On the road again… while trying to keep healthy AND in shape – Mission Impossible?
Well, certainly it is difficulty level at least 12 – one of the most common disruptors of healthy eating & exercise habits is being away from home.
Whether it’s a short getaway, a full-blown 2 week holiday or a business trip, it’s much harder to stick to eating nutritious, protein-dense foods, keeping your exercise up and even harder to stick to a calorie deficit when you don’t have access to your own kitchen.
If your life / job / passion is like many of our members’, it happens even more often to you than the average person. So instead of me attempting to be smart again, I have asked for the help of those StrengthLab members who spend the most time on the go.
I have asked them the question:
“What are your ‘secret tactics’ for keeping fit & healthy during your travels?”
- Not having dairy helps, I can swap out the creamy potato options for boiled or baked, and the butter soaked veg for steamed.
- Buy a salad in boots at the airport rather than eat in a restaurant.
- It is possible to eat healthily at an all inclusive, just have to stay focused on goals and avoid the bread and dessert stations ⛔
- Try to find a hotel with a gym – I even found a barbell and squat rack in Cyprus ????
- I’m sure you can put in some bodyweight exercises.
1) Try to pick hotels with Gym & Pool, not always possible due to cost.
2) if you are a member of a national gym, select hotels near that.
3) pick hotels with nice surroundings atleast you can go for a walk.
1) take your own snacks e.g carrot sticks, nuts, seeds.
2) if you shop for food, M&S / Waitrose have a much healthier selection than the rest of the outlets
3) Park a little further away from the services buildings.
1) train in the morning. I find that this is when you have more time. Evenings, especially if travelling as a group you tend to socialise.
2) utilse the pool in the evenings, good way to relax.
3) body weight exercises….although i find it boring in the room.
1) don’t be afraid to ask for something not exactly on menu. e.g replace fries with veg. Leave out sauces or ask for them on the side.
2) avoid the danish in the hotel breaskfast.
3) I find the lunches are carb/fat heavy. Can it be avoided or reduced at breakfast?
4) only take one portion of a buffet lunch!
I am a frequent traveller in work and in my personal life. The way in which I keep to plan is by preparing my meals; I freeze fresh 3 types of meals and label them so it is easy to find
Low carbs and high protein – non-workout days
Medium carbs and high protein – general workout days (pre and post)
high carbs and high protein – hard workout days (pre and post)
Lunch on the go
For lunch I tend to buy items that meet my macros that’s been pre-added to MyFitnessPal rather than after as then I over eat in calories **major learning, one I recommend doing PLAN AHEAD, NO AFTER**
Places I find ‘healthy’ food that can be found in cities, services stations, train stations etc are:
- Pret a manger
- M&S: chicken strips – various flavours (3 for the price of £7) and sides pots such as rice, mixed veg, couscous (2 for £4)
- Tesco/Sainsburys: ready to go selection pretty tasty and low in fat
If I am staying in a hotel I select my meal when I am not hungry and ask for it to be served at the time when I am likely to be hungry. this avoids me ordering bad foods when I am hungry. Breakfast, if I can, I order room service using the door cards – selecting items that are healthy such as Egg white scrambled with peppers, mushrooms and salmon.
**major learning – GET YOUR HEAD AROUND ‘BUT IF I AM PAYING £15 FOR FOOD, I WANT TO GET MY MONEY WORTH’ – this is ridiculous and you’ll end up over eating drastically. If it’s too much then buy breakfast from a local shop such as porridge that you can use in the room to avoid high prices and avoid over eating**
Other little tips
Great breakfast treat that feels naughty but is so good: protein powder mixed in greek yogurt with a small handful of fruit (however doesn’t keep me full for long)
When I eat, I focus on protein first then move onto Veg and if still hungry I eat other items such as potatoes.
Always drink lots of water throughout the day as I tend to be thirsty than hungry. I have lots of water bottles in my car, handbag and when I meet clients – I naturally pick up the water and don’t even think about how boring it taste.
Eating at restaurants – never pre order pudding. Do that after you’ve had the main meal then decide. Chances are you are full. If pudding put in front of you, you are likelier to eat it when you’re not even hungry. If having a starter – choose a meat dish, takes longer to digest which means you are full for longer.
Eat a medium-high carb meal about 2 hours before a workout – the energy helps you get through it. Popcorn is a nice treat but very good carbs for a pre-workout. Can be found in any shop when travelling.
I eat little and often – between 4-6 meals a day every 4 hours usually. This prevents high energy peaks and low crashes, it means I am always satisfied and not craving for food.
With all the above amazing tips & tricks you should now have quite an arsenal of tools in your hands for healthy eating!
Pick 2 or 3 and give them a go on you next trip!