I have a confession to make.
I went on vacation to Turkey this summer and, I enjoyed the food. So much that when back home, I had a surprise 6 pound gain. I had managed the whole year to keep weight off and I learned the hard way that once you get sloppy with your nutrition, you get punished immediately.
Traveling is awesome. It’s a great way to build up a strong personality. As some people say, when you travel to a place, you carry a part of it back with yourself. It makes you better at conversation, more confident, more adaptable, more adventurous, more easy-going, smarter and probably happier!
While travel is part of our lives, it presents many challenges for meeting our nutritional goals.
Whether taking a vacation or heading out on a business trip, it’s often tricky to remain healthy and avoid bad food choices when you don’t have access to a kitchen.
However, is there anything you can do about it?
We asked 62 nutrition experts about their #1 tip for staying on track with their nutrition when traveling and the answers were highly instructive:
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Kevin Kreider is a fitness activist, fitness instructor and model.
He has won several natural bodybuilding competitions, holds a degree in exercise science and founded a successful personal training business.
As a fitness strategist, he strongly believes that the right mindset is vital to achieving your fitness and life goals. Hence, his mission is to help you unleash the warrior within through personal development.
IG: @kevin.kreider / Website: kevinkreider.com
I would also recommend stacking your plate with green vegetables to make sure you feel full and aren’t lacking nutrients from the less nutrient-dense foods.
Anais Zanotti is a NASM-CPT |WLS Certified Personal trainer & Celebrity Trainer.
IG: @anaiszanotti / Website: anaisfit.com
As an example, mixed nuts, apples, bananas, roasted chickpeas, Plant-Based Protein (I like to use Blessed Protein), some pieces of tempeh and raw veggies.
Another thing I do is I always check in advance where I will be eating. I go on google and read menus and reviews of restaurants in the area I am staying.
As I am Vegan, it’s very important to find places that serve Vegan-friendly food.
I also use the app HappyCow, it gives me a variety of options for me to choose from.
Niki is an ACE Certified personal trainer as well as Holistic Nutrition Coach.
IG: @sugarysixpack / Website: sugarysixpack.com
Often when traveling it’s tough to find things we usually eat or do everything we would when in our routine at home.
So when trying to stay on track during travel, do little things that you can to keep you feeling good like staying hydrated, eating foods that nourish you and make you feel good as much as you can without stressing yourself out and moving your body in small ways like walking more, sweating even if it’s just a 10 minute bodyweight HIIT or squeezing in some stretches before bed.
One small positive choice leads to another and they add up and help you feel good!
It comes down to doing your best with the time and options you have rather than having an all or nothing mentality that causes you to go off the deep end until you get home!
Dr Jennifer Esquer
Dr Jennifer Esquer is a Doctor Of Physical Therapy.
As a private sports therapist, her mission is to heal the world and the best way she can do it is through empowering others to learn how to heal themselves.
IG: @docjenfit / Website: docjenfit.com
I am the first to admit that staying on top of my nutrition while traveling is hard. It is incredibly tempting to get wrapped up in going out, snacking and getting carried away in the drift of foods that won’t sit so well with our systems. I don’t mind admitting that I am not perfect in this area and it is still a constant practice for me as well.
But overall, the #1 thing that helps me is listening to my body and being mindful and aware of the foods that will drain my energy, slow me down or make my stomach hurt.
There is no way I want to get sick or held back from travel, so it makes it much easier to pick out foods that will truly fuel my body and my day rather than foods that will drain me. I pick restaurants that have healthier options and pack healthier snacks for the plane rides.
Autumn Calabrese is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Expert.
She’s the Creator of 21 Day Fix.
IG: @autumncalabrese / Website: autumncalabrese.com
I check out the hotel that I’m staying at before I go so I know what is on the menu.
I also look into local restaurants that have good, healthy food and I always travel with some basic snacks that can hold me over in a bind.
I bring my nutritious shake, Shakeology with me as well as BeachBars, both made by Beachbody.
I also pack mixed, unsalted nuts and sometimes fruit or I’ll stop by a local market and grab some fresh fruit and veggies to keep in my hotel room.
If I’m prepared, then I stay on point.
Katelyn Runck is a World Beauty Fitness, Fashion Diva Fitness professional, online coach, WBFF Pro and fitness model.
Katelyn is also the owner and wellness director for Lifestyle Savvy & Boutique, a medical aesthetic clinic.
IG: @katelyn_runck / Website: katelynrunck.com
Plan out when you will eat so you can determine where you will be eating.
This can cut down on impulsive food decisions, which can often lead to poorer choices. Having a plan for meals can also ensure that you don’t wait too long in between meals to eat, which can lead to excessive hunger and cravings.Another main key is staying hydrated, your brain can misinterpret thirst for hunger, driving appetite cravings. Click To Tweet
Dehydration can drain energy levels, making you less likely to be physically active. Focus on carrying water with you and drinking at least 16 ounces with each meal.
Melissa Rifkin MS, RD, CDN, CSO is a NYC-based dietitian with 12 years of experience in clinical nutrition and is the founder of Melissa Rifkin Nutrition LLC.
