One of the hardest parts about following any nutritional program is what to do when you’re out of your normal environment – it’s not that tough to stay eating clean when you’re able to prepare your own meals and shop at the grocery stores you’re familiar with. But what do you do when you have to travel for work or for vacation? Christine and I experimented when we took a weekend mini-vacation to Dallas over the weekend.
Tip #1: Prepare Ahead of Time
This is first for a reason – if you just want to try and wing it, odds are pretty significant that you’re not going to get quality nutrition in you. At best, your meal frequency will be very low; at worst, you’ll blow everything because you’ll just go with what’s convenient and available, which is usually never very good.
So we planned ahead. We took a box of Ostrim sticks, a quart-sized bag of raw, unsalted nuts, our vitamins packed in a pill case, and extra veggies for the plane ride to Dallas. However, if we could do it again, we would have doubled the amount of Ostrim and nuts and also packed some pre-bagged post-workout/meal replacement powders and a Blender Bottle or two.
We also scouted the local grocery stores for various veggies and deli meat to snack on, as we had called our hotel to make sure we got a room with a refrigerator. For lunch each day, we went to the grocery store and grabbed a rotisserie chicken with as few additives as we could find and split it between the two of us.
Tip #2: Ask for What You Want
There is not a restaurant on the planet that can’t make you a steak or grilled chicken and steamed veggies if you ask for it. Our first day in town, we hit Outback Steakhouse for lunch. I got a steak and broccoli with butter, and Christine got wood-grilled chicken and steamed veggies. We also asked our server right away not to put the bread plate on our table to avoid temptation. Drinks were simple – coffee and lemon water.
Tip #3: Know If You Plan to Cheat
There is nothing wrong with having the occasional cheat meal, and sometimes it’s easiest to time it for when you’re traveling so you don’t have to stress about being careful the entire time. This is especially true if you’re on vacation with a spouse or family. However, you need to know when you plan on cheating, so that you aren’t tempted to turn the entire trip into one big junk food binge. Figure out where you want to go, what you want to have, and tell your spouse or family so they can help hold you accountable.
Tip #4: If You Overdo It, Make It Up With Extra Training
Most gyms have enough equipment to get a decent fat loss workout in, even if it’s just dumbbells and benches. Some dumbbell swings, clean and presses, snatches, squats, rows and presses can easily be made into a circuit workout to work up a significant sweat, and you can be in and out in 30 minutes or less if you’re productive with your time. If you go off your gameplan, get in the weight room and make up for it, then get back on the horse.
Use Supplements to Mitigate the Damage
There are several supplements that help to control the damage done from one too many nights out on the town. My favorite combination is a tablespoon of liquid fish oil, 2 tablets of Insulinomics and 2 capsules of Fenuplex or Glucose Disposal. If the cheat is late at night, add a few capsules of Uber Mag Plus in there and it will help keep body composition under control in a pinch.
The truth is, travel can be stressful, but if you think ahead and work out a plan, you can minimize the damage. If you have any big trips coming up and you want to know what you should be doing to come out unscathed, give me a call and we can put together a plan that will fit your needs.