Travelling for leisure or business doesn’t mean you need to fall behind in your fitness progressions. We live in a world now where spending weeks away from home is normal, and living out of a suitcase is becoming second nature.
This series will guide you towards focusing on staying on track, even if you aren’t certain where you’ll next be sleeping. It just takes a little planning!
Tracking applies across all time zones!
Even if you’re miles away from home, dietary needs can still be met. There’s no need to be lured by the fast food outlets and calorie dense “quick” foods, when all you need to do is plan and prepare for your trip.
#1 PACK TO WIN
If you pre-pack some staple foods that’ll keep you hunger at bay whilst you’re on the move, you’ll be sure to stay on track and not give in to the array of temptations if you’re hungry. Here are some recommended options for you to consider:
- Protein bars. These can contain high protein to meet your satiety levels, and ample carbohydrates and fats for energy and satisfaction. Convenient for packing, and light weight, these are one of my favourite “go-to” snacks when I travel.
- Pre-portioned oats. Complex carbohydrates already weighed out for you can be a life saver when you have macros to hit and not many healthy options available to you.
- Pre-portioned almonds. Packing healthy fats is a great way to ensure you hit the right balance of food sources in a day. Weighing out prior to your trip ensures that you don’t consume too many in a day which is easily done when purchasing bags of nuts from supermarkets.
- Protein powder. Often it’s difficult for people to meet their protein requirements when away, so by measuring out 1-2 servings a day into clear bags will give you no excuses not to meet the macro from now on!
#2 DON’T FORGET YOUR WATER!
The most essential nutrient is water, yet this gets forgotten often! Hunger is often dehydration kicking in, so by ensuring you keep topped up with your water intake, your hunger pangs will subside. Try keeping a bottle of water with you at all times. In cases such as airports where fluids can’t be taken through customs, purchase bottles when they are available. You can also be a little cheeky and take an empty shaker bottle with you to fill up at available water fountains!
#3 FAIL TO PREPARE… PREPARE TO FAIL
This is the key to success when home or away. Plan and prepare prior to your trip and you’ll be sure to meet your nutritional requirements with no issue. If you’re a regular traveller, not preparing in advance could have massive negative impacts on your progressions. You’ll take one step forward and three steps back. Vicious cycles like this can be detrimental on mood, and produce feelings of failure. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your forthcoming trips:
- Anticipate your environment. You’ll have an idea of where you’re visiting, so research the area and see what amenities and restaurants are available to you. Many place to eat now have nutritional guides available online, so you could check these out and gage a baseline on how you’ll approach your nutrition when away.
- Pack if you can. If you have the option, pack your foods with you. Large food coolers can be purchased, some look pretty neat, and this allows you to take meals and staple food sources with you. I realise this option may not be available if flying, but it’s certainly achievable if travelling by road/train. In saying that, the food sources outlined in point 1 can be taken on board an aeroplane, and so there’s no excuse to not meet your requirements in combination with food choices available at your destination.
- Loosen up a little. If the thought of adhering to tracking 100% stresses you out when travelling, chill a little. You could adopt calories only when away, or even calories and protein if you want to ensure your protein goal is met. This approach works well for those who struggle to adhere to full tracking away from home.
#4 REQUEST A LA CARTE
Many restaurants now will cater to individual requirements; you only need to ask. Opt for lean sources of protein, with veggies. Request that oils and sauces are held from the dish, or even opt for them on the side so you have more control over amounts. Places will even make breakfasts now to suit your taste, so ask for egg white omelettes with veggies, and a bowl of fruit on the side. If you’re being super strict, you can even pop out the scales for your carbohydrates, but I’d only advise on this if you’re goal is for performance competition or in preparation for stage contest.
#5 TAKE EVERYTHING BUT YOUR KITCHEN SINK!
If you can, we’d suggest packing a few kitchen amenities to help you keep on track. Weighing scales, measuring cups, and even a small blender, can be massively useful when away and wanting to eat as if at home. You could even call ahead to the hotel and see if they can add a mini fridge and microwave to your room, some hotels do have these options available but don’t openly advertise due to limited availability.
You don’t need to abandon your diet regime when travelling, you just need to take action prior to the trip to make the whole situation less stressful for you, and your waistline.