IG: @confessionofadietitian / Website: melissarifkinnutrition.com
Plan ahead, which means check out menus ahead of time if able. Decide what you plan to eat and stick to that!Avoid foods that are served/described as creamy, crunchy, fried, flaky or battered. Click To Tweet
Pack as many healthy portioned out snacks as possible. My favorites are dried fruit, nuts/seeds and protein bars.
Find out where the gym is located and hours of service, bring your work out gear, headphones and all items necessary to get in workouts. Get in at least 15k steps a day, find out where you can walk. Find a buddy on your trip that has similar health intentions, ask them to work out with you, if possible.
Be careful with alcohol, when we drink we tend to throw out all of our healthy eating habits, stay focused and have fun, meaning 1 drink and alternative with seltzer water, decrease overall intake.
Sleep as we often don’t sleep well while travelling, aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep to avoid overeating and to ensure maximum energy.
Lastly, meditate if able, relaxation seems obvious to some while travelling, but not all travel is leisure. Unwind, regroup and recharge.
Marcus Filly is a fitness coach and the founder of Functional Bodybuilding.
He is committed to changing how people view fitness and themselves.
Skip the bagel/croissants/bread in favor of an extra helping of protein.
Most breakfast spots, even hotels, have at least one good protein option. When at the hotel breakfast I’ll pile 4-5 hard boiled eggs on my plate, take 3-5 pieces of bacon or sausage, and skip all the fruit and bread/pastries. Sit down and chew all the protein at least 25x per bite.
After breakfast and before noon, be sure to drink at least 1-1.5 Liters of water. The combination of protein and fat with a great amount of hydration will give you sustained energy through the day and help you avoid cravings and crashing in the afternoon.
Nikki Sharp is a Wellness Expert, Yoga Teacher, Vegan-Trained Chef, Best-Selling Author & #1 App Creator.
IG: @nikkisharp / Website: nikkisharp.com
It sounds almost too easy and that it won’t be as effective as watching what you eat, but it is far more important.
Sleep regulates our blood sugar, cravings, and helps us to make better decisions, i.e. to eat the foods we know are good for us.
Rachel Paul is a Registered Dietitian and holds a PhD.
She helps students & grads look + feel amazing.
IG: @CollegeNutritionist / Website: collegenutritionist.com
That way, you can grocery shop, meal prep, and rest before the next work week.
Regardless, stock up on some extra frozen veggies (like broccoli, spinach), and some extra frozen protein (like shrimp, beef burger patties) before you leave for your trip so you have something in your house when you come back.
JJ Virgin is Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, 4x NYT best-selling author, and Mom of 2 wonderful young men.
IG: jj.virgin / Website: jjvirgin.com
Be sure you pack healthy emergency food, including protein and fiber bars, nuts or single-serving nut butter packets, plus quality protein powder. (And a blender if your luggage allows!)
Request a mini-fridge for your hotel room, and order delivery groceries to be sure you have plenty of water, green tea, and smoothie ingredients on hand from Day 1.
It also pays to check out local restaurants online ahead of time, so you know exactly where to eat and what to order when you arrive. Not only does it take the stress out of eating healthy while you’re away from home, it actually makes it fun!
Venessa Nieto is a fitness instructor offering PhD Certified Online Coaching Fitness Plans.
IG: @venessanieto / Website: venessanieto.com
This alone will help you understand what you need while most foods are not accessible.
Knowing your body’s needs will get you to your destination.
Caroline Candace is an Orthomolecular Health Practitioner and the Owner of Look Organics.
She does Hormone Balancing & Digestive Healing.
IG: carolinetusiuk / Website: carolinecandace.com
While I don’t think you need to be “strict” on vacation – for some reason, many people believe vacation is a time to completely disregard normal eating habits.
On vacation, I personally like to enjoy myself – which means indulging in certain foods I think are worth it, but consistently making the best food choices possible!
When travelling – Most people have the option to plan ahead, which may mean researching local restaurants beforehand or bringing healthier snacks in your carry-on.
It can be hard at first, but trust me – it gets easier each time and eventually it will just be second nature!
Courtney Swan is an Integrative Nutritionist, holds an MS in Nutrition & is the founder of Realfoodology™.
Courtney is a Nutritionist who tours with rock stars. She considers herself as a traveling real food activist on a mission.
IG: @realfoodology / Website: realfoodology.com
My #1 tip when traveling is be prepared.
I always prepare ahead.
Especially when I am flying overseas.
A little preparation ahead of time makes all the difference!
Lacey Dunn is a Registered Dietitian and owner of Uplift Nutrition.
She changes lives through fitness & nutrition.
IG: @faithandfit / Website: upliftfit.org
You can keep your food cold by filling a bag with ice every 6-8 hours and leaving it in your cooler.
Most hotels always have a microwave somewhere in the building, which you can use to microwave your food, or find your nearest Starbucks and use theirs!
This is what helps keep me on track when I go on trips without a fridge.
I also pack nonperishable food items just as pre-made rice, protein powder, rice cakes, peanut butter, nuts, protein bars, and tuna packets just in case. »
Jordan Edwards is a fitness trainer. She holds a bachelors degree in Health Science.
Jordan offers online coaching and loves motivating others and being the source of their transformations.
IG: @jordanke / Website: jordankefit.com
No matter what you are eating while you travel, make sure your portion sizes are so much smaller!
