As anyone who leads a healthy lifestyle knows, not all meals and workouts will be prefect. Not only that, not every workout will be at your “home gym” and not every meal will be in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Generally, what separates those with amazing physiques versus those with “so-so” physiques is what these people do to stay on track with their fitness while on the go.
Seeing as summer is just around the corner, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on this in order to help keep you on track not only for “beach season” but with your fitness goals in general.
You MUST plan ahead
Not planning ahead is a surefire way to fail with your fitness goals.
Although some of you may live fairly regular routines from week to week, some of you do not.
For example, let’s say that due to a business meeting that you’re going to be away for 5 days in a row.
Next, if there’s no gyms nearby or it isn’t convenient, is there a gym located in the hotel? It may not be the best gym in the world but it’s certainly better to make due with what you have as opposed to completely skipping a workout altogether.
And finally, you will need to pack some of your gym clothes and take the appropriate footwear.
Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition
Now, what I want to focus on the most with this article is nutrition.
Nutrition accounts for the majority of your success with your fitness goals. Eating well is definitely the hard part.
Not planning ahead with your nutrition can really set you back with your previous progress.
In fact, “going on vacation” for a week with your nutrition while literally on vacation could end up setting you back a month’s worth of hard work and dedication.
When traveling, it’s always best to think of “mobility” when it comes to nutrition.
Depending on the duration of your travels, planning your meals may be very basic or a bit more on the complex side.
Below are some items that I consider essential for staying on track while traveling:
Insulated lunch bag
These are great if you’re on the go a lot. If you’re going to be driving for a bit or if you’re going to the beach.
You can generally buy one for not much more than $10 at a department store.
What good is the lunch bag without a means to keep your food cool?
Ice packs are efficient for this and generally only cost about $1.
Containers to store food
These can usually be bought for rather cheap if you look around and buy several at a time.
I eat a lot of chicken and brown rice so they are very convenient for me.
This blender is great and is usually the one I make most of my shakes with. (I make a lot of Banana Protein Shakes after my workouts) However, I’m not always at home when I need a shake so The Blender Bottle , pictured below, is my go to blender when out and about.
The blender bottle has been an absolute life saver for me over the years when it comes to staying on track with my nutrition.
What I like to do is put a scoop of protein powder in a plastic sealable bag.
If you’re going to be away for a bit, you can do up multiple bags and then you can simply just add water when you need a shake.
You certainly have to be careful when it comes to protein bars. Most of them are no healthier than eating a chocolate bar and “chasing it” with a scoop of whey protein. That being said, there are a few that are good choices if you’re on the run.
More recently, I became aware of the Oh Yeah, ONE, birthday cake protein bars.
I’m not going to lie, this particular flavor is HANDS DOWN the best protein bar I have ever eaten.
It tastes amazing!
In fact, even my girlfriend thinks they taste good and she finds anything “proteiny” to be disgusting.
Aside from being delicious, they’re only 220 calories, have only 1 gram of sugar, and 22 grams of protein per bar.
These are definitely worth considering if a protein shake or other meal isn’t convenient. Protein bars are an especially good option when traveling by plane.
Consider buying some food at the grocery store
This may be a good option for you if there’s a grocery store close by and you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
You could buy a loaf of bread and make your own sandwiches.
You could also buy some fruit and have it with your protein shakes.
This will also save some money as opposed to eating out as often.
As much as you plan ahead, it’s almost certain you will have to buy some of your meals while traveling. Although this may mean some “less than optimal choices” at times, you can certainly “limit the damage” by buying healthy food when possible.
For example, rather than buying fries, burgers, or pizza, buy some chili, a tuna sandwich/wrap, or a chicken salad.
You can generally see the nutritional content for food at most places.
At the very least, make some “better than” options.
Allow for some flexibilty
I like to think of fitness as a long term commitment and you should too.
If you’re traveling and on vacation, it’s unrealistic to think you won’t eat any unhealthy food.
If you’re traveling to a city that has the “world’s best ice cream,” it’s foolish to think you won’t have eat least one scoop.
It’s often those who “loosen up” too much that find themselves constantly getting set back, though.
If you do end up slipping up a bit, don’t get too stressed over it. You’re eating properly most of the time and that’s what will really give your long term results. Even the very best will have little slip-ups while traveling.
As you can see, you need to flexible with your training and nutrition if you want to stay on track.
It can be done but you have to be rather creative and disciplined to do so.
In the end, you have to ask yourself, How bad do you want it?