Six Healthy Eating Strategies to Keep the Fat Off While Traveling

It’s the middle of summer and prime vacation season for most. Many people use vacation (or business travel) as an excuse to stray away from exercise and proper nutrition. However, this doesn’t have to be you.

If you’ve struggled to work out or maintain healthy eating while traveling, try the following proven healthy eating strategies I use to keep the fat off while traveling to increase your chances of maintaining your healthy lifestyle on the go.

Here’s what I do:

I Bring Protein Supplements
Sometimes when you’re on the road it’s just not possible to get to a good restaurant or go back to your room to prepare something. Good protein options are often hard to come by while traveling. Using a good protein powder or protein bar are sound strategies while traveling and are a staple in my backpack when traveling. A couple of protein bars also fit nicely into my pockets for those “just in case” moments.

For more protein options check out this article on good protein alternatives.

I Bring Powdered Vegetables
When at home I strive to get 8-12 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (and you should too). But when I travel it often gets reduced to about half that amount. To make up for that reduction in my micronutrient intake I typically bring a powdered vegetable supplement such as greens+.

Additionally I make sure I bring my daily multi, VGF 25+. I’ve been taking this supplement for almost a decade (my entire family uses it). It’s completely unlike anything you’ll find in your supermarket vitamin aisle. This whole food supplement is nutrient-rich and contains a concentrate of 25 whole vegetables, greens and fruits. The best part is if you sign up for the auto-ship program you get a nice discount and free shipping – highly recommended.

You can find the version for women here and version for men here.

I Choose a Room With A Refrigerator or Kitchenette

Preparing food in a hotel kitchen.

Preparing food in a hotel kitchen.

Regardless of whether I’m traveling on business or on vacation with the family, the very first thing I do when I leave the airport is go straight to a grocery store, even before I get to the hotel. Even if I can’t find an affordable room with a kitchenette, as long as they have a refrigerator, I’m golden. I make sure I pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, a case of bottled water, some Greek yogurt and/or organic almond butter. Now I’m ready for the week ahead and don’t have to worry about healthy snacks.

I Choose a Good Location
How does the old adage go? Location, location, location!

Thanks to the power of the internet and google maps, I can easily find a hotel that has a good combination of nearby desirable grocery stores, restaurants and gyms (or hotel gym). I then choose the hotel that has the best combination of the three (and is still convenient to my work or vacation plans).

If I have to prioritize, the gym is usually the last on the list, you’ll see why below. But without good nutritional choices nearby I’m just giving myself excuses to miss meals or make poor food selections while traveling.

I Ship Items Beforehand
If you’re more on the “hardcore” side, you may consider this option. If I know I’m going to be away for more than a week, I’ll change one of my monthly shipments to be shipped to my destination ahead of time. This also helps me carry less and I don’t have to worry about going shopping for these items. I also make sure I pack a shaker for my protein shakes.

I Eat. Mindfully.
Yes I sometimes get tempted to make poor food choices while on the road. But when on vacation, I’ve realized that I have to learn a little bit more balance between having fun with the family and eating healthy (I tend to be “stricter” when traveling on business).

Busy peopleSo instead of simply overeating or making several consecutive bad meal choices, I eat mindfully. What that means for me is having a good understanding of what I’m eating and just exactly how “bad” I’m eating by tracking my choices with the MyFitnessPal app. This allows me to get a good understanding of just how many calories I’m overeating by as well as my overall sugar and carb intake.

Additionally, I’ll try to plan my “bad” meals and not have one in two consecutive days. That means no super high carb meals or desserts like pizza, pasta or an ice cream sundae two days in a row. This strategy has worked great for me in the past and I have found it to be the perfect balance of maintaining a fairly healthy way of eating while traveling while still having fun with the family.

So that’s it. With these strategies I’ve been able to maintain my weight while traveling or vacation and sometimes even lose a pound or two (depending on how much walking I’m doing).

If you have any specific strategies you use to eat healthy while traveling, please feel free to share, I’d love to hear them!

Also, don’t forget to check out the companion to this post: Four Exercise Strategies I Use While Traveling.

Dedicated to getting you fit and firm on YOUR schedule,

Coach George, The White Collar Warrior

Body Transformation Coach

ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Precision Nutrition Certified Nutritionist