When we travel, it is almost impossible to eat super clean as we do at home with our homemade food. So if you keep your portions fairly small (even if it is a cheat meal) you won’t see too much of a difference from it. It is the rule of IIFYM (if it fits your macros).
People think at restaurants you have to eat the entire plate! Ask your server, can you box half of it, if so I can take it to the hotel later?
Also, being extremely active whether it is walking somewhere rather than taking a taxi, or find a local gym to get a 20-minute cardio session in.
Chris Elkins is a WNBF Pro Natural Bodybuilder and an Online Coach.
IG: @chris_elkins / Website: cephysiques.com
While traveling you have to decide if it’s worth being strict and missing out on some of the experience or if your current fitness goals supersede the trip.
If it’s a work trip or a mundane location and you’ve chosen not to indulge then it’s important to implement effective strategies to stay on track with your nutrition.
My number one tip when traveling is to plan ahead.
As cliche as it sounds, failing to plan may as well be planning to fail. Start backpacking high protein snacks to help reach your protein goals – like sample size protein powders, bars or beef jerky.
Check out the restaurants that are available in the area you’ll be staying and go one step further and plan out potential meals that are lower calorie and fit into your current diet.
If you follow these tips you’ll be successful regardless of being away from home.
Brittany Mullins is a Health Coach.
She is the founder of eatingbirdfood.com and #saladeveryday movement. Her secrets to staying fit are her healthy habits and real food recipes.
IG: @eatingbirdfood / Website: eatingbirdfood.com
Staying hydrated is so important, especially when you’re traveling on a plane as the environment alone is dehydrating.
Drinking plenty of water will also keep you feeling satisfied and energized while traveling so you’re less likely to over-indulge because your exhausted or simply dehydrated.
Brittany Lesser is a NASM certified personal trainer, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, Online Coach, YouTuber, Nationally Qualified Bikini Competitor, Sponsored Athlete, and graduated with a BS degree from the University of Florida.
She is also a model and actor based in Los Angeles, California.
IG: @brittanylesser / Website: brittanylesser.com
Sanna-Maria Seilamo is a vqfit Athlete.
IG: @mssannamaria / Website: mssannamaria.com
I literally always have my own meals and snacks with me.
Marie Wold is a Certified Personal Trainer.
Her mission is to teach women how to be healthy and confident while reaching their fitness goals.
IG: @marieewold / Website: mariewold.com
That means that I typically eat a healthy balanced breakfast, bring some nutritious + high-protein snacks to have on hand, and then I’ll splurge a little bit during lunch OR dinner.
For me, trying local restaurants and exploring the food scene is an important part of traveling, but so is feeling good, so I like to keep at least half of my day healthy and nutrient-dense, and then I’m more flexible with the other half!
Amber Dawn Orton
Amber Dawn Orton is the founder of Ado Fitness.
She’s an accomplished fitness industry professional, nutrition/prep coach, personal trainer, posing instructor, NPC judge, competitor, endorsed athlete, and cover model
IG: @mishkadawn / Website: ado-fitness.com
Your subconscious decisions prior to your travel will dictate your actions while traveling. If you think “I am not going to have time to eat healthily, I won’t have any healthy options, etc” that will become your reality. If you think “I can pack some snacks such as nuts, fruit, etc. if I get in a bind. And I can always ask for modifications at restaurants” then you will be setting yourself up to succeed.
Marcus Rice is a fitness coach.
He helps his clients conquer a balanced, healthy and sculpted lifestyle through fitness.
IG: @marcus__rice / Website: conquertrainingandfitness.com / Email: conquertrainingbiz AT gmail DOT com
I love traveling and coach many busy clients who need to travel frequently for work. The importance of knowing how to stay on track during these times can’t be overstated, while also enjoying yourself. Thankfully, you don’t need to lock yourself in your hotel room with protein bars.
The solution is pretty simple. Whether it is drinks with coworkers after a long day of meetings, or eating out every meal with family on vacation, there is one common need:
Best way to do this?
I have 4 tips:
- Skip breakfast or opt for a low-calorie option
- Curb hunger in the morning with water, coffee, and seltzer waters.
- Have a lower calorie lunch centered on a lean protein with lots of veggies. A grilled chicken salad is a great option for this.
- Congratulations. You have now successfully carved out caloric room to enjoy a bigger, tasty dinner out and maybe a dessert or a few drinks as well. Enjoy yourself knowing that you will be able to stay within your nutrition targets for the day.
D’Juan Woods is a Certified Personal Trainer/Coach and the founder of Ultimate Athlete Bootcamp.
After winning the Equinox Fitness “Prodigy” Talent Search in March 2017, he is now a certified Equinox Fitness instructor.
IG: @woodsfit / Website: woodsfit.com
You can’t control what the restaurant has on the menu, but you can control your food selections and how it’s prepared. I.e. baked, grilled, no butter &, etc. The nutritional choices you make while traveling should reflect your body goals.
Gabby Male is a fitness instructor and the co-owner of Health Evo.
Health Evo is a custom online coaching resource, providing meal plans and workout programs through a health app to help you evolve your efforts and improve your health.
