It can be stressful to think about traveling while trying to adhere to a diet and/or workout regimen. Due to the fact that we have a lot of Team LoCoFit clients traveling during the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to cover how to stay on track while on the road. Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks for staying as close to routine as possible even when you’re not in the comfort of your own home!
Tips for traveling on an airplane:
I cannot recommend investing in a bag from 6Packfitness enough. This brand provides multiple style options (backpack, purse, messenger, etc.) and each has a cooler compartment where you can store your food. Included with the bags are the appropriate tupperware containers as well as ice packs. The reason that this bag is so incredible for travel is that as long as your ice packs are completely frozen, you and your meals will make it through TSA. This will allow you to have your food with your while you’re waiting to board, during a layover or while you’re on your flight.
Bring snacks! While the options for snacks at the airport have improved significantly, they are often overpriced. I suggest bringing your own snacks (throw them in your new, amazing 6Packbag) and save yourself the trouble of paying $13.00 for an apple. Some of my favorite go-to snack items that are easy to pack include: Level-1 protein bars by 1st Phorm, beef jerky, fruit, vegetables, and trail mix/nuts.
Pack an empty water to fill up when you are through TSA. I usually bring ½ gallon with me and fill it up once I am through so that I am good to go for the flight. I find that proper hydration is even more important while flying because there can be some feelings of swelling that occur from being on a plane, and having adequate fluid intake may help alleviate that.
Nutrition tips for traveling with a change in time zone:
Something that I personally consider and encourage clients to consider when traveling is any change in time zone. I recommend trying to plan your meals according to the time zone that you are flying into. For example, if I am flying from Chicago to Seattle (East to West), Seattle will be 2 hours behind. So, if I start eating at 8AM Chicago time, it will actually be 6AM Seattle time and my meals will be pushed up by 2 hours. Then say I eat lunch around 12PM Chicago time, that is 10AM Seattle time and then dinner at 5PM Chicago time turns to 3PM Seattle time. You can see how that can get a little dicey and may lead you to overeat because you will essentially have an extra 2 hours that you’re not used to having. This gets to be an even more important consideration if you are an individual who is on contest prep trying to hunger at bay. So, to deal with this I would recommend trying to do something light in the morning (i.e. a shake at 8AM Chicago time) and then trying to start my first meal around 10AM Chicago time/8AM Seattle time to stay as close to routine as possible.
Obviously traveling West to East will provide the opposite problem, so just make sure you plan accordingly around the time zone you are flying into so that you don’t have to absolutely feast at the end of the day.
Hydration tips for traveling:
As is the case with meal timing, hydration will be an important consideration while traveling especially when there is a time change involved. If you are traveling from the East to West, you likely won’t have any issues getting your water intake down as you will gain time, but it is important when traveling from West to East to consider the fact that you will have less time to consume your fluids for the day due to the time change. Again, look ahead to the time zone you are going to be entering into and plan accordingly. Travel is already fatiguing and to be dehydrated on top of that is no good. Be smart, bring your water bottle for the plane and stay hydrated out there friends ☺
Tips for lodging:
Airbnb has come in so hot and I am here for it. Staying at an Airbnb when possible is my #1 recommendation as far as lodging goes because you can get a house/apartment with a full kitchen. Typically, the Airbnb will come equipped with utensils, cookware, etc. so all you have to do is head to the local grocery store to get your things and you are set! Again, this is just another way to make traveling feel as routine as possible.
Tips for exercise:
I suggest looking for gyms nearby where you are staying ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is try to wing it only to find out there is nothing near you and not be prepared. If you are staying in an Airbnb there is a strong likelihood that there is no gym as there would be in hotel, so you have to do a little R&D. If you do not want to deal with the hassle of driving somewhere unfamiliar to get your workout in, pay the day pass fees, etc. here are some of my suggestions to get in a good sweat despite being outside of the gym setting!
Bring a circle band (can be used for band walks, glute bridges, rotator cuff exercises, etc.)
Bring bands with handles (can be used for bicep curls, upright rows, lateral raises, etc.)
Subscribe to the Team LoCoFit newsletter to receive FREE Metcon Monday workouts that can be done anywhere ☺
Going out to eat when traveling:
Last but not least, it is likely that meals will be had out at restaurants while traveling, and it absolutely possible to make good choices anywhere you may find yourself! My best suggestion here is to order single ingredient foods. You can eat a protein source, a carbohydrate and a steamed vegetable pretty much anywhere. Eyeball the portion sizes and move on!
Hopefully this article has provided some tips and tricks to make navigating through traveling and staying on track a little easier! There is no reason to stress about temporarily being out of your normal routine because with a conscious effort you can make progress anywhere! Want more basic tips and tricks on how to build healthy, sustainable habits? Head on over and purchase our eBook “The Foundations of Food Education”!
Written by Coach Lauren D’errico