Reduce the Stress of Eating on the Road

Traveling is always an awesome thing to do in life. It offers you new experiences, opportunities to witness different cultures, foods, meet new people, and so many other fun things.

But if you’re in the fitness industry or lifestyle, somehow it becomes one of the most stressful things as well. How can something so awesome, become such a downer or cause negative stress in your life?

Well it makes dieting and training a lot more difficult and most people simply focus on this fact as if it is going to destroy everything they’ve worked for.

Well, I am here to tell you other wise! I am going to help you break the habit of thinking negatively when planning travel or vacation trips and more importantly, I am going to help you make the right decisions when traveling so you can hold onto those results you’ve been busting your ass in the gym for!

I mean, lets seriously think about this for a minute… We train every day, sweat our assess of, spend hours in the kitchen prepping meals for the week, and eat extremely clean 95% of our weeks, all to obtain a goal…

But then we have nowhere to show it off…unless we travel, right?! Plus, life is about experiences – not tracking and working out without enjoying the other fine things in life.

So why stress?? Why make a traveling experience, where you can show off what you’ve worked so damn hard to achieve, negative.

The answer is simple; you don’t need to do this to yourself anymore! Go places, show it off and ENJOY yourself!

Here is how!

Know Your Surroundings!

surroundingsFirst step to make when you know you will be out of town or traveling anywhere for that matter, is to know your surroundings. This means checking out the local food and fitness scene!

Is there a nearby market or grocery store? Will you be able to get a hold on some fresh produce and meat products?

What are the surrounding restaurants? Look up the menus so you know exactly where you need to go to stay on track!

Is there a local gym that offers guest passes? Does your hotel or place of stay have a small workout space? This one is huge, if you can find this out you can plan your training ahead of time. If there isn’t one, ask your coach for some body weight training to get done in the room!

Know Your Schedule of Events!

schedule-of-eventsThis is another biggie, what are you going to be doing and whom will you be doing it with?

This is how we determine what type of influences we will be surrounding ourselves with during this trip.

Is this a business trip with colleagues? Is this a family trip with kids? Just with the wife or husband? Is this a trip with the guys or girls? Where are they eating? Planning on going out to have drinks?

All this is crucial to your success, because lets face it…nobody wants to be the picky person in the crowd, but you may have to be because this is your body, your health and your goals. Not theirs!

So analyze what you will be doing and think about what types of activities and foods these people will be eating around you, this is the biggest factor.

A lot of times with traveling the big factor is drinking. If you aren’t in contest prep, no one is saying you cant enjoy it BUT you to have a game plan.

So my solution, vodka and club soda with lime. BOOM! Easy, clean, lowest calorie option and you can enjoy it still – IN MODERATION.

Next thing to look at is over calories per day; since I will be drinking and alcohol is a lot of bad calories I knew I would have to eat light that day. So what do I do?

Protein and veggies. Stick to lean meats and lots of greens. This ensures I still get my protein in for recovery, lots of greens to fill me up with fiber and keep me full, and keeps calories pretty low throughout the day.

My next solution, come prepared! This is the rare occasion where I will actually recommend bringing some protein bars or snacks.

Give your opinions on restaurants. I would always suggest the American restaurant over the Mexican one, why?  They would have either a salad or a meat-based dish that I could substitute starch for veggies on. Plus I would always say, “This way everyone’s happy because they have a little of everything” and nobody can really argue with that!


low-carbThis one is easy, simple, and makes a lot of sense if you follow any type of IIFYM or Macronutrient based diet plan.

The reason I suggest this is because usually when dining out or eating somewhere that is not prepared by you personally, there is added carbs into the meals preparation (and fat for that matter).

So by going lower carb and asking for extra veggies instead of the pasta as your side dish, for example, you don’t have to worry so much when your meal comes out covered in a sauce.  Many places will bake you a plain potato if requested.  I also suggest getting your clean carbs in other meals earlier in day – oatmeal is always a winner!

Another great reason is because a lot of carbs can wear out your digestive system, especially depending on the type of carbs. So if you already eat a decent amount of clean carbs throughout the week, it’s good to take 1-3 days of lower carbs each week to give the digestive track a little break. But if you’re at a moderate amount of carbs, I wouldn’t worry so much about it and just focus on the type of carbs rather than adding low days.

But lets say you’ve been on plan with carbs all week and then you go out of town… when you’re gone you eat a larger amount of carbs and these carbs all come from processed and refined starches, plus alcohol.

Your digestion is going to have some trouble and your gut is not going to be happy with you, to say the least.

And on top of all that this will also keep your overall calories in check, with leaving room to spare in case you have a glass of wine with dinner or end up having a little treat after your meal.

Either way, it’s just a safety net for your diet and keeps things easy, simple, and worry free.

Balance Your Meals!

This is an easy one to follow because all you have to focus on is a small list of principles for each meal.

  1. Make sure it has a lean protein source.
  2. Make sure there something green in the meal.
  3. Drink water with the meal, instead of another beverage.
  4. Know your fat source.

Easy, right?!

You may be asking about number 4, well let me break it down.

When you order a steak at a restaurant, 95% of the time it will be cooked in some type of fat. Either oil or butter, but YOU need to know and make the decision on what.

So, the easiest way to do this without seeming odd or being “That Guy”, is to either call ahead to ask what it is cooked in or tell the waitress you’re lactose intolerant or have food allergies.

Now for me, I have no issue saying I am on a diet and I don’t want butter in my food. Tell them you cannot have butter and ask if it can be grilled without or substituted for extra virgin olive oil.

If your meal has another fat source like avocado, then see if it can be grilled without the fat.

At the end of the day, the waitress or waiter’s JOB is to make YOU happy…YOU are paying THEM and if YOU don’t want butter, then they will gladly help you out. Trust me on this one!

Eat Earth Grown Nutrients!

earth-grown-nutrientsIf you can try your best to only eat whole, natural, foods while you’re gone, you will be much better off.

At the end of the day, if you’re off of your macros a little bit but only ate blueberries, grilled chicken, veggies and sweet potatoes…You’re going to be fine! You will not lose results, get fat, feel like shit or have to worry about the guilt. So, do the best you can to eat only foods that the earth has naturally grown or helped develop.

HOWEVER, because I am a huge foodie and love to taste great food, I do believe you should plan a meal to splurge a bit. You’re out of your element and out of your local area, try the delicacies! Have some fun and just be sure to not go overboard, this is where the 90/10 rule applies.

Well, there you go! Print this, take notes, or bookmark it so you can be sure to plan before heading out to your next trip.

Make a serious effort to do this and I guarantee when you come back home, you’ll be just as fit, lean and healthy as when you left!

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