IG: @gabbymale / Website: health-evo.com
My biggest tip for staying on track while traveling is actually to allow yourself some freedom with food!
If you try to stay 100% on track, you’ll most likely head in the opposite direction, so when I travel I typically allow myself one meal a day that I wouldn’t typically eat, and I try to keep my other meals healthy and nutritious!
This tactic allows me to stay on track, but also ENJOY my trip!
It’s all about balance and moderation.
Ramses Principe is a Fitness Entrepreneur, International Online Coach and a 1Up Athlete.
IG: @mia_fitness / Website: mia-fitness.com/
When it comes to my nutrition and traveling I take pride in maintaining my healthy nutrition lifestyle and the best way to do that is to always get in a morning workout, even if it means going for a run or anything just be active first thing in the morning, then consume a light breakfast high in protein and make sure to stay away from unnecessary proceed sugars and carbs.
For lunch, consume a big meal which will consist of green, large protein and complex carbs in order to fill me up and keep my appetite down and lastly a low carb meal preferably some type of protein with grilled vegetables and depending on how well you did throughout the day then I will have a dessert because after all, this is a lifestyle so its okay to find the balance just make sure to earn it.
Jennifer Binder is an Ado Fitness Coach.
Ado Fitness is an open-minded diet philosophy based on sustainability.
I also love to have bulk meals sent to my room with meat and veggies so I have them ready to go if I need them.
If that is not an option I like to stick to lean meats, no oil or butter, clean carbs and veggies at all my meals.
Amber Lee Sears
Amber Lee Sears is a Business Coach for Wellpreneurs, an international Pilates & Yoga Teacher and a Plant-Based Nutritionist.
You can reach her for coaching, retreats & trainings.
IG: @epicself / Website: epicself.com
That way I am never without organic whole foods that keep me feeling my best.
I bring my HealthForce Nutritionals Vitamineral Green superfood powder, chia seeds, raw almonds or cashews, avocados, apples, oranges, and banana.
I often times mix the green superfood powder with chia seeds in a big water bottle on the plane to stay nourished and hydrated during long flights. I also always travel with probiotics and B12.
Sammi Haber Brondo
Sammi Haber Brondo is a NYC-based Registered Dietitian. She owns a private practice, Nutrition Works NY, and believes that a healthy lifestyle should include all foods.
IG: @veggiesandchocolate / Website: nutritionworksny.com
My #1 tip for traveling is to drink plenty of water! Flying can be dehydrating, and often when once at the destination, it’s easy to forget to drink water.
Drinking enough water ensures that our bodies continue to function properly and can keep energy levels up, despite being out of normal routines.
Cindy Yu has been a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Fitness Instructor for 20 years.
She strives to provide high-quality fitness instruction and shares her passion and knowledge of fitness and health.
Cindy is very approachable and brings a unique sense of humour and creative teaching style to all her sessions and group classes, so you can be sure you won’t get bored while achieving your fitness goals.
IG: @cindyyufitness / Website: cindyyufitness.com
I purchase small Ziploc bags, a mixture of nuts, baby carrots and pre-cut apple slices.
I divide them into the baggies and store them in the mini fridge at the hotel or the fridge at our Airbnb! That way, I always have small bags of healthy snacks on hand which I can throw into my purse!
Mia Zarlengo is a Registered Dietitian holding a Master Of Science.
IG: @bitesbymi / Website: bitesbymia.com
This way, you have a few healthier places you can plan on going to while finding balancing and still enjoying other spontaneous meals!
Miriam Fried is a Certified Personal Trainer based in NYC. She offers Online Coaching and helps women balance exercise, self-love, and brunch in healthy amounts.
IG: @miriamfried / Website: miriamfried.com
It’s so important to develop some kind of routine year round that is maintainable and realistic for YOUR schedule. The more consistent you are throughout the year, the easier it will be to keep a semblance of routine when busy times or travel opportunities arise.
Even if you are able to get one or two workouts in a week, it will keep you progressing forward. I usually encourage clients to take a look at their schedules and carve out a realistic amount of workouts for themselves.
Better to set a realistic goal of two workouts a week and be able to stick to it then set unattainable goals like 5 or 6 times a week and then get down on yourself when it doesn’t happen!
That said, there is a time and a place for being on track, and often times: that’s not while on vacation.
If you’re consistent in your everyday, some time off ultimately will not ruin your progress.
If your body craves rest and relaxation on vacation, remember that it’s more than okay to honor that!
Nimai Delgado is a Vegan IFBB Pro & the founder of veganfitness.com, a website aiming to be a one-stop resource for everything vegan fitness related.
IG: @nimai_delgado / Website: veganfitness.com
My number one tip for staying on track while traveling is to prepare ahead of time.
I will research nearby grocery stores and buy some healthy essentials the moment I get to where I’m going.
I buy things that can be simply made such as microwavable rice or lentils, tofu, and fruit.
Putting your meals & snacks and healthy food into small, portable containers is critical for ensuring that you stay on track.
Clara Norfleet is a Registered Dietitian passionate about making healthy living practical, sustainable and enjoyable.
IG: @foodfitnessandfaith / Website: claranorfleet.com
Travel often means consuming foods that are out of your norm, so making sure I’m eating some fruit or veggie when I can has been an easy way to stay the course.
