By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS
We’ve all been there. You had your workout clothes and tennis shoes packed and ready to go. You promised yourself that you would work out while traveling. After all, you wanted to make sure you stayed on your game without losing the progress you made so far. But then, you get to your destination and the motivation just tanks. It’s clear that if you had the right travel strategies, you’d stay on track with your results.
Imagine that you’re visiting with family, friends, and colleagues around yummy food and drinks. Then suddenly your healthy nutrition becomes a distant afterthought. After eating and drinking the day (or night) away, you no longer have the motivation to workout. This is your body telling you “It’s vacation time.”
An added problem with this vacation mentality is the restart process when you get home. It usually sounds like: “I’ll start again—but not today. Maybe on Monday.”
These 3 travel strategies to stay on your weight loss journey will help you create a healthy lifestyle. Try them—and you’ll stay active and make the right choices anywhere, even without access to a kitchen.
It’s easy to be tempted by the quick bag of chips or a candy bar as you hop on the plane. But the altitude changes already mess with your gut. So make sure you stay fueled so you aren’t tempted by the “bad” stuff. Do this, and you will help your body not feel so fatigued.
You can actually pack whole meals, sandwiches, snacks in clear bags and containers like the ones here. Lucky for us, TSA does not confiscate these types of items anymore.
If you aren’t one who is looking to bring a home-cooked meal on a flight, then I suggest a hearty protein bar. Choose one that isn’t loaded with added sugars and junk your body doesn’t need. My favorite is The Perfect Bar. It is extremely filling and tasty, made from healthy, clean ingredients, and gluten-free.
Pro tip: Prepare and pack your travel food the night before. That way, you don’t have to worry about scrambling to make a meal before you rush out the door.
This travel strategy is simply about convenience. You are most likely not going to find a local gym and pay for a day pass. So why not use one that you’ve already paid for during your stay? You don’t need much; even if it’s just a few weights and a treadmill, your options are endless. It’s just a matter of you putting on those workout clothes you brought and getting down to it. Having a hotel gym gets rid of the excuses.
If finding a hotel gym is just not an option, bring a couple of workout tools with you. This makes for an easy and quick hotel room workout. My favorite are fitness bands. They are light to travel with and add a ton of resistance, which increases the effectiveness of your workout. If you don’t know which ones are the best for travel, we’ve done the research for you, here.
If you’re keen on doing the workouts outside, run to the nearest park. Go there and complete a quick, but effective HIIT workout with the bands you brought along.
Half the fun of traveling is eating out and enjoying the vibrant culinary culture of a new place. It is important to indulge in local foods and delicacies. But there’s always a level of self-control that comes into play.
I tell my clients to use the 90/10 rule when eating out. It allows them to just simply be aware of their food choices. 90% of the time, choose foods that are whole, healthy, lean, and nutritious in order to stay moving in the direction of your goals. The other 10%? Your choice.
There are hidden calories everywhere. For example, you might think you are making the right decision by ordering roasted chicken and vegetables. Then, you find that the chicken probably has a buttery sauce on it that adds 200+calories to the dish. Same with the veggies; they are probably cooked in butter to make them tasty, but lose their nutritional value. So ask for steamed veggies and garlic, or opt for a vinaigrette-based salad instead.
The best way to avoid tempting menus is to do a little research. Find out what health-conscious restaurants are near your stay. Most restaurants are great about having a menu full of tasty nutritious meals. But it is good to do the research on where those restaurants are located. That way, you don’t end up at McDonald’s for a quick fix when Chipotle would have been the healthier option.
Traveling can be stressful, but preparation is key. All it takes are a few Google searches, and planning ahead.