Eating healthy and keeping up with your workout routine when you're on-the-go can be quite a challenge, but it's definitely possible with a little preparation and know-how. For avid gym-goers and health enthusiasts, being away from home isn't an excuse to disregard your fitness goals. Heck, champion pro bodybuilders like Jacked Factory Athlete Chris Bumstead manage to stay in phenomenal shape year-round even while traveling for weeks at a time.
So, what's the trick? How do you stay on track with diet and training while traveling? While you might not have the usual resources to cook a wholesome meal and train "optimally," there are several ways to stick to your diet and get a solid sweat sesh in no matter where life takes you.
With that in mind, here are five nutrition and training tips to follow when it's time to hit the road or take to the skies.
This tip is a no-brainer for those who regularly pump some iron since meal prep is like second nature. Intuitively, packing several days worth of food is one of the most prudent, if not readily apparent, means of sticking to your diet when you're on-the-go. It may not be ideal, but staying at hotels generally means you'll be stuck with just a microwave and a mini-fridge. As such, food storage containers are going to be your new best friend for the time being.
The good news is there are numerous options besides a hotel mini-fridge to keep your food cold while traveling. An insulated meal-pack bag is handy for such situations, especially if you'll be flying or on the road for more than a couple of days. Many of these bags can store up to 10 medium-size food containers.
As long as you can keep perishable food relatively cool until you arrive at your destination, you'll be fine. However, be mindful of meat and dairy, which are liable to spoilage quickly if left in hot/humid environments for too long. The more food you can bring along that's stable at room temperature, like fresh fruit, protein bars (more on these in just a bit), and whey protein powder, the better. The last thing you want is to consume rancid food right before you hit the gym.
You can only pack so much food for a trip, so meal replacement powders and protein bars are a lifesaver when you're in a pinch. However, many protein bars are loaded with indigestible ingredients that leave your gut feeling "heavy" and bloated.
To avoid that issue, Jacked Factory Authentic Bars are free of artificial sweeteners and gut-wrenching fibers. Instead, these decadent protein bars are crafted with delicious real-food ingredients like chocolate chips, cashew butter, coconut, and quality whey protein isolate so you can indulge in a guilt-free, high-protein snack wherever you travel.
Best of all, Authentic Bars come in five taste-bud friendly flavors (with more on the way!), including:
Whatever you're preference, there's an Authentic Bar ready to satisfy your cravings!
More restaurants are catering to the gym crowd these days, so chances are you won't need to meal prep as much food as you initially presumed.
When dining out, peruse the menu and see if any meals are categorized as "healthy" or "lite" fares — most sit-down restaurants and even fast-food joints offer these nowadays. These menu options typically list the calorie and macronutrient content, which is nice for peace of mind.
If you find something on the menu that would fit your diet a bit better with a few minor adjustments, ask if the chef can make those changes.
Chefs are accustomed to such requests since some people have food allergies, so don't hesitate to ask. Worst case, they tell you they can't make the change and you find a different option on the menu.
For example, maybe the menu lists a grilled chicken sandwich, but it's dressed with mayo and BBQ sauce, layered with cheese, and smothered in bacon — tell the server to hold the toppings or bring them on the side. Even small substitutes like steaming a side of asparagus instead of frying it in butter will add up when dining out.
Taking a trip might limit your access to standard commercial gyms. However, you don't need tons of fancy weight machines and cardio equipment to stay on track with training. If Rocky Balboa can train like a world-class boxer in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, you can get a great workout at a basic gym with free weights, a pull-up bar, and a squat rack.
Climb up a nearby mountain and chop some wood if you have to — whatever gets your heart pumping faster and blood flowing. No excuses!
When possible, stay at a hotel with a workout center. Though hotel gyms usually have minimal equipment, something is better than nothing when it comes to exercise. Being flexible with exercise selection and a little creative will go a long way.
Another option is to bring along some resistance bands to spice things up a bit. Resistance bands are a breeze to travel with since they take up virtually no space in luggage bags, and you can use them in your hotel room with a simple door attachment or even outside.
Nothing is more stressful for health-conscious individuals than taking a long trip without knowing your food options and where to work out. Naturally, planning is essential when traveling. Knowing the accommodations of where you'll be staying will give you a better sense of how much food to prepare ahead of time and accessible nearby gyms, if any. Assuming your trip isn't wholly spontaneous, give yourself a few hours before leaving to meal prep and research gyms close to your destination(s).
After all, it's the 21st century — smartphones let us locate pretty much anything across the globe with a simple Internet search. Make a note of what your travel destination has in terms of dining options, hotel accommodations, local gyms, etc.
And for when you take those impromptu adventures, be sure to grab a few Authentic Bars for the road!
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