Carrie Walder is a Registered Dietitian.
She loves sharing healthy, simple and balanced meal ideas on her Instagram page.
IG: @walderwellness / Website: walderwellness.com
Having a balanced breakfast will help you feel energized for a busy day of traveling, sightseeing, and walking around.
If your meals later on in the day are more indulgent (and you totally should be trying out the local cuisine!), then at least you’ve gotten something nutritious in first thing in the morning.
I love to keep items like bananas, packets of nut butter, and pre-portioned oatmeal cups in my hotel room. Or, when choosing hotel breakfasts, try having eggs, whole wheat toast, and fresh local fruit!
Elizabeth Yontz Moye
Elizabeth Yontz Moye is a Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach. She’s also a Food & Wellness Blogger.
IG: @hellospoonful / Website: https://www.hellospoonful.com
I always pack collagen, chia seeds and nut butter so no matter what I have my protein, fiber + healthy fats with me.
The collagen + nut butters can be bought in pre-portioned sizes which is perfect to sneak in your purse or pockets, and the chia seeds I put in a small container.
Lindsey Mathews is the Head Trainer and Nutritionist for IdealFit.
IG: @trainerlindsey / Website: trainerlindseystribe.com/home
Staying on track while traveling can be really simple!
Stay active by getting in your workout in the morning and making sure you walk as much as possible!
I like to go by the 4 bite rule.
The first bite always tastes amazing so savor it! The second bite tastes just as good or almost as good! The third bite is still good but not as incredible as the first two bites. By the time you get to the fourth bite, it won’t have the same impact as the first few bites so you can stop knowing you got the most satisfaction for the fewest calories!
Follow these simple tips and you’re sure to feel great and stay on track during your vacation!
Rachel Wolfson is a runner, an adventure seeker and a health food enthusiast.
I bring healthy snacks with me wherever I go on trips, make trips to the grocery store to buy healthy breakfast foods/more healthy snacks to avoid eating out, and when I do have to eat out I will research healthy menus to avoid any surprises!
If you make your nutrition and your healthy eating a priority while on trips, it’s very easy to avoid unhealthy foods.
Dr. Kevin Hejnas
Kevin Hejnas is a Doctor Of Pharmacy.
He’s the co-founder of Rutgers Powerlifting and is passionate about the science of nutrition.
IG: @hejnasty / Website: hejnasty.com
The reason we often gain so much weight while on vacation is due to OVEREATING CALORIES on delicious foods while visiting a new area.
We want to try the best dish a place has to offer, and I’ll be honest, there is a solid correlation between palatability and calorie density (haha).
So how should we best account for these calories and allow delicious food to fit our daily calorie “budget?” A strategy I love to implement while traveling is to do a modified intermittent fasting approach.
When staying at a hotel, I will have a protein shake and fruits for breakfast (something very light and low in calories), minimize excess snacking throughout the day and focus the rest of the day’s calories on two fun meals.
For me, that gives me about 1000 calories per meal that will fit into my budget, but this amount is highly variable per person based on size and metabolic rate.
I would rather budget the majority of my calories on the tasty local food vs. a few granola bars, cereal, muffins, etc throughout the day or at the hotel breakfast.
This strategy allows me (and you, if you decide to implement it) to enjoy some great food while avoiding a surprise 5-10lbs of weight gain on return back home.
Brittany Loeser is a Health Coach.
She helps women ditch the food guilt, lose fat & gain confidence while eating their favorite foods.
IG: @brittanyannette / Website: beelevatedhealth.com
My #1 tip for staying on track with nutrition while traveling is to plan ahead!
Bring nutrient-dense snacks/meals with you so you know you’ll never run out of good food.
Once you get to where you’re staying, swing by the grocery store and grab some more easy and healthy snacks or meals.
Tim Berry is an online coach part of the 1UpNutrition team.
IG: @_timmy_b / Website: physiquesofthegreeks.com
My #1 tip for staying on track with your nutrition when traveling is being prepared!
If you can prepare all your meals for the week ahead of time, it’ll take a few hours to do so but, you’ll be much more stress-free knowing you don’t have to worry about making your next meal on the go.
You can focus on your travels, and still manage to look shredded in your pictures you take during your travels. Right?
Or if you’re traveling for business you’ll maintain a great strong presence when you walk into that meeting, and your face will be sharp, not bloated!
Also, not grabbing some last minute fast food making you feel sick. Traveling is great! Just make sure you feel & look your best.
Sarah Weber is a fitness enthusiast who sells cars for a living.
Her motto is « Healthy living, eating and loving! »
The simple word would be preparation.
When broken down, I mean two things by that.
The first is to literally be prepared with meals – also known as…meal prepping!
Pre-planning meals is perfect for being on the go so you aren’t forced to choose from whatever sodium-filled, sugary, carb-loaded foods that are surrounding you!
It sounds easy enough, but there are times where we just CAN’T get meal prepping done in time for our travels. This is where our preparation with knowledge kicks in!
Knowing how to read food labels properly is super important so you know what you are looking for and what to avoid.
I look at labels on EVERYTHING I eat – it’s interesting! If I’m reading a food label and don’t know what an ingredient is, I google and learn about it.
