Traveling, either for races, work, or vacation can be both fun and frustrating. It’s great to get away but being off of your regular routine can wreak havoc on your nutrition plan. Just like with training, consistency is the key to success while you’re away.
Here are 10 tips from the Fuelin team for staying focused on meeting your nutritional goals while on the road:
- Make a plan – grab the calendar, look at the time you’ll be away and start listing the things you’ll need to bring (supplements, protein powder, hydration, sleep aids like magnesium – the items that you’ll need to stay consistent. It’s a vacation from your regular life, not a supplement sabbatical!!)
- Know your destination – will you be staying in a hotel, Airbnb, friend’s home – what are the cooking conditions, will you be eating out most days, are you staying close to places you can get healthy food like Whole Foods? What restaurants will you go dine at and can you find something on the menu that aligns with your goals? Knowing is half the battle.
- Pack your tools – mini-blender, protein shaker bottle, water bottle, measuring cups and glass storage containers. If you’re staying in a home – can you bring the air-fryer? If staying at a hotel, should you bring an additional cooler to keep fresh fruit and veg on hand? Call ahead and ask the hotel about their breakfast options, does the continental breakfast have healthy options you’d like (hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, wheat toast and nut butter) and if not, can they put a toaster/microwave/extra mini-fridge in your room. Create an environment that breeds success.
- Travel Snacks – never leave home without them! The more you’ve packed and planned, the less likely you are grab less than ideal choices. Take the decision-making out and avoid unwanted and unhealthy options. Hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit and veg, single-serve hummus or guacamole, pack a homemade sandwich for the car trip, healthy and refreshing beverages to keep you hydrated.
- Be a menu-detective! For the most part, you can always find something “healthy” when dining out. If your options are limited – follow the mantra “make the best choice I can” and then let it go. Don’t use travel (and a lack of fresh salads) as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods. Always add a side salad to your meal, choose roasted chicken over processed deli meats, get the Chipotle Bowl but ask for half the rice/beans and double the produce.
- Fiber at every meal – constipation is a pretty common issue for travelers. You are out of your regular routine, maybe not getting as many veggies or greens as you usually do and things “stop working”. Aim to get 6-10g fiber at every meal and stay hydrated to keep your body functioning properly.
- Don’t skip meals – when you get extra hungry, you’re more likely to make poor choices.
- Bring your own mix-ins. Travel with hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, hot sauce or nut butter packets. These healthy staples can turn any bland and lower nutrient meal into a much better option.
- Ask for local recommendations – or research your own. Social media can be a great way to find the hidden gems.
- Accept that it’s a vacation/time away and not everything will go perfectly – nor should it. Enjoy a decadent meal out, try the local cuisine, give yourself some freedom to ease up a bit and experience the fun moments of the trip as well. Shoot for 90:10, 90% aligned with your nutritional goals, 10% freedom to eat “off-plan”.
Eating healthy while you travel for work, business or play doesn’t have to leave you dreading stepping on the scale when you get back home or feeling that you missed out on something amazing to keep to a healthier diet.
The truth is, that while each country has their own take on healthier food, usually the most authentic local cuisine also happens to be the healthiest for you. If you stay away from the overly processed foods you find in fast food joints and don’t overindulge your quantities, eating fresh locally grown meals will not only keep you healthier and give you more energy to explore, but you will also have the opportunity to taste some of the best authentic foods that country has to offer.
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