Trying to stay on track with your fitness/health goals while traveling can definitely seem like a nightmare. You’re in a different environment with a lot less control of putting your usual healthy meals together. So you think! I’m writing this post to prove it can be done. It just takes a little planning ahead : )
First, you’ll want to consider packing your own convenience foods to take with you on the plane or in the car. Not only will this help you stay on track but it will also save you some $$ woo!
Easy Things to Pack Ahead of Time
Level 1 Protein (I just portion servings in baggies so they are ready to grab and mix with water or milk!)
Beef Jerky (my favorite brands are Perky Jerky and Krave Jerky)
Tuna Packets (they have a ton of fun flavors- found at most grocery stores!)
Fruits / Veggies
Protein bars are great as well! My favorites these days are Oh Yeah ONE bars, Rx Bars, Bia Bars, Square Bars and G2G Bars. Oh yeah ONE bars are the cheapest and highest in protein.
Aside from having these snacks handy while you travel, it’s safe to assume you’ll also be dining out quite a bit. In this case, planning ahead will be crucial! If you get to choose where you’ll be eating, try to find somewhere that has nutrition facts on their website, this way you can make a healthy choice ahead of time. If you are NOT going somewhere where there is nutrition information available, simply find a restaurant that is similar in cuisine that does and just track that! For example if you are getting pizza somewhere that doesn’t have nutrition info, find a pizza place that DOES and log the item on their menu that is closest to what you got. Below is a meal from Qdoba, which offers their nutrition online!
Now, you don’t even need to go this route at all if you don’t want to. The best thing you can do in this case is just order what you think will give you mostly lean protein, veggies and 1 carb source with little fats and extra carbs. In this situation, it’s best to avoid/limit sauces and dressings. For things that do come with sauces and dressings, ask for them on the side and use them sparingly. They most likely have a lot of carbs and/or fat.
Some great options would be: a lean cut of steak with a side of broccoli and baked potato or a basic salad with grilled chicken, shrimp, steak or salmon and dressing on the side. Oil and vinegar is always my go to because you know exactly what you are getting and it’s easy to track (see picture above). Be aware when choosing salads too, the toppings add up! Cheese, nuts, croutons, craisins etc are some common toppings that are by no means ‘bad’, they just add up calorically. Try to choose a salad that has a variety of veggies and perhaps some nuts or cheese but just be mindful that these are both fat sources and so is most dressing.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask for modifications! For example, most restaurants will prepare most things in butter/oil. Ask for your veggies to be steamed or simply ask for no extra butter or oil on anything. These are small things that can make a huge difference.
If you DO want something more indulgent, ask someone to split it with you or if you have good self control only eat half. I am all about moderation over restriction. Really have your eye on something but know it’s going to pack a caloric punch? Just get it and try your best to only have half. Another tip in this case is order a side salad or side of veggies to help fill you up with veggies so you won’t overeat. In the photo above, I ordered grilled chicken with buffalo sauce, steamed broccoli and a BBQ chicken flatbread. Since I got my protein and vegetable from the chicken and broccoli, I had the pizza to get my carbs and fats. I also only ate half of the flatbread because moderation ; ).
Whichever way you choose to go, traveling is a GREAT time to practice listening to your hunger and satiety cues. Learn how to push your plate away when you are getting full. There is no point in wasting food in your body instead of the trashcan. Don’t overthink it, just be mindful!
Alcohol. This is probably the easiest way to rack up calories (unfortunately) and also takes a hit on your metabolism. Try to moderate your intake as much as possible and if you DO choose to drink, stick with light beers or stouts, wine or liquor with diet soda or soda water. Mixed drinks and typical beers can range anywhere from 150-500 calories PER drink!
Lastly, drink TONS of water! This will help your body truly let you know when it needs food (sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst when we are dehydrated). It will help keep you full between meals, reduce bloat from extra sodium (inevitable when dining out) and help your metabolism be as efficient as possible.
TAKE HOME POINTS:
-Pack healthy snack options.
-Look up nutrition/menu beforehand to make a good choice going in.
-If you choose something indulgent, have half.
-Choose wholesome colorful foods as much as possible (think lean protein + veggies/fruit).
-Honor your hunger and satiety cues.
-Limit sauces and dressings.
-Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications.
-Keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
-Drink TONS of water!
-Stay active! Take advantage of the hotel gym, walk whenever you can, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Little things like that MATTER!
If you have an upcoming trip and need any help with this, don’t hesitate to reach out! [email protected]
All my best,