Over time it becomes easier and easier to recognize the nutritious and not so nutritious ingredients.
Joshua Kuluris is a Certified Personal Trainer holding a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.
He is the co-founder of Konversion Fit, a high-intensity-interval-training boot camp fitness program also offering personal training in a community environment.
IG: @joshua_kuluris / Website: konversionfit.com
My number #1 tip would be to know what your intent is on the trip.
1. Getting better (workout, eat towards your goals, build muscle, lose fat)
2. Stay the same (hit maintenance calories/ macros and try to work out similarly towards your normal routine)
3. Enjoy some moderation (know going into the trip to not have any guilt if you increase body fat, maybe take some time out of the gym, maybe eat/drink things you usually don’t eat)
Then stick to that intent/goal so then there is no guilt when you come back.
Brian DeCosta is an Author & Health Coach.
IG: @briandecosta / Website: briandecosta.com
Stephen Campolo is a fitness instructor and nutrition expert.
He helps clients achieve their goals by tailoring the right diet and workout for them depending on their body type.
IG: @stephencampolo / Website: projecthypertrophy.com/21-day-extreme-shred/
Whenever I travel I always try to have a plan.
Failing to plan will often lead to last-minute food choices that aren’t very healthy or diet friendly.
Since I don’t have access to a kitchen or have the ability to make food, I will practice intermittent fasting until the afternoon or early evening. I will have black coffee or calorie-free carbonated drinks to hold me over.
When it finally is time to eat, I try to select something on the menu that is high in protein along with a salad and veggies.
This means with no butter or oils.
Counting calories and macros is near impossible when traveling so always try to eat more protein meals with lots of greens and veggies.
It’s much harder to know how many calories are in carbohydrate-rich meals, so meat, veggies, and healthy fats are usually my go-to for food choices.
Stephanie Derby is a fitness instructor holding a Master In Exercise Science.
She’s an animal lover who loves sharing health, fitness and workout ideas.
It can be difficult to stay in a healthy routine when traveling.
Start by packing your favorite healthy snacks. A few of my favorites are pre-packaged almonds, protein bars such as RX Bars or Chia Bars, GG Whole Grain Crackers with Justin’s pre-packaged almond butter, unsweetened oatmeal packets, organic snap peas, organic apples, or a packet of your favorite protein powder that you can easily add water to.
Do a little research on your destination so that you have an idea of what restaurants and healthy options will be available. Also be sure to stay hydrated. Before checking into a hotel I always pick up a few bottles of water for the room.
Before going out, research restaurant menus to ensure that they have healthy options available and don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions.
And of course stay active! Walk as much as possible; it is a great way to explore a new city!
Elexe Abi Khattar
Elexe Abi Khattar is a Corporate Health Coach & Integrative Nutritionist.
She does corporate and personal nutrition consults to help others in their journey to wellness.
IG: @holistic_lex / Website: nutritionin2ition.com
To avoid bloating and weight gain, split meals with your travel partner. To manage blood sugar in between meals, pack protein bars like Raw Rev, to prevent you from overeating at your next meal.
Amber Brueseke is a fitness instructor.
She helps moms make mindset & lifestyle changes that empower them to transform.
IG: @biceps.after.babies / Website: bicepsafterbabies.com
Every vacation is going to be different, but the more things you can control, the more likely you are to stay on track during your vacation.
Figure out what the plan is for food ahead of time. Will you be eating out for every meal? Will you have access to a kitchen? Are people taking turns preparing meals?
Know the answers to these questions before you go.
Bring as many of your own high-protein foods as possible including protein powder and protein bars. If you are going somewhere, like a cabin or hotel, that will have a fridge, it’s a great idea to bring your own egg whites, Greek yogurt, grilled chicken, salad dressing, etc.
That way you’ll always have access to high-protein snacks and food.
Micah Folsom is a fitness instructor and the founder of The Shift Shop Proving Grounds, a 4-week program that can literally start to rebuild your body.
IG: @micahfolsomfit / Website: micahfolsomfit.com
My top tip when traveling is to stay as close to your normal routine as possible.
Use the push off method for the treat or meal you look forward to enjoying on your trip!
I drink a shake every day for breakfast or lunch so while I’m traveling, I make sure to bring that and incorporate it into my day.
Sometimes it’s the anticipation of eating it that is the most exciting.
Once you have it, you lose that and then you’ll go on to wanting something else and it can spiral downwards quickly if you get off track early on in your traveling schedule.
Dr Megan Rigby
Megan Rigby is a Doctorate Prepared Pediatric Gi Nurse Practitioner, Blogger, Online Coach, IFBB Figure Pro & Macro Lover.
IG: @macro_mini / Website: TheMacroMINI.com
As an advocate for balance, I do not believe in tracking, weighing or eating out of tupperware while traveling.
Understanding healthy habits is how I help my clients stay on track while traveling.I suggest opting for two healthier whole foods meals per day, a simple snack, and a fun dinner. Click To Tweet
Gina Valles holds a B.S. in exercise science and is the founder of Gina’s Total Fitness, a Group Fitness Studio providing the most effective, creative and innovative workouts to help you find your why.
Gina believes that HIIT Training and Metabolic Training are great ways to achieve your fitness goals.
