With a little planning, you too can travel, stick to your diet, not gain any weight and have fun while doing it!
We’ve all been there; we see a great travel deal or have a trip to go on. We book it and how excited are we about going on a new adventure? But how do we travel and stay on your diet or just keep up with the healthy eating you’ve been doing? It’s not the easiest thing to do. But with a little planning and preparation, you too can travel, stick to your diet, not gain any weight and have fun while doing it!
As a fitness competitor my diet and nutrition gets to be very strict at times. My diet doesn’t stop because I have a trip to take, and more often than not I have to travel while prepping for my next competition. Here are my best tips and tricks for staying on track while traveling:
1. Have a Plan.
You know you’re going on a trip. You know you have to eat. Think about what that looks like in the situation before you’re in it. I typically eat egg whites, oatmeal and coffee most mornings for my breakfast. This is two fold: it serves my nutritional purposes without having to put too much thought into it on a daily basis and it’s often available in a lot of places all over the world. If I’m going somewhere that doesn’t have oatmeal, I simply bring my instant oatmeal packets (I love Quaker Oats). Most places will have hot water-see #4 below if water is an issue where you’ll be traveling. Think similarly for lunch and dinner. What are foods you know you can eat that keep you within your nutritional goals? Maybe steak and greens/vegetables, a vegetarian meal? Seafood? Stick to grilled or steamed options of theses foods and you should be ok. If you’re traveling to a part of the world where protein is specific to the region, just stick to grilled options of the protein they do have. Keep sauces, fried food, and anything drenched in butter to a minimum. They are easy ways to quickly pack on the pounds.
2. Portion Control.
The above works in a perfect scenario, but we all know the world isn’t perfect. If you know ahead of time that the food you’ll be eating at a meal isn’t going to be prepared in a healthy way, then eat before you go. Filling up before you’re in the situation will prevent you from over indulging while in the moment. Once there, just practice your portion control so that you are not offending your host by not eating. Have only a little bit and serve your food yourself (if you can) to prevent having it piled high on your plate.
It isn’t very spontaneous, but I even plan my cheat meal while traveling. I try to have it on the day that I was most active (I have to work out most days, so when I travel this doesn’t change). This way, my body is burning the calories from this meal and not storing calories. If I have that cheat meal, I make sure I do cardio the next morning when I wake up to help undo any damage I did with the meal.
4. Shop the market.
I LOVE going to local food markets and grocers when I travel. I get to buy fresh food, and I can control what I eat better. It’s also cost effective for those of you on a budget and it’s a great way to really explore the city/country that you’re in.
5. Drink plenty of water.
If you follow me on my blog Tie Sides And Scoops, you’ll know that I suggest water for almost everything health related from headache prevention to a good nights sleep. When we travel, we get dehydrated. Drink your water to help hydrate and make you feel full. This applies while on the plane and when you land. Some areas of the world don’t have safe drinking water. There are water bottles you can buy with filtration systems built in; I got mine from Amazon. If you don’t have that, buy bottled water or boil it. Keep Alcohol to a minimum.
6. Have healthy snacks.
I bring snacks that I know I can’t live without, for the plane ride and just to munch while site seeing in my new favorite country of the moment. My go too: almonds, rice cakes and peanut butter, and protein shakes. I pack them in gallon size zip lock bags and and have plenty for my trip. It helps to know that you have snacks you know you can eat with you, rather than feeling like you can’t eat anything.