought in 2019, but you will always remember the journey you took and the experiences you had. So enrich your life and go. We've never regretted spending money for a trip.
  • This just might be the sweetest, best pecan roll we've ever had. At the @PWMercantile, they bake these delicious treats daily. Covered in a luscious caramel and finely chopped pecans, these rolls are the stuff dreams are made of. Have you had one?
  • Smack in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we found the International Rose Test Garden. Set on 4.5 acres of land, the garden offers visitors a chance to see 10,000 rose bushes from about 650 different varieties. ⁣
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We spent more than an hour walking the carefully tended paths, snapping photos, and just enjoying the beautiful flowers. Our visit here made us glad that we literally scheduled time on this trip to stop and smell the roses.

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