IG: @ginavallesfit / Website: ginastotalfitness.com
You can pack your own fruit, nuts, greens mix or protein powder to have on handy.
When you are going out to eat try to fill half your plate full of vegetables with some protein! »
Sloane Davis is an International Online Nutritionist, Trainer and Fit Mom.
IG: @pancakesandpush_ups / Website: pancakesandpushups.com
Indeed, you don’t have to have everything in one day. Dessert, bread, alcohol all add up at a single meal. All three along with your meal might make you reach or even exceed your total daily calorie allowance in one sitting. The solution is to choose one, and then pick one the following day.
If you know you are going to party and have a few cocktails, then adjust your calorie intake during the day. If you tend to eat more in the evening, try to keep your first meal on the lighter side.
It’s all about balance.
Andrea Brown is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in the Greater Vancouver Area.
As a foodie & wellness enthusiast, she loves sharing her best healthy holistic life & dairy free eats.
IG: @balancingandie / Website: balancingandie.com
Probiotics and lots of water! I always have a hard time adjusting to a new time zone and it’s so important to keep our gut microflora population healthy and thriving.
I think that it’s so important to take care of our gut all the time but especially when travelling to avoid post airplane colds and other bugs we pick up in foreign places.
Sari Diskin is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and wellness blogger based in Detroit.
IG: @eatwellwithsari / Website: eatwellwithsari.com
My favorite ones are high in protein & rich with healthy fats. For example, I love nut butter packets to eat in a pinch and hard-boiled eggs. The last thing you want is for your blood sugar to drop and grab for something sugary!
Bari Stricoff is a digital dietitian.
Splitting her time between NYC and London, she helps her clients improve their health through nutrition.
IG: @barithedietitian / Website: barithedietitian.com
Always keep snacks on hand, such as nuts, your favorite bar or a piece of fruit.
When we travel, we are often active or may go longer between meals than you are used to.
Snacks will ensure you don’t experience extreme hunger – which may result in over-eating at subsequent meals! »
Jayme Williams is a NASM-Certified Trainer based in Columbus, GA.
IG: @fit_n_clean_mama / Website: jaymewilliamsfitness.com
Balance means you don’t have to be strict and eat only protein and veggies while on vacation/traveling, but it also doesn’t mean that you need to go hog wild at every meal.
Aim to get your protein in each day (I love carrying collagen packs and protein bars with me in my purse), try to add in a serving of veggies and greens whenever you can (to keep your digestion on point), and then don’t stress about the rest! »
Abby Hatch is a Professional Moms health and fitness expert.
Whether that means looking up stores and/or restaurants near the area that you will be traveling to in order to see what options are available to you OR packing various snacks or foods with you to help stay on track.
Erin Christ is a future dietitian based in Las Vegas.
She is an ED warrior, pun queen and her motto is « Wake, Pray, Slay ».
My number 1 tip for staying healthy while traveling is to make sure you are staying hydrated!
I always bring an empty water bottle with me wherever I go so it makes it easy to quickly fill it up!
Izzy El Ubaydy is a Personal Trainer.
He was voted 2017 Best Personal Trainer in ATX.
My #1 tip to staying on track with my nutrition while traveling is PLAN AHEAD. Click To Tweet
You can be intentional with your diet if for example you know what city offers what signature foods and then you get to find the healthiest options ahead of time instead of last minute-ing your diet!
You also can contour your travel itinerary around the food spots you chose ahead of time!
Lauren Sambataro is a Broadway performer turned Fitness & Holistic Lifestyle Coach living between NYC and LA.
She leads clients to improved health & fitness by focusing on sustainable lifestyle changes and specific, actionable goals.
Ready to start?
IG: @sambie_fit / Website: laurensambataro.com
I don’t ever get on a plane without the following:
1. Single Nut-butter packs
2. Single Collagen peptide packs
3. Organic Jerky
4. NUUN Electrolyte tablets
5. Organic Green tea bags
6. Hydrogen + Colloidal Silver drops
Kayla Keller is a Health Coach.
She’s also a Wannabe Runner, a Dental Hygienist, a Mom Boss, a Pizza Lover & an HP Nerd.
Her motto is « Let’s Sweat & Get Healthy ».
My number one tip for staying on track with my health while traveling is planning ahead and water.
It’s crucial for me to make sure that whether I’m in the car, or going on a plane, that I have planned ahead and packed healthy options for snacks!
Also, water water water!
The more hydrated I’am, the better I feel overall.
And last but not least, here’s what our favorite doctor does to stay on track with his nutrition when traveling:
Dr Ben is the Senior Medical Director at DoctorFitHealth.com.
Dr Ben is an MD working in the ER. He strongly believes that a healthy lifestyle is the pillar of a happy life, enhancing both physical and mental health.
The word “travel” is usually associated with bad nutritional habits.
First, it allows you to optimize your energy supply, by redirecting it to activities like long distance walking or hiking rather than digestion, saving you extra energy for many other activities. This method, which concentrates daily caloric intake in a few hours window, also allows a detoxification of the body, making it easy to keep a healthy lifestyle when you travel.
Intermittent fasting also allows you to eat without restriction and to be able to live culinary experiences without the fear of gaining an extra pound.
