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. 

  • It's time to pack our bags! We are getting ready for several weeks of travel and will be sharing some of our favorite packing and travel tips in our stories as we prepare. ⁣
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In the next few weeks, we'll be traveling north where the temperatures are expected to be below freezing and then to the south where it will be hot and humid. And were hoping to each take just one suitcase. ⁣
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Wish us luck, and see how we do it in our Instagram and Facebook stories. And let us know if you have any packing tips and tricks yourself. We'd love to hear from you. ⁣
#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #packing #traveltips #travelhacks #packingtips #organized #pack #samsonite @samsonite
  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
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Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
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Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
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While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
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The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
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For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
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We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
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Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
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Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
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This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
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The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
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One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
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What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
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#postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #giftideas #giftsfortravelers #traveler #travelgifts #giftguide #roadtrippin #packingtips #packingbags #howtopack #packlight #eaglecreek #celebritycruises #travelblogger #packing #packinghack #giftsph #holidayshopping #giftidea #travelgram #packing101

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