The familiar story I hear when someone returns from vacation is how they need to recover with two weeks worth of workouts to lose the weight they gained. They recall stories of eating everything in sight including the awful food served on the plane and over priced meals while waiting at the airport. They vaguely remember the 21 bottles of champagne they downed and can’t count the number of beers they had on their hands. Following is a week playing catch up and “recovering” from their time away. Putting themselves on strict diet and workout plans only to have a trip planned the next month and the cycle repeats. Traveling can hurt your fitness goals causing a roller-coaster effect on the scale. With a few simple tips you can keep having fun on your adventures and still look hot when you return.
Tips to keep the adventure off your waistline:
1) Take some of the adventure and unknown out of what you will eat next. Plan ahead. Know where you will be. When your planning your adventure itinerary including attractions or happening clubs you will hit, research your food options. Do this before you arrive so you can hit the road running. Use Google maps to check out what grocery stores and restaurants will be nearby. Ask your hotel concierge where you can find local markets upon arrival. Planning your food may not be exciting but your backside will thank you for it later.
Look up the restaurant’s menu before you head out. Once you arrive choose the meal option that works best for your waistline. Stay basic. Filling options will have a mix of lean protein, vegetables, whole grain carbs and healthy fat. Don’t see anything that fits on the menu? Now is your chance to be brave and create something different. Most of the time as a general guideline you will need to up the protein and veggies and reduce the carbs. You can do this by ordering an extra serving of meat and double the vegetables. If protein doesn’t come with the meal, ask for a serving of meat on the side. Another option is to order broiled or grilled instead of fried. Add a salad when you can with dressing on the side. You can save a lot of calories and fat by simply avoiding heavy sauces and fried foods.
2) Bring your own healthy snacks. Don’t leave things to chance. For the plane, bring a chilled bag. They come in different sizes. Some are even made to look like purses for ladies and backpacks for guys. Pack your chilled bag with a turkey wrap, leftover meat or boiled eggs, fruit, and chopped raw vegetables. Healthy snacks on the plane will keep you feeling fueled not famished when you land.
Stash these snacks in your suitcase to eat while you are on the go:
• Beef Jerky
• Protein bars/powders: Pack your protein powder in small plastic bags
• Refillable water bottle or shaker
• Your own raw nut and dried fruit mix
• Simple utensils: paper plates, plastic forks, spoons and knives
• Packets of oatmeal
3) Land and refuel. Fill the hotel fridge. If your hotel has a small refrigerator, stock it with fresh fruits, veggies, lean cuts of meat and bottled water. Some of my favorite snacks to include are celery, peanut butter packs, hard boiled eggs, hummus, avocados and whole-grain wraps. Throw in some cheese or plain yogurt if you can handle dairy. The idea is to fill up on things that are dense and filling so you can keep it light when out. This will keep you from wondering how you ended up eating bagels and a diet consisting of fried foods for two weeks because “you didn’t have a choice”.
4) Be Flexible and practice portion size control. Ok, so you planned ahead, now is your time to be adventurous and spontaneous. Allow yourself some meals where you taste something the area is known for. If you are visiting Italy eat some pasta. If you are in Paris have some amazing bread and cheese. When you are flexible you won’t feel restricted and be tempted to binge.
As you taste the local food, practice portion size control. Enjoy the sights, scenery and taste of the food. Be present and really take some time to savor each bite. Stop before you are full. Taste various foods. Don’t devour them. It is not a race on who can eat the most food in the least amount of time. As many rounds as possible is something that should be saved for a workout at the box.
Eating three bites of each item or sharing meals is a way to taste a lot of different foods without eating so much that you have to roll yourself out of the restaurant.
Another easy way to control portion sizes is by using your hand as a way to measure your food. Eat lean protein portions that are the size of your palm. Keep vegetable and fruit portions to the size of one fist. Whole grains, beans, or legumes to a ½ a fist and fat portions to a thumbsize. Double these portion sizes for men, larger and active individuals. You don’t need to be exact just approximate.
5) When traveling in a developing country, take precautions when choosing what to eat to avoid food or waterborne illness.
• Avoid unfiltered water. Buy bottled water and also be cautious about what goes into smoothies.
• Cooked foods are better than raw items. The heat can help get rid of various bacteria.
• Peel your fruits and vegetables. The outside may be dirty. Stick to fruits and veggies that you can peel such as bananas, avocados, cucumbers, and mangos.
6) If you find yourself stuck at the airport, make the best with what you have. One of the toughest things nutrition-wise while traveling is getting your protein needs met. If you’re stuck in an airport and need to eat airport food, the best meat and veggie options are usually Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. No meat? No problem. Get some rice and beans or lentils to meet your carb and protein needs.
Be intentional and consistent with your food choices. Use the above tips to make your next trip a fit adventure.
After spending several years as a successful trial attorney, Brandy turned her passion into her career and wants to share her love of fitness with the world. Brandy started Crossfit Queens in 2009 in Queens, New York. She has over 8 years of experience working in fitness from teaching group exercise classes, personal training, to team sports conditioning. When Brandy is not in the box you can find her competing in various tennis tournaments.
Brandy has taken her love for sports, travel and fitness on and is excited to be involved with AdventureFit Travel. She challenges you to step up and take life on. Her dream is to host a travel fitness show and travel the world playing tennis.
“Love what you do. Do what you love.”