I spend time in Colorado every summer. It’s my happy place. It’s where I live.
It’s where I adventure. I’m at peace when I spend time hiking in the woods, on the mountain, bike riding through the backroads or swimming in random lakes.
And you know what? I’m not counting calories when I am in my happy place.
Nor am I counting how much protein I consume.
I do not stress.
I also stay lean.
If you take nothing from this article take away that traveling is the key to a happy life and finding new perspective.
I will admit though, it’s easier to be at peace with your fat loss progress when you are hiking and galavanting the hills of nature.
And, if you travel for work you are proabaly saying a big “Eff you” right now because traveling can be remarkably stressful when it’s not for pleasure.
Trust me, if anyone understands the woes of traveling it’s me. I took 78 flights in a seven month period in 2014.
But you must know, regardless of why you are traveling, it does not have to wreck, inhibit or pause your fat loss progress so long as you keep a strong mind.
Whether it’s for work or for pleasure remember two things:
1) You can stay lean so long as you keep your mental state strong.
2) You can keep your mental state strong (and positive) by knowing your systems like the back of your hand.
Having habitual systems is important.
When your surroundings change it won’t matter because you will be used to doing a lot of things habitually. Once these are locked in you can work on the mental strength to get through stressful times.
Systems [CROF Definition]: rules, strategies and go-to meals that become habitual parts of your lifestyle. Things you do naturally without worry or stress; consistent actions that only propel you forward in your fat loss/ healthy lifestyle endeavors.
25 Fat loss tips for traveling:
1. Work on creating solid systems all year round so when you travel you know yourself and what you need to do to stay on track. Get them locked in.
2. Check out some of my best specific nutrition tips for the Occasional Traveler.
3. Bring protein sources that are easy to transport. I always travel with protein powder. It’s good because if you get into your hotel late at night and feel hungry you have a lean snack on hand and will not resolve to eat cheese-its from the hotel lobby.
4. Pack some beef jerky. It is well preserved and needs no preparation. My favorite is Krave beef jerky.
5. Make “smart stops” when on the road. If you see a Subway and have no idea what will be coming, stop and get a salad; keep it with you in case there are only gas stations for the next hundred miles.
6. If you see a Whole Foods stop and have a meal there. I can safely say I have eaten at almost every Whole Foods in Massachusetts. Get a plated meal when you can.
7. When you stop at gas stations scope out the convenient store. If you see some fresh fruit or hard boiled eggs, greek yogurts or Quest bars– stock up! Better now then later when you are hungry and the gas station doesn’t even have convenience. Pick something with protein or something from the earth like an apple.
8. Bring Quest bars but make sure that you don’t eat them just because they are there. While it is great to have snacks on hand, understand that traveling can get super boring; don’t fall into the bored snacking trap! Make sure you have enough for a few days or for your trip but not too much — otherwise you’ll want to just snack for fun!
9. Prioritize water. Even if it means you have to take more stops on the road to relieve yourself, do it; this way you will stand up and stretch and get out of your seat. You will keep your skin fresh, body hydrated and not give into snacking when you are actually just thirsty.
10. Snacks on the airplane? Just say “no.” I recently discovered that the peanuts on Southwest have gluten in them. Be careful and pack your own snacks.
11. Sleep when you aren’t the driver and sleep on the plane ride. This way you will take your mind away from bored snacking and get some extra rest.
12. Search for ways to say active. Do some squat jumps when you stop for gas or to use the restroom. Find a nature path near your hotel.
13. Try your best to adhere to three meals and two snacks schedule unless you are switching time zones.
In example, I have a client who travels from East Coast to West Coast often. Instead of being up from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm EST like your average Joe, she has to get up early in EST to get on a 6:00 a.m. plane and then stay up until 11:00 p.m. LA time– that’s almost 24 hours which means having several filling, low calorie, high protein snacks is key.
- On the plane: hard boiled eggs and water. Apple if hungry *prioritize sleep*
- Snack #2: After arriving to L.A. she has a protien shaker cup and apple (if not yet eaten)
- Lunch: salad with 4 oz lean protein + carrots
- Snack #3: Quest bar (sometimes she has the bar on the plane en lieu of hard boiled eggs)
- Dinner: small piece of salmon and some veggies and rice
- Snack #4: greek yogurt or butternut squash protein mash up (recipe in my ebook)
14. Try and eat like the locals when you can. Even if it means protein might be a little bit lower, remember, this is a cool time and place in your life– one you may never visit again; soak it up and enjoy the food in moderation.
