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too full to eat at more than one restaurant a day

  • c

When traveling, how does one make room to enjoy multiple food vendors/restaurants/tasty cuisines in one day without getting too stuffed? I know usually people are looking for ways to eat less, but it seems it would be a shame not to get as much deliciousness as possible while traveling.

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  1. Traveling for fun means that I'm on vacation, means that I will spend a lot of energy doing "tourist" things, walking, walking, walkging, beach things, pool things, ... that's a lot of exercise; two years ago, I lost some weight while in Spain !! and I ate a lot.

    So, I'm usually famished by 8pm-ish and will eat, and will continue walking after that.

    1. it's a problem. I try to eat lunch early and dinner late...which is hard because my husband doesn't like to eat late. I also try to share as much stuff w/ him as possible so I can get small tastes. I always work out every day on vacation to burn some calories and speed up digestion. Some things that I find irresistable, I may buy to take home and eat then. (nothing like whipping out something wonderful in the airport)

      Our latest trick is eating in two different restaurants for one meal. For example, in NYC, we go to John's pizza where I eat 1/2 slice and husband eats most of the rest of a pizza. Then we walk across the street to Pearl's , where I eat a lobster roll and he eats a salad.

      I wish I didn't have to say this under my real name...but I have actually tried throwing up pre-dinner to make some more stomach room (yes, just like the Roman vomatoriums) , but it didn't really work for me ...it just made me feel icky AND still full.

      In the end, you just have to suffer. No pain no gain! I once ate 9 times in a 27 hour trip to NYC.

      1. I rarely get to Manhattan. Last time was one night only. So I went out to dinner at - if I remember correctly - four places - for four courses. All places you didn't need a reservation. It was something like a Japanese place (miso soup, hot rice, quick pickles, ume, bit of sashimi, cold sake), Greek deli/restaurant (ground lamb stuffed in peppers( ?), a little salad, a nice red), Chinese near Times Square (dumpling soup & Tsing Tao), and a bar for a bourbon.

        3 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              at least have dessert with it, maybe a single chocolate bonbon : )

        1. Years ago when Laos was still a closed backwater, a colleague and I would go out to dinnner. But often it would mean the two of us first going to a hole in the wall Lao place where I'd have laab & khao niyao & lots of greens & beer. My buddy would have a beer. Then (this is in Vientiane in this case) we'd go to the one French restaurant where he'd have a meal and I'd have bread and wine.

          1. In Vietnam, you have to skip the hotel breakfast and go out to get pho on the sidewalk.

            1. The obvious is that you don't have to eat all that is served to you. It's a waste of food but you can eat until you're satisfied, not until the plate is clean. Food in the US is so often oversized. It has been hard if I'm in the middle of something I'm enjoying and feeling full but I know if I finish it, I'll feel sick so I leave it.

              One thing I've done is ask for less food. It's probably a pain for the server (sorry to anyone I've done it to but I do tip well and am friendly about it) but if I know the serving will be huge, I'll ask for less. I still pay the same but I hate waste, especially if I'm traveling and know I won't eat it. I've also ordered food but asked them to hold any sides I don't want to eat eg baked potatoes, bread. Overall, though, plan ahead. You can have a big breakfast, dinner and snack for lunch; or any variation.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chowser

                What I do when I'm in a city is to get my leftovers to go and leave it near a garbage can. I find that a lot of homeless people appreciate it. One guy in SF asked for my leftovers even before I had a chance to set it down next to the can. DH can't stand it because he says it's littering -- I don't put it in the garbage can but next to it. But I'd rather do that and hope somebody eats it rather than seeing food go to waste.

                To the OP -- yes, this is a problem I face as well. I'll be traveling later this month where we plan to do a lot of eating. One of the restaurants has a 23-course tasting menu which we are participating in. That's a lot of food! Usually I don't eat breakfast when I'm traveling. If I eat anything, it will be a small piece of fruit. But I decided to just have some vegetable juice in the AM. Thanks to a couple of Chowhound members, I found there are juice bars near my hotel. I generally eat more veggies at home than I do out. So I think this will help me get some more nutrients in. And I usually have dinner on the early side (before 7P) because I eat more for dinner when I'm traveling than I usually do at home. So eating early gives me more time to digest the food.

              2. Travel and eating on vacation: very small breakfast, brunch at 11, nosh at 3, dinner at 9 (often at multiple restaurants). Or, if I'm really trying to maximize the tastes, brunch at 10, nosh at 2, nosh at 6, dinner at 10 - four+ meals!

                Travel and eating on business: light breakfast, light lunch, light snack and then ESCAPE to eat real food. (Perhaps it's just me, but business hosted meals tends to be bland and traditional - time for a new job?!)

                The key is to walk everywhere, take the stairs, order small plates, and not finish everything put on the plate (especially if confronted by BAD dishes). It also helps that I'm not lured by dessert.

