Traveling can often lead to a down spiral of our health and fitness. We are away from home, often in unfamiliar areas, and easily tempted to binge on all the things, and put off our workouts. Typically, all those veggies, and workouts tend to be the first things we place on hold while traveling. Travel can be exhilarating, but raise your hand if you have ever gotten back from a trip feeling bloated, sluggish, more tired, and frankly, just blah from all the over eating, and let’s be honest probably over drinking. So, I am going to give you my best tips for staying on track while traveling.
Now, I want you to know before I get into this, I even mentioned this in a live video to my online community, if you are on a vacation and want to enjoy all the things. Meaning, you full well intended to go on this trip, and just indulge, then please, go, and ENJOY ALL THE THINGS. For instance, your honeymoon, or a once in a lifetime trip somewhere. You are allowed to treat yourself! Even if it isn’t a big trip, but you decide to just get away with your significant other or girlfriends, then go and enjoy. Life is about living, and finding balance. Me personally, I try and find a good balance of indulging and staying on track when I travel places, and have adapted a pretty good balance. This just has to be based on what YOU are looking to accomplish on your travels. That being said, here are the things I have found most beneficial when traveling away from home to help me fight off totally down spiraling with my health and fitness.
Pack for Success
First thing is first. If you know you will be traveling, pack for success. For me personally, my biggest downfalls are when I don’t come prepared, get really hangry (it’s a thing, even if my husband doesn’t agree. Right ladies?) and then will devour whatever is in my sight. Usually something that is nothing but empty calories, and leaves me feeling a little guilty when the hunger episode has past. So, pack some travel friendly items that can be thrown into your bag. These are my absolute favorite bars to have on my person at all times. I throw them in my diaper bag when I take the kids out, when I am traveling for work, and even traveling for vacation. I also try and have other things, like almonds, string cheese, Lara Bars, Epic Bars, and fresh fruit, if my travel allows it.
Meal Prep When You Can
Not every trip will allow you to bring prepped meals, but if it isn’t too far to travel, bring prepped meals. There are so many healthy recipes you can make ahead of time that are super easy and delicious. I love making some of my favorite meals ahead of time, dividing it up, and storing it in these containers to reheat and eat. This is the easiest way to stay on track when you’re traveling because it literally takes all the guess work out of your meals. By having prepped meals and snacks, all you have to do is go into the refrigerator, grab something, and you’re set. Check out my recipes to get some ideas to prep for your travels.
Go Grocery Shopping
No matter where I am staying, I always be sure to scope out the local grocery store, and will make a trip to get some things to keep me on track. This allows me to have a little more control of my food and what I am consuming throughout my trip. Here are some of my go to buys:
- Coconut yogurt or almond yogurt – an easy snack to store in a mini fridge. Usually, I would get Greek Yogurt for a yummy snack that has lots of proteins, but my 7 month ebf daughter has a dairy intolerance and I can’t have too much dairy.
- Fresh fruits – strawberries, grapes, apples. These are great nutrient dense snacks that I don’t have to cut up and can just wash and eat.
- Cold cuts – My preferred is turkey, but sometimes chicken. This is super easy and simple, I can even eat the cold cuts by themselves for a quick bite
- Green juice – this helps me get in my veggies while I am away. Just be on the lookout for all the hidden sugars!
- Nuts, nuts, nuts – if I don’t already have nuts from my travel there, I buy some.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
And I don’t mean with vanilla lattes and diet cokes. Water! I think it is safe to say that most people are chronically dehydrated, and aren’t getting enough water in as it is in our day to day life, so I that means we are definitely not getting in enough water while we travel. If you’re traveling by plane, plane rides can be especially dehydrating. Even though you may not want to constantly stand up to use the restroom, or pull over for a rest stop, I say it’s worth it. Water is critical to a properly functioning body — from the organs to the skin.
