While traveling, especially to areas that may not have the best food selection or availability to gyms or places to workout, it can be challenging to try to stay on track with your normal diet, training, and healthy lifestyle. But just because these challenges are there does not mean that you cannot prepare for your travels in a way that will help keep you on track with your nutrition and training goals. It is important, just like with the mentality you should have with dieting and your nutrition, to not fall into the all or nothing mentality while traveling. What I am referring to here is getting into the mentality of that if you cannot commit to your daily routine completely with your normal diet and training regiment, then you should not try at all. This is the kind of mentality and mindset that results in yoyo-dieting and also yoyo-training regiments where you train hard for a short period of time, fall off track and then accept that as failure. Just because you cannot execute your plan perfectly, does not mean you should not try to execute it as best you can in your given circumstances.
Let’s start with your nutrition.
One of the great parts about traveling is soaking yourself in the new and exciting culture of where you are visiting, and a huge part of that surrounds food. The new tastes, the new smells, food choices, and selection you have never heard of or tried, it can be very exciting and you should not restrict yourself from this or let your diet get in the way of getting the most from your travels. The key to staying on track as best you can comes down to portion control and moderation. By following some simple guidelines, you can cut your weight gain from your vacation in half or greater, if not completely stay on track with your weight and body composition while still being able to enjoy your food choices and your vacation.
Here are my 5 tips to help you stay on track with your nutrition when traveling and all while still being able to enjoy some of your favorite food choices.
1. Prepare for the trip! I recommend that you bring some protein sources with you on your trip like protein powders, protein bars, jerky (and toothpicks) and or tuna to help hit your protein target. Often when traveling to certain parts of the world, solid protein sources are far and few between and when you can find a good source, it is often covered in oil, butter or a high calorie sauce. Bringing protein with you will help you get closer to your recommended daily intake from your coach, keep you fuller longer and help maintain your precious muscle mass you have worked so hard to get!
2. Portion control! There will be caloric dense foods and you should enjoy them, the key is always portion control and eating in moderation. Have a small bite, enjoy it, split it with someone else and never be afraid to leave some food on your plate.
3. Focus on protein and nutrient dense food items FIRST! When you are eating, always try to fill up with protein, fiber and nutrient-dense foods first, then enjoy the snacks with proper portion control. Focusing on protein and fiber dense foods first will help you stay fuller, longer and will ultimately reduce the total calories you are consuming.
4. Avoid excessive alcohol intake! One drink per day is not going to kill you, but having 5+ will not do good things to the progress you have made. Try to have a glass of water before and after every alcoholic beverage, this will control water retention and help you drink in moderation by keeping you fuller.
5. Best for last, always stop eating when you are 90% full! This one is simple if you start to get full, stop eating. Your body is telling you it has had enough calories, listen to it.
In the next post, we will go over how to stay on track with your training, even when gyms are not readily available.
Written By Hybrid Nutrition Coach Greg Sutton