Traveling while in the middle of working towards your fitness goals can be stressful for many reasons, from diet changes to not having any equipment to train with.
I have been traveling more than usual lately and I have been out of town the last four weekends in a row, and will be again this weekend. So I have had to implement every thing I can to make sure I stay on point with my training and nutrition.
This is why I decided I should write an article to help you all with this overwhelming problem. It took me a while to figure it out, and also help from a coach of mine for me to finally not be stressed out about the situation.
The biggest key and always the first step is, plan ahead. If you do not plan ahead than everything will need to be made up on the spot, which is not going to help our situation. If you can have a solid game plan before the trip even starts, you’re going to be much better off and less stressed about the situation.
So how do you plan? Simple.
First, you’ll need to rule out one specific factor… FOOD! Where will you be? Will you be dining out? Do you have access to a kitchen? Grocery stores?
These are all huge questions you need to answer.
If you’re going on a business trip and know that you will be eating out for most of your meals, figure out what restaurants you will be going to or will be around. If you can get a hold of what restaurants you will be attending, look up their menus in advance and figure out exactly what you can order.
If you cannot find out every spot you’ll be at, then just learn to adapt to menus. If you order a chicken and veggie dish and it comes with a bunch of mashed potatoes or rice, don’t be afraid to substitute it for extra veggies.
So many people are either afraid to ask, embarrassed to be the “difficult dieter” at the table, or truthfully don’t realize you can change up your order. But at the end of the day if you want the results, that’s just what you got to do.
If you’re not on a business trip and you have access to a grocery store and kitchen, then stress no more!
If this is the case then you can almost completely stick to your diet, you’ll just do the exact same thing you do at home.
If you don’t have access to a store or a kitchen, but you’re not on a business trip, you’re not completely out of luck. You may need to dine out for most of your meals, but you are in control of where you go and what you eat. So start doing some online research on what restaurants are compliant with your diet and you can stick to the plan almost 100%.
Another great tool that I always use and recommend to almost all my clients that travel, is intermittent fasting. This is where you do not eat for an extended time period, then eat for a smaller time period. It works best with men but I still know many women who implement it when traveling.
This would mean you fast for 16 hours (which includes sleep), then you would under eat until dinner time where you can afford to splurge a bit. Under eating would be small meals that are lower calorie. Performing this will allow you to have some more leeway with what you eat at dinner. If you can train during the fasted state you will burn even more calories and it will allow you to worry even less if your dinner is not perfect.
Next step in planning ahead will be how to get in your training. Now this one will always be different, but even though most think opposite it is definitely always possible to get done.
The thing with training that most people do not completely understand is that you can literally get a great workout in whenever and wherever you are at. I have done body weight circuits in a hotel room that left me lying in a pool of sweat in my room, multiple times.
I have even run sprint intervals down streets when out of town; because when you’re on a journey to achieve fitness results it doesn’t matter! As long as you get it in!
So again, you always have to plan ahead to be ready for what you’ll need to do. Best thing to do is to figure out what your hotel has to offer and if your staying in a house of a friend, just figure out what your surroundings are like.
If you’re staying at a beach, then were doing sand sprints and beach circuit training. If you’re in a hotel, your manipulating your program to fit the weights and machines the hotel has to offer.
If you have a coach or trainer, ask them to give you a program. Look at what the place your staying has to offer and let your coach know, if they are a good coach they will be able to give you a workout program.
So to make this even less stressful I will give you specific instructions on how to change up your workout to accommodate your travel. Lets say your program has a Barbell Back Squat, but the hotel doesn’t have a squat rack or a leg press. Take some dumbbells, probably the largest they have, and add negative/eccentric phases into your lift. So instead of lifting heavy for 6 reps at a regular paced tempo, you will make the downward phase of the squat 5-10 seconds long (depending on the weight being used). Try this with your lifts and tell me your workout was any easier.
Now that I have shown you how you can easily stick to your nutrition plan and your training program, what else can there be to go over?! Staying motivated!
This is probably people’s truly biggest downfall, because they have an excuse. When you’re at home and nothing is influencing your schedule differently, you have no excuse but to hit the gym and stay clean in the kitchen. But when you’re traveling, you do have an excuse and our minds will use that to take advantage of taking a break.
Truth is, it’s not a good excuse at all. If anything you should let it motivate you more and you should have more fun with it. This is an opportunity to beat the system, try new foods that are compliant in your diet, and also to try out new workouts.
This is what I love about traveling. I always take advantage and try to find the nearest gym, hill or beach to sprint on, or see how brutal I can make a workout for myself in a hotel room.
Now you may think I’m a nutcase for saying that, but if your reading this you have to be into fitness too… and doesn’t that seem slightly fun?!
So take advantage of the new area, food selection, and opportunity to beat the system and gain more self-discipline in the process.
Remember consistency is key and nothing great comes without hard work and dedication.