See exotic places and watch your excess weight just disappear writes Kevin Pilley

Travelling always changes me. Mostly around the face and the waist. Eating foreign food has much to do with it. After somewhere like Egypt, my love handles disappear, my beer gut vanishes and my stomach becomes almost concave.

Most people usually leave behind something when they go away. Like their toothbrush, a shirt or their pin number. I leave behind body fat as well as a considerable amount of stomach lining. And at least one chin.

In Egypt I lost 3kg through dehydration, food poisoning and kick-boxing off all the hagglers and hasslers. A trip to the Pyramids is the ultimate cardio-vascular workout.


One meal in Cairo can lose me a stone. Not in two weeks. But in merely two courses. You can shed body mass just by haggling for mineral water.

I always come back from somewhere like India looking lean. Some people would say gaunt and skeletal. But I prefer lean.


Health experts recommend we eat five portions of fruit a day. When I am abroad I like to eat five portions of things I don't recognise as food every day. I like to eat what the local eat. The locals with four legs.

It's the way I diet. And it works. It doesn't need self-discipline. And doesn't require much effort. It just involves a lot of sitting down.

So forget the flat leaf parsley tea and the melon salads. My travels have conclusively proved that eating the wrong things in the wrong places dramatically lowers the risk of weight gain.

I always come back from somewhere like India looking lean. Some people would say gaunt and skeletal. But I prefer lean. I like to go to Colombia a lot too because I believe in kidnapping as a dietary aid. Being held hostage in the middle of jungle for six months is better than a quinoa diet.

Being kidnapped by bandits who can't cook and haven't got access to a good supermarket or deli really tones you.

Running away from them is great too. Adios jowls!

Of course, the US is another good place to go if you are fat and have tried everything. I once had all my clothes stolen there the day before I came home. I rushed into a shop, grabbed what I could and, when I arrived home, my wife couldn't believe how good I looked. A pair of over-sized dungarees worn with an XXXL Stetson makes you look much, much thinner.

Travelling in hot faraway places is the best diet I know. Running to the loo increases your heart rate and gets a real sweat up. I have often wondered why all those helpful foreign phrasebooks never contain a handy translation for, "Gangway! Gangway! Visitor stricken with the trots coming through! Make way! Make way!"

Like every traveller, I have had some terrible attacks of Spring-Loaded Bowel Syndrome in public places. Notably on a train in the Tokyo subway. Compared to that, Egypt wasn't that bad. Although I never thought I would ever be so happy to see a Papyrus Institute as I was when caught short in Luxor.

But it isn't just the stomach problems that makes travelling such a healthy thing. It's all the exercise involved. Why go to the gym when you can run on the spot for an half a hour stamping to death the large insects infesting your room?

They say chasing a cockroach around a hotel room with your shoe is the equivalent of playing squash for an hour.