5 Nutrition Secrets – How to Eat Your Way Through Italy Without Gaining a Pound

by Dawn McGee | Wellness, Lifestyle, Travel

I spent a wonderful week in Italy filled with amazing food, breathtaking sights, and delightful wine. And the best part? I didn’t gain any weight!

 (Let’s be clear – the scale is not a good measurement of your overall health. It’s simply a data point you can use on your journey, as long as the number doesn’t make/break your day)

 If you’re curious about how you can achieve the same, keep reading, and I’ll share my secrets with you.

Secret #1:The PFC Lifestyle

One of the key factors that helped me maintain balance during my culinary adventure was the PFC lifestyle. I’ve been living it for a dozen years and it makes a difference. The longer you follow it, the easier it will be for your body to bounce back after an indulgent meal. 

This approach focuses on balancing your blood sugar by balancing the protein, fat, and carbs (PFC) in each meal, rather than sticking to a deprivation-based diet. You eat within an hour of waking up and have regular meals every three to four hours until about an hour before bedtime which gives you balanced blood sugar all day long. By adopting this lifestyle, you can savor all the delicious food without stressing about gaining weight.

Secret #2: Mindful eating

While indulging in the culinary delights of Italy, I practiced mindful eating. For instance, after a cooking class, when we were enjoying the eggplant parm we made, I realized halfway through the dish that I was satisfied and didn’t need to finish it all. This mindful approach to eating allows you to enjoy everything (including desserts each day) without overindulging. Get in touch with your hunger and satiety cues, and the world can be your oyster!

Secret #3: Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activity is essential for overall well-being. We were staying at a Palazzo at the top of a hill. To explore anything meant walking down and back up a steep incline.I took advantage of the opportunity to explore  on my hilly walks. My daily walks became a fun way to discover new parts of the town while easily incorporating exercise into my routine.

Secret #4: Quality Ingredients

Although we may not have complete control over the ingredients in our food, making intentional choices can make a difference. In Italy, I noticed a significant difference in the quality of ingredients, such as the flour used to make pasta, which contained less gluten compared to what is commonly found in the United States. Choosing ingredients with fewer additives and pesticides can positively impact our bodies’ inflammatory response. Less inflammation, better digestion, less bloat.

Secret #5: Wine Selection

In Italy, our nightly wine was made from biodynamically farmed, organic grapes. This high-quality wine didn’t leave me with any unpleasant side-effects the next morning. Even in the United States, we have the opportunity to choose better-quality wines, which make all the difference in how we feel the next day. This means less inflammation, and yes, less bloat..

My trip to Italy was an incredible culinary adventure, and the best part is I got to learn how to cook some local recipes, enjoy a great week with my kiddo, and explore a new spot in the world. And because of how I live my life, I also returned without gaining any weight. You don’t have to go to Italy to enjoy the benefits! By embracing the PFC lifestyle, practicing mindful eating, engaging in physical activity, and making smart choices about ingredients, you too can enjoy great food without stressing about weight gain. Want to learn more about this? Let’s schedule a complementary call to chat about it. 

Remember, you can live a life you love without feeling hungry or deprived. Ciao for now!

Dawn McGee
Nutrition Evangelist at Dawn McGee, Nutrition Evangelist and Wellness Strategist

I'm Dawn McGee, Nutrition Evangelist and Wellness Strategist. As the creator of the Reclaim Your Life, One Bite at a Time® program, and author of “365 Days of Healthy Living”, I put the fun back into being healthy. I specialize in working with women who are ready to make their health a priority so that they can do all the things that bring them joy and just need someone to help them get started and to guide them through the process. Working together, we embrace their vision of better health and inspire them to make small, meaningful changes so they can live the life they want. All without needing 26 hours in their day! As a Certified and Licensed Venice Nutrition Coach and a long-time foodie (I love to travel + enjoy local cuisines), I focus on both the health and joy of food. I have been coaching clients in person, online, in groups, and in a 1:1 capacity since 2012.

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Draper

    This seems actually doable. I always through my eating plan out the window on vacation, but I might actually be able to do this one!


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