Traveling the World While Maintaining Your GAINS! – Part 1

Traveling the World While Maintaining Your GAINS! – Part 1

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

You can’t build mass while you cut- MYTH BUSTED

You can’t build mass while you cut- MYTH BUSTED

 

There is a common misconception amongst the general population of gym-goers that the only way to gain strength and increase size us to be in some sort of “bulking” phase. And that cutting means you need to sacrifice strength and size in order to achieve a more aesthetic physique. This is not necessarily true.

Luckily for you I’m writing this at the beginning of beach season so I can save some of you strength athletes from the dreaded summer bulk. Let’s start simple and with something we can all agree on. Being in an overall caloric deficit for a long period of time will cause weight loss and being in a caloric surplus for a long period of time will cause weight gain.

The type of weight loss or gain that occurs can be manipulated by the type and intensity of exercise you choose as well as where your calories come from i.e. macronutrient distribution. Now this is the part where we lose some people so let’s return to the idea of a long cut. In this situation you are in an OVERALL caloric deficit. What is overlooked is the fact that during this time you will be cycling between both catabolic and anabolic stages over and over again.

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For simplicity sake let’s pretend you start your day at maintenance level energy balance; you haven’t expended any energy or taken anything in, you walk to the kitchen and eat a meal, but you still haven’t expended much energy – you are now effectively and temporarily in a caloric surplus. Next you go to the gym and expend more calories than you took in at breakfast and now you are now in a caloric deficit. This can occur many times per day and if you’re cutting all it means is that you are in a caloric deficit for more of the day than you are in a caloric surplus. The end result is weight loss, but you had many opportunities to build lean mass as you were in an anabolic state multiple times

Our bodies are not programmed with an “on and off” switch for anabolism (building) and catabolism (breakdown), but rather our bodies go through anabolism and catabolism repeatedly throughout the day. 

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If you’re still not buying it let’s use an example most of us can relate to. I’m sure everyone had an overweight friend or acquaintance in high school who decided to start hitting the gym. They lost a significant amount of weight over a long period of time due to being in an overall caloric deficit and eventually, once they got lean enough, they revealed the muscular physique they had been building the entire time they were cutting.

If your goal is solely to gain lean mass and you’re already satisfied with the amount of body fat you have the a slight overall caloric surplus is optimal, but this isn’t the case for most people. For those who wish to lose body fat don’t be deterred by the idea of losing strength or muscle mass as you can build lean mass effectively in a caloric deficit if you have BOTH a permissive diet AND an effective training program. Just remember you cannot have one without the other and expect desired result.

Hayden Bowe