Examples of moderation:
- 80% full
- tasting each bite by chewing slowly, describing the tastes
- putting the fork down
- having water with your meal
15. Conversely, do not feel obligated to give into every delicacy or treat. Do not forget about your normal three meals and two snacks schedule. If you are in Paris by the Notre Dame, having a crepe from a crepe stand is probably a great time to indulge. If you are sitting in a boring conference room in rural Iowa for work, indulging in crappy donuts is probably not ideal!
16. Go to the grocery when you arrive at your destination. Not only does this save you money from going out to dinner every night (if you are on an extended stay) but it allows you to have more control over what you eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plus, it’s a fun experience. For instance, when my family and I rented an apartment in Wanaka, New Zealand the first stop we made in town was the grocery store! It was fun to see how it differed from stores in the states and we got healthy options for breakfasts and snacks.
17. Continue to count calories if it helps you. You have to decide if you want to try count by roughly estimating portions, or not. It is tough. It is stressful; but for some people it truly helps them stay on track and figure out when to indulge and when not to indulge. If you don’t feel like counting, try having the three meals and two snacks plan making sure to have protein at each snack/meal.
- Example of when to indulge: You haven’t eaten much all day, have been active and it’s a special treat in that region. For instance, beignets in New Orleans!
- Example of when not to indulge: You had a fancy brunch, a special lunch or more than two snacks already. Or, you have a big dinner planned the next day.
18. When you see veggies buy them! It is very difficult to find fresh veggies while traveling. If you see a restaurant serving a side of veggies or have a chance to buy a salad somewhere, DO IT! You might not be able to find fresh vegetables as often as you would like.
19. Drink green juices to get in vitamins, minerals if you come across a juice bar.
- Ingredient to include in “green juices” when traveling: kale, spinach, parsley, mint, lime, lemon, ginger, beet, carrot, wheat grass and one to two fruits if you like them
- How NOT to juice: added sugars (or more than 10 grams of sugar) in packages juices, more than three fruits in a fresh juice. Look out for exorbitant amounts of sodium in store bought, packaged juices as well.
20. Avoid eating too many nuts. These will bother digestion if you eat too many and are not hydrated.
21. Avoid extra fats like heavy salad dressings or extra avocado on salads and sandwiches. The fact of the matter is in the actual process of traveling you do a lot of sitting. To make up for lack of movement, you can slightly decrease caloric intake by abstaining from heavy sauces and dressings and keeping avocado to small portions.
22. I use the Around Me App to look for juice places, grocery stores and healthy restaurants and use the Fudist app to track calories from local restaurants!
23. If you can pack ONE kettlebell, get a quick sweaty workout or strength session in with this workout! All you need is on kettlebell and you can do it ANYWHERE!
24. Have an accountability partner. If friends, family or coworkers know your goals you will be less likely to go off track and indulge at an unnecessary time (only to blame yourself later). If you surround yourself with positive and encouraging friends they will cheer you on and hold you accountable.
25. Get a coach. All of my clients are incredible successful people in their fields. They reach out to me for accountability and to continuously better themselves. I am here to push them to hit their goals, help them strategize and hop on phone calls when work meetings are going to be late with unhealthy catered dinners, and more. Some of my clients are coaches. Everyone needs a coach. Feel free to check out my consulting tab!
In case you missed Parts I, II and III, check them out here:
- Part I: 25 tips for eating at restaurants
- Part II: 25 tips for eating sushi and staying on track
- Part III: 25 tips for surviving summer bashes
Traveling is never easy and I hope these tips helped!
I hope all 100 tips help you this summer.
Summer is a time where we wanna show a little more skin but we also wanna live a little. The good news is that we can get outside and move more thanks to better weather!
But, if you are on the road or trapped inside check out this article to see what effective exercises you can do with just ONE kettlebell!
Learning the basic building blocks of kettlebells changed not only how I view training but it allows me to have go-to exercises when I can’t get into a gym!
Enjoy your summer and crush those goals!