If you follow me on social media (and if you don’t go do it!), you know that I travel a lot. Visiting family, work trips, vacation, even surprise trips! (see my post about “Surprise Travel“). One of the questions I get asked often as a health coach is how I stay on track with my nutrition when I am away. I would love to sit here and tell you that I pack all my snacks and only order the salad with the dressing on the side..but that would be a lie. I wish I were that perfect.
The same temptations that exist at home exist when you travel, but at home we believe we have more control over the choices we make. That is true to some extent, but think about it for a minute. At home you can control what you eat because you can buy your groceries and prep food the way you want it. You can throw some healthy snacks in a bag so you don’t munch on everything. You can eat a certain number of meals per day so you avoid becoming so hungry you binge eat. But wait a second…can’t you just do that when you travel too?? The answer is YES. YES you CAN.
The biggest difference when we travel is our mindset. This is vacation!..I should drink that Mojito with a plate full of fries because I work hard and I deserve it. Or its just the weekend and I will get back to my clean diet on Monday. Will one or two bad choices derail your entire healthy and fitness journey?? NO..but an over indulgent pattern can lead you into a downward spiral into chicken fried hell.
Being healthy is a lifestyle, a long term commitment, not a short-term solution. We can maintain our healthy habits at home and when we travel. Here are some tips that will make the travelling a little easier on you and your waistline.
1-Stock Your Hotel Room
Scope out some nearby stores and restaurants to keep healthy food with you in the hotel room or on the go. I often stop at a local drugstore and grab bottles of water, apples, yogurt, almonds to keep on hand to avoid getting too hungry then I reach for anything in sight. If possible, you could also bring Protein Bars with you. (check out my Snacks to Pack to Stay on Track post along with Tips for picking the best Protein Bar). It is also cheaper than stopping at multiple places to eat throughout the day. Save your money and your waistline.
When picking a restaurant, preview the menus before you go out. Pick ones that have healthier options so you are not as tempted to make bad choices. When you are there, you have the right to ask to have the food cooked the way you like it. Ask for the sauces on the side or a salad as a side instead of the fries.
Almost every hotel has a gym or fitness center, and if they don’t, you can always find a way to get some exercise in. Walking outside or on a tour, going for a run, finding a local yoga class, or the best way..do your workouts in the hotel room with no equipment needed (ASK ME HOW) That is what I do. Pop on the computer, tablet, or phone and you can literally stream 24/7.
4-Follow a System
I follow a nutrition plan at home, so I simply try to maintain it when I am away. I know exactly how much of each food group I should be eating per day, so I try to stay consistent when I am away, with some indulgences of course. I even pack my shaker bottle and daily shake packets so I know I am getting at least one healthy meal a day that will reduce my cravings. Mix with water or milk and go! (To learn more go to www.teambeachbody.com/mtneskey)
Go have the wine and eat the fries. I know this may be a somewhat un-traditional recommendation, but I am not your average health coach. Why do I say this? Because if you limit yourself to the extent that you are miserable, you will NEVER stick to a plan. Like I said, this is a lifestyle. A couple of bad choices here and there are not going to set you back, in fact, they may make you even more motivated to stay committed. I know when I overindulge, I feel gross and am not really looking forward to doing it again. Pretty soon you will turn “I can’t have that” into “I don’t want that”!