You fly out every Monday morning, you come home Thursday or Friday night, week after week. It’s pretty rough; I get it. You’ve gained 20 or 30 lbs within the last year, and you don’t quite feel or look like you used to. Or maybe you don’t travel every week, but every time you leave town you feel completely out of your groove.
I’ve teamed up with some great Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to bring you some of our finest tips for staying lean and mean despite a grueling travel schedule!
1. Make a plan to exercise every day.
Whether your hotel has a gym, or you’re on the sunny coast of California, schedule a time and place to exercise. Usually working out early each morning is the best no-fail way to make sure you get a good sweat session checked off the list. Meetings may run late, the day might be unusually stressful, or a last-minute dinner appointment can spring up, sabotaging your plans for an evening workout. In any case, plan to make your workout challenging even if it’s short! A quick, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can go a long way. Keep in mind minimal effort usually reaps minimal results. – Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, LD (me! ☺️)
2. Keep it close to home.
“Traveling can be really hard on our bodies so I always try to keep one meal very close to what I eat at home. I find the easiest meal is usually breakfast so I pack individual oatmeal packets with some dried fruit and chia seeds because I can find hot water anywhere!” – Chelsey Amer, RDN, private practice dietitian in New York City and creator of www.CitNutritionally.com
3. Stake out your accommodations.
“Try to book hotels that are within a 10 minute walk of a grocery store or corner store and be sure to choose a room with a mini fridge and a kitchenette! Having the option to have breakfast in your room and keep supper leftovers for the next day gives you another option other than eating out.” – Monica Bashaw, MScA, RD of www.bariatricsurgerynutrition.com
4. Do some minor league grocery shopping.
“Ditch the drive-through and go to the grocery store. Most grocery stores offer convenient and more nutritious options, like pre-made salads or even hearty vegetable soups. You can grab pre-prepped fruit or veggie sticks to pair with single serve yogurt, cottage cheese, or nut butters. Combine single serve nuts or cheese sticks and whole grain crackers with fresh fruit for balance.” – Michelle Loy MPH, MS, RD, CSSD of www.gowellnessco.com
5. Research surrounding restaurants.
“When traveling out of town, I do my homework on restaurants ahead of time so that I know my options for satisfying, quick meals, and to prevent eating less than healthy.” – Stefanie Dove, RDN
6. Stay hydrated.
“Carry a water bottle during travel – it helps me stay hydrated and keeps me away from sugar sweetened beverages.” – Dixya Bhattarai, MS, RDN of www.foodpleasureandhealth.com
7. Stash power-packed snacks.
“I’m all about buying portable, pre-portioned (or portioning my own) dry protein packed snacks before hand! Protein is great for keeping me full until my next meal and helping keep blood sugar steady. I love fruit with portable peanut butter, dry edamame, low sodium beef jerky, nuts/seeds and string cheese!” Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, LDN, blogger at Bucket List Tummy http://bucketlisttummy.com
“While it can be tempting to stay out late with coworkers or friends in the area and explore the city you’re in, make sure to get a good night’s rest. You can still have fun after work hours by trying out new restaurants, doing activities, and catching up with friends, but still make sure to turn in fairly early for the night so you don’t become run down and overworked from all the travel.” –Emily Holdorf, RDN of EmPowered Nutrition www.empowerednutrition.org
I hope you feel more prepared to take your traveling schedule head-on. If you have a tip we haven’t listed here, leave a comment below!