5 Strategies To Eat Right On Vacation (Plus 2 Bonus Hacks)

We’ve all been there – you feel like you’re finally getting into the routine that’s taking you where you want to be. Those goals are in sight and you’re feeling good; but vacation or a big work trip is coming up.

If you can’t stay ‘on track’ during the trip then you just know that it will be a week or two before you get into your routine again when you get back. A week or two?! That’s just enough time for a friend’s party to pop up.. now it’s been 3 weeks and there’s really no hope to start over.

The hardest thing about getting into a routine is starting one.

Here’s the deal: Your goal is not to get in better shape during trips – your goal is to enjoy them, all while making sure that you maintain the habits that will keep you successful long term. The habits you’re building shouldn’t change just because your situation does. Here are our 5 Top Tips For Travel.

Tip #1 – Pack Snacks That Travel Well

Preparation starts before you ever reach the plane. The day before your trip the easiest thing to do is hit a local grocery store and find snacks that you can travel with. There is no shortage of food you can bring in a carry on. By the time you reach the destination the last thing you want to do is start your trip binge ordering hotel food or at a late night restaurant because you’re starving. Our top snack options –

  • Turkey Jerky / Jerky Sticks
  • Apple Slices or Fresh Hand Fruit
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios
  • RX Bars or Protein Bars
  • Though expensive, a lot of airport concessions are offering great to-go or greek yogurt options

Tip #2 – Bring A Reusable Water Bottle

This is the easiest one to do and you can even find collapsible water bottles to help if you’re worried about bulky travel items. If you’re not hydrated then you will immediately be thrown off your goals and you’ll be more tempted to purchase soft drinks, high sugar sport drinks, sugar bomb coffees, etc.

Stick to the water – as a pro tip we pack LMNT sticks in our bags to help keep our electrolytes high and add flavor to airport water.

Tip #3 – Make Your First Stop A Grocery Store

No matter where you’re at there’s likely a grocery store nearby that lets you control your destiny. There’s nothing worse than getting done with a long day of traveling and immediately finding a nearby restaurant to binge at because of an off routine. Find your healthy staples and build your week around them. If you are wildly hungry then try to grab a rotisserie chicken or some cut fruit and eat them as you go through the store.

Tip #4 – Eat BEFORE Going To The Restaurant

As coaches we hear all the time about how our clients have been waiting for certain restaurants and starve themselves all day to enjoy it. Not only is this just plain unhealthy, but often it’s not worth it for the amount of calories you save (hint: you don’t). It’s just like going over to a holiday party or work event, you should eat a small meal before you get there and keep the main thing the main thing. You’ll not only feel less bloated, but you won’t need to inhale your food and can enjoy a modest portion size instead of over ordering. As a pro-tip – if you know you’re going to enjoy drinks and a great meal, just limit your starchy carbs through the day and focus on lean proteins and vegetables for breakfast, lunch and a pre-dinner snack.

Tip #5 – Only Track Protein & Fiber

If you’re familiar with macros then you’ll know that you can track carbs, protein, fats and fiber. By far the two that keep you the most satisfied and full are always protein and fiber. As long as you’re hitting your goal for those two then it becomes much harder to overeat and over drink purely based on your hormones being regulated and feeling full through the day. For women we like to aim 0.75 grams protein per pound of bodyweight (150lb female eating 112g protein) and 25 grams of fiber. For men we like to aim at 1 gram per pound of protein and 35 grams of fiber. These are general recommendations and can vary person by person.

BONUS – Schedule ACTIVE movement early on in the trip to help stay in your routine

The easiest way to keep a routine is to stay in it. Your goal early on should be to schedule something active to keep you moving. If you’re at the beach then plan to park your chairs as far away as you can, or make it a point to get moving early in the day before people are awake. If you’re in the mountains then schedule the hike the first day – your only goal is to keep the momentum going until you get back. As a fall back plan, look for local gyms to drop into. It’s literally only an hour of your day and you definitely won’t regret it.

BONUS #2 – Don’t try to progress your fitness through your trip. Your only goal is to maintain habits and give yourself the ability to be 80% on task

You shouldn’t expect yourself to be perfect in your fitness goals while you’re away. Give yourself a limit to how much flexibility you allow while away. We like to say that while we’re in our routine at home we should be 90/10 on our healthy eating. It’s not realistic for most people to be 100% on a diet and meal plans end. We like to focus on healthy eating and whole food with a little bit of fun. When you’re traveling expect yourself to be +/- 10% of that. If you’re hitting 80% from whole foods then you’re absolutely crushing it.

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