                1. We are fairly late risers when on vacation and seldom eat breakfast (unless in China, where we rise to the occasion for fresh doufu and so forth), so we are ready for lunch around 1 pm(have no problem eating any type of food at the first meal of the day) and dinner, which we usually eat at 8 or later.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: buttertart

                    i find that 6+ hours between meals makes me feel crappy, and even less hungry sometimes. usually i supplement some fruit or something as a holdover to juice the metabolism.

                    about Not eating what's given me when it's especially delicious/wonderful/out of the ordinary, that goes against my natural urges. if i order something absolutely delicious the image of its half-eaten remains will haunt me (unless it's not the first time i've ordered it).

                    i guess eating less healthy foods/refined grains/simple carbs to get the insulin spike could help me stuff in more.

                  2. hah, i'm with you on this: i'm always looking for ways to eat more, too. i like these strategies:

                    1. go with a group, if you can, and split everything so you get to taste as many things as possible;

                    2. walk everywhere, both to maximize your ability to scope out good under-the-radar places (long line in front of a hole-in-the-wall vendor almost inevitably = good) and to work up your appetite; and

                    3. don't waste noshing capacity on food that's not good. skip the third-rate free buffet breakfast at the hotel and packaged junk from the 7-11 or its equivalent so you have room, later, for something really interesting.

                    in some of my favorite food cities in the world, i seldom sit down to a "real" restaurant meal because i snack and browse so much throughout the day. this is my absolute favorite way to eat!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cimui

                      I'm completely with you. I almost never eat at a "real" sit-down meal in most places around teh globe: grazing and browsing is best fro me whn I'm alone. Of course, I'll graze and browse AND eat a full meal with my work colleagues in most parts of the world.

                      I do have to eat like a (very well fed) monk and work out (heavy) six days a week when I'm back here in Colombia, however.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        i deeply admire your stomach capacity, sam. someday i aspire to both all-day grazing and full-meal eating.... and working out six days a week!

                    2. We usually grab something small at the hotel concierge lounge - oatmeal, cereal, etc. ealy. Then have a big lunch, then do appetizers and salads for dinners. Or happy hour and a light dinner. I hate going to bed full, so we eat a bigger meal at lunch.

                      1. I had a friend over from England a few years back who had not been in the US for many years. First day we went out to breakfast, then drove around the area I live in and went out to lunch. Later that evening we had dinner out. Second day the same sort of day. By half way through the third day I told him I couldn't manage another meal! I just felt totally full. I think he took himself out for meals after that!

                        1. Avoid 3 big meals and instead have lots of "mini-meals" and try to walk everywhere/do some type of physical activity. A typical day for me when on holiday is as follows:
                          Breakfast- skip the hotel's inflated breakfast prices and go out to an independent neighborhood cafe and have a coffee/tea and a pastry.
                          Mid-morning- 10:30am tea -quick cup of tea (an opportunity to step into cafe #2)
                          Lunch-bistro/casual place that offers small plates so I can order 2 small appetizers or small portions so I can try more than 1 item.
                          Mid-afternoon- step into cafe #3 for 3:30pm afternoon tea incl bit of dessert(small fruit tarte, cake or some cookies etc)
                          Dinner-order entree only, no apps or dessert. Go for dessert afterwards at a dessert specialty restaurant or good ice cream place

                          Never finish anything, only eat 1/2 or 2/3 of the dish. Never eat the free bread. My husband and I also never order the same item - we order different dishes and sample each others' food so we get to taste more items from the menu.

                          Of course, the above food schedule goes out the window if we have reservations for a meal at a well known restaurant/it is Michelin starred - we will starve ourselves if need be so we can have a full multi-course meal and maximize the food tasting experience at places known for their cuisine.

                          1. I always ask for a refrigerator in my room. I love to travel and to sample new places but the portion sizes are always way too large. I usually eat less than half the order and eat the other half for snack or take it home. Working out at the fitness room at the hotel also helps. Even better, if you can meet up with the local chowhounds and split the dishes, you get to sample more items and can share the delciousness, have some great company and not have to eat it all yourself.

                            1. am i the only one who would feel a little depraved leaving a great burger half finished?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: cugel

                                If I'm in my hometown, I've got no problem just eating half a burger -- did that on Saturday night and had the leftovers for lunch on Sunday. But I will admit it's a bit difficult to do so when you're traveling.

                                1. re: cugel

                                  Depraved or deprived? Or both?

                                  All I know is I just gain weight when I'm on vacation and live with the consequences. Come to think of it, I do that when not on vacation, too. Gained 11 pounds in less than 3 weeks in Italy once.

                                2. I can't eat three major sit-down meals in a day either. When traveling I usually do light grazing for breakfast. Depending on where I am it might be some local pastry and coffee, or maybe fruit and yogurt, then eat a light lunch like a small portion of fish or soup, and save the heavy meal for dinner. Or if I'm in a place that does major breakfasts, like England or Scotland, I'll eat a full breakfast and dinner but skip lunch altogether.

                                  1. When my husband and I travel we usually like to share specialties from vendors or places so that we can get a taste, yet still leave room to try more! For example instead of getting a slice of pizza each, we'll get one slice and share it.

                                    1. I must say that just tasting varied foods, not finishing them, leaves out a good portion of the satisfaction of food for me. I feel like taste is only half the enjoyment, while the satisfaction of eating a filling meal, a full plate, is the other part.