Updated: May 5
It's the time of year that travel often picks up the pace -- whether that's for work or leisure. We are here to help you navigate these trips while still prioritizing your nutrition and training goals. Let's dive in!
The first thing to consider is "what dietary phase am I in? If you have no idea what this means, we have a post that talks about all the different dietary phases here, so be sure to read that FIRST and then head back here.
If you are in a maintenance or even a surplus, there's a lot more freedom when it comes to travel. You're likely eating ample amounts of food that will allow for more flexibility.
If you are in a deficit or reverse phase, travel can look a bit different from the other two phases. When it one of these phases, it's important that more structure is in place because...
In a deficit, your goal is to lose body fat. In order to do this, a more strict/structure within nutrition, training and cardio is needed to be successful.
In a reverse, your body is oftentimes in a place to put on body fat a bit more easily due to being in a deficit phase for X weeks/months prior. So there needs to be strategy and structure here as well so you aren't "undoing" all the hard work you put in during your deficit.
A few questions to ask yourself when approaching travel (whether that be for work or leisure):
Can I maintain my training schedule while I'm away?
Will my physical activity be higher or lower?
Will my physical activity vary from lifting?
Will I have the ability to prepare my own food?
How many untracked meals will I need?
Here are some of our most-shared tips when it comes to travel, so get your pen and paper (or notes app) out and take note!
Tackling Travel DAYS
These days are the days that actual travel is taking place, whether that be by car or plane. When it comes to travel days, nutrition can seem really overwhelming. We are here to tell you that it doesn't have to be! It just takes a bit of pre-planning and "research" beforehand to set yourself up for a successful road trip OR flight.
Traveling by car
Bring a cooler! The beauty of a car is that you aren't as limited with what you can bring (or how much). Bring pre-cooked meals in a cooler and have them easily accessible to eat while on the road. If you don't mind eating things cold, then you can always just opt for your normal meals. But if you're aren't a fan, then plan for things like sandwiches, wraps, greek yogurts, or salads!
Map out your route and find fast food options that will work for you. The beauty of these chain restaurants is that all of their nutrition info is accessible online, so you can browse the menu, determine what best fits and then know exactly when and how that meal will work in your day.
Traveling by plane
Good news, there are ways you can travel with food. Do a quick Google search and figure out TSA-approved ways to travel with food on your carry-on. As long as your ice packs are frozen, they will make it through TSA. Even if you don't feel comfortable packing a cooler, you can always opt for non-refrigerated options like fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, pears), protein powder (that you can mix later), protein bars, jerky, dried edamame, rice cakes, peanut butter, nuts, etc.
Map out the airport and determine when and where you can eat during your layover(s). Follow the same concept as above when browsing the menu ahead of time and determining what fits best.
Tackling Your Time Away
Once you're AT your destination, then what? Well, just like your travel days...a bit of pre-planning can go a long ways and set you up for a successful few days/week.
If you're staying a hotel, you will be limited/unable to prepare your own meals but you can request some things to make it a bit easier on you -- a mini fridge and a microwave! That way, you can run to a nearby grocery store or Instacart some staples (if you didn't pack any with you) and keep your hotel room stocked with some essentials that could cover breakfast and higher protein snack options.
Check ahead of time and see if your hotel has a fitness center! While it may not be a fully stacked gym like you're used to, you can implement some alternative options and keep your training program relatively in place, even if you are limited to just dumbbells and a bench.
AirBnb or Full Kitchens
If you'll be in a house or condo that has a full kitchen, you can treat this just like you would at home! Order groceries ahead of time and have them delivered so that you are stocked and can easily get some meals prepared for the week. This will likely save you money as well because you won't be eating out for every meal.
Since it's unlikely that your AirBnb will have a full garage gym (wishful thinking!), you can search the area for any local gyms and opt for purchasing some day passes if training while gone is a priority for you.
Another option if you don't have the ability to go grocery shopping is utilizing a meal prep company. These companies will ship meals right to your hotel/AirBnb in a cooler-based shipment and these can be easy grab-and-go meal options that only require a microwave.
The first few times you travel with nutrition goals in mind can definitely be intimidating, but after a few "experiences" under your belt, you'll get more and more confident.
Did we miss any tips? Tell us below!