Don’t know how much water you should be consuming? The general rule of thumb and a reasonable goal is to drink 8 – 8 oz glasses per day. However, this can vary from person to person. A second way to estimate how many ounces you should be drinking, is to take your body weight and divide it in half. For example, a 150 pound woman would aim for at least 75 ounces per day. Always try and carry a water bottle with you, and drink throughout the day. If staying hydrated is difficult for you, here are some tips that can help:
- I always recommend drinking two glasses of water first thing in the morning (or a LARGE water bottle if that is what you have on you. At least 16oz). This helps with the morning bloat, and gets the digestive tract going (that tends to get a little, stuck, when traveling).
- Keep a bottle of water with you during the day and refill with tap or filtered water.
- If you don’t like the taste of water, try infusing your water with fruit or adding a slice of lemon or lime.
- Try drinking water when you are feeling hungry. Thirst is often confused with hunger and you may feel satisfied after drinking some. Real hunger will not be satisfied drinking water.
- If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and when you go to bed. Or you could try to drink a glass at the beginning of each hour.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
This is huge for traveling, or when home. Try not to drink your calories by consuming excessively sugar drinks. Those sugar lattes, sodas, and alcoholic beverages add up quick. So, in the morning, try and keep your coffee orders simple. If you have always used sweeteners, try and add some honey instead, and eventually get away from it. Try and order water with meals, and if you want an alcoholic beverage, be sure it is one you really want, and try and avoid those mixed with cokes and syrups (you could probably help avoid a headache in the morning too ;)).
Make Smart Choices When Eating Out
Eating out is so tempting! There have been times where I have the best intention to eat well, then get to the restaurant, starving, and end up eating way more than I planned. So, be sure you aren’t waiting until you are absolutely hangry to eat. Start by ordering water, and try and have at least one glass down before your food arrives. If you’re at a restaurant that offers complimentary bread or chips, pass up on it. Yes, you heard me right, you can ask them to skip it! OR if you absolutely want to have some, be smart, decide your portion, and commit to it.
Now navigating the menu. A lot of places usually have a lighter choices menu. So, you can choose from that menu, or a salad or something grilled. My usual rule of thumb is to avoid fried foods, and when it comes to my sides, choose a veggie. If this is your all out meal, go for it! But you don’t have to over eat or make yourself sick to enjoy yourself. So, stick with your guns on not eating the entire bowl and chips and salsa (and yes, I have done this on numerous occasions), and remember, just because it is on the plate, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all.
Move Your Body
We already hit on the point that your regular exercise routine may be suffering while traveling. But it doesn’t have to.
- Beachbody has an amazing online workout data base, Beachbody on Demand, where you can get hundreds of workout programs streamed to your laptop, tablet, or phone. All you need is a little internet connection, or to download the video beforehand. Beachbody on Demand is super affordable, and have several amazing programs that have brought real results to people all over. So, when you are in your hotel room, just turn on your laptop, and hit play.
- Go for a walk – maybe you go for a stroll after dinner, or choose to walk to your destination instead of drive. A little bit of walking during your day can help alleviate some of that travel sluggish feel.
- The hotel gym – you know, it might sound crazy, but hotels do have gyms 😉 I laugh at this because for the longest time, I didn’t realize this was a thing in most hotels. Honestly, most have the equipment you need to get in an effective workout, and there is no driving involved.
- Go for a run – this is another quick, effective way to get in a workout. Simply throw on a pair of sneakers, and start your stride. This is another one of my favorite exercises and ways to get in workouts, even at home. On top of my Beachbody workouts, I like to get in runs. So I find this especially appealing when traveling to places with beautiful scenery.
- Sneak in exercise – in general, just try and be more active. Park further away so you have to walk further. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
No matter how your eating goes. Whether you workout every day, or not at all. You are not “good” or “bad” for the choices you make. There is no “right” or “wrong.” You are living your life, and to have a good life, you actually want to enjoy yourself. I would be crazy if I told you to come to Texas, and not enjoy BBQ, or to go to Chicago, and not have some Pizza. I am simply trying to give you some tips to help stay on track, feel better in the clothes you packed, and not feel as bloated by time you head home. So, whether your trip goes as planned or not, don’t sweat it, enjoy, and know you can always pick up right where you left off.
Safe travels my friends! 🙂