Intermittent fasting is the best way to keep weight off while traveling.
The Top 15 Commandments For Staying On Track With Your Nutrition When Traveling
1. Define your goals
As Joshua Kuluris points out, it’s essential to define your goals and priorities during the trip.
You must know whether you want to improve your body, maintain yourself or enjoy moderation.
Based on this, you will have a clear idea of the path to follow.
This will help you avoid guilt during and after your trip in case you gain some fat.
2. Be prepared
It’s the most common tip formulated by our experts.
Preparation makes all the difference.
You can prepare your meals in advance and pack basic essentials like supplements, snacks and eventually take a cooler with you as Lacey Dunn suggests.
You can also search for local restaurants and pick the ones that provide the healthiest options.
As Tim Berry says « So, Be Prepared! ».
3. Keep snacks on hand
You can bring snacks with you as we mentioned in the previous section or buy them once you arrive and keep them in your hotel’s mini-bar or your AirBnb’s fridge, as recommended by Cindy Yu and Nimai Delgado.
« Snacks are important to keep blood sugar levels stabilized throughout the day. », points out Bari Stricoff.
Here a few examples of snacks mentioned by the experts:
- Baby Carrots
- Pre-cut apple slices
- Mixed nuts
- Roasted chickpeas
- Plant-Based Protein
- Raw veggies
- Dried fruit
- Protein bars
- Raw almonds
- Pre-packaged almonds
- Unsweetened oatmeal packets
- Organic snap peas
4. Drink a lot of water
Our experts seem to agree about the importance of hydration.
Hydration is essential, whether you are traveling or not, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
5. Track your macros and calories
One of the basics of nutrition is the ratio of calories consumed to calories burnt.
Weight gain occurs when the former is higher than the second. It’s called a calorie surplus.
You can eat whatever you want as long as you make sure that the calories consumed are not higher than the calories burnt.
Dr Kevin Hejnas insists on the importance of staying accountable to your daily calorie intake. Looking at labels on everything you eat, as Sarah Weber does, will help you avoid gaining any fat.
Flexible dieting (IIFYM) is an excellent tool to keep weight off.
« Knowing your body’s needs will get you to your destination », says Venessa Nieto.
6. Supplements like probiotics can be helpful
Amber Lee Sears and Andrea Brown always pack probiotics when traveling to avoid post airplane colds due to air conditioning or other bugs you pick up for example.
Make sure you take probiotics that can survive outside of refrigeration.
Sammi Haber Brondo, although not a fan of dietary supplements, prescribes probiotics because they are among the few supplements that are safe.
7. Use the push-off method
The method is about delaying as much as possible the treat or meal you look forward to enjoying on your trip.
« Sometimes it’s the anticipation of eating it that is the most exciting, » says Micah Folsom.
8. Portion size is key
One of the best tricks to control portion size is to share your meals with your travel partner as specified very judiciously by Elexe Abi Khattar. Small portions can indeed help you stay on track with your nutrition while traveling as stated by Jordan Edwards.
9. Proteins and green vegetables will help you feel full
Kevin Kreider emphasizes the importance of proteins and green vegetables in the diet. Among many benefits, proteins and green vegetables provide an excellent calorie/satiety ratio and will allow you to consume fewer calories. Meat, chicken, fish (wild salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout, mussels) are all excellent sources of protein.
Marcus Filly also recommends eating more protein on the road in the morning and avoiding carbohydrates such as bagels, croissants or bread.
Carrie Walder also points out the importance of your first meal as she likes to start her day with a balanced breakfast.
10. Do intermittent fasting to avoid gaining fat
Stephen Campolo, Dr Ben, Dr Kevin Hejnas and Kevin Kreider are all intermittent fasting enthusiasts.
It is a tool to eat for a fixed period and to fast the rest of the time by drinking only calorie-free liquids such as water, coffee (no sugar!), tea or apple cider vinegar.
It has been proven that this method allows, on the one hand, to consume fewer calories and on the other hand, to accelerate metabolism, burn more calories and burn fat.
11. Be active
The more calories you burn, the less likely you’ll gain fat.
As Jordan Edwards points out, being very active will help you minimize the damage:
– Walk instead of taking a taxi.
– Have a workout in a gym.
Visit the city on foot.
12. Get enough sleep
Nikki Sharp reminds us that sleep is necessary to keep our body functioning properly. She insists on its importance as it « regulates our blood sugar, cravings, and helps us to make better decisions, i.e. to eat the foods we know are good for us ».
13. Have the right mindset
Having the right mindset is essential to reach your fitness and life goals in general.
As Niki points: « don’t stress, do your best. »
14. Listen to your body
As Dr. Jennifer Esquer points, listening to your body can help you make the right food choices that will give you more energy.
15. Balance is essential: don’t forget to enjoy your trip
« Try to stay as close to your normal routine as possible », as Micah Folsom states.
Keep things in moderation, as Sloane Davis advises, and you should be fine.
Many experts, such as Gabby Male or Sammi Haber Brondo, point out that life is too short not to enjoy its pleasures, and at the end of the day it’s all about balance, so do not forget to enjoy your trip!
I would like to thank all the experts who contributed to this round up post and hope you enjoyed reading it.