How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
So, you've made your health and fitness goals a priority. You've been eating nourishing food, pushing yourself in your workouts, and you're starting to see actual results/make progress. Maybe it's a wedding that you're attending or a family vacation you've had planned for a while, and you're starting to freak out because you're not 100% where you want to be yet. I've been there. It can feel so scary and overwhelming to go out of town and enjoy yourself when you're working towards your health and fitness goals. You might be feeling like traveling is going to undo all of your progress. And let me just go ahead and tell you, it won't. But I totally get where you're coming from. It's hard, and it takes true dedication and a healthy mindset among many other things to stick to your health and fitness goals while traveling- but it is not impossible. And it most definitely doesn't have to feel hard or unenjoyable. Having a toned, healthy body is important, but so is living your life and I want to show you how you can do both!
DISCLAIMER: Remember that just as it takes time to develop muscles, lean out, and see results, it takes time to gain weight and undo your progress. Sure- you may gain a few pounds of water weight or feel bloated/heavy, but you will not and cannot gain fat from a week of vacation.
PUT MODERATION INTO PRACTICE
I know you've heard this over and over again, but moderation is key. And it is the one thing that myself and many Americans struggle with daily. I blame the restaurant industry for tricking me into thinking I can eat an entire gluten free pizza by myself by putting it in front of my face. They're deceivingly big portion sizes work though because I, in fact, did eat a whole gluten free pizza to myself at an Italian restaurant recently. Clearly- portion control/everything in moderation is a struggle. However, I've begun to put this method into practice a lot lately and it has done wonders for my mindset and health & fitness goals. You might be thinking, dude- I know what moderation is, but figuring out HOW to apply it is my problem. I hear you. Here's how: apply it. You don't learn how to do it if you don't put it into practice. So here's some examples:
If you're eating pasta: ask for the half portion or split it with a friend.
If you're eating Mexican: have one taco instead of 2/3, split the enchiladas, eat fajitas (fill up on the veggies, instead of the tortillas).
If you're eating sushi: order 3-4 rolls for the table & fill up on miso soup or ginger salad.
If you're eating pizza (don't order a whole one to yourself, lol): load it with veggies, order a salad to start, and have a slice!
ALL IN ALL. Eat until you're satisfied, not full. Put the fork down between bites so you eat slower, focus on chewing each bite, and fill up faster. Engage in the company you're surrounded by! Indulge on good conversation with your friends instead of food.
HAVE WATER BETWEEN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
I feel like drinking, especially on vacations, is the easiest way to put down empty calories. When you're on vacation, laying by the pool or at a restaurant with your friends, it's not hard to lose track of how many drinks you've had. Before you know it, you could be on your third margarita and wonder, how the hell did that happen? If you're anything like me, when you finish a drink you want another. It isn't even about having another alcoholic drink, I just like having something in my hand! Anyone else?? Well because I'm like this, I've come to realize that having a glass of water between each drink not only helps me to stay hydrated and drink safely, but it also helps me to not go overboard and drink more calories than I need to. Obviously when you're drinking, you tend to forget as a buzz comes on; but being conscious of this tactic before you start drinking can at least help put the idea in your mind so you're more likely to apply it!
When it comes to working out while traveling, it's so important to realize a couple things. One: it's okay to take a day off. Relax and enjoy yourself. if you've been working out hard up until now, your body could probably use the rest, anyways! Second: understand that 99% of the time you're not going to have the resources that you would normally have at home to get a sweaty workout in. That doesn't mean you can't break a sweat and still get a good burn; I just mean that you need to be flexible. Switch your mindset from: what workout am I going to do today, to how am I going to be active today? I think people forget that even simple, everyday activities like going for a walk still burns calories. If you're on a beach vacation, go for a run on the beach, play in the ocean, surf, or use those arm muscles to paddle board! Schedule activities for yourself and the people you're with. If you're in a city, walk instead of ubering or taking the bus- explore the city that way! It's about finding ways to stay active while enjoying yourself and your friends! And get creative! Honestly, my favorite kind of workouts are ones outdoors, using the land, steps, and resources around me to mix things up. You don't need the gym to get a workout in and you don't need to be dripping in sweat to burn some calories!
HEALTHY GUT, HEALTHY MIND!
This is probably the one thing that's changed the game for me. When my gut isn't healthy, I know it. I'm moody, tired, will bloat from the healthiest/smallest amount of food, my body feels uncomfortable, my brains foggy, and I'm just not happy. It's so easy for your gut to get thrown off when you're traveling because of the new environments, bacteria, and so many other factors. Prepping my body a couple weeks prior to going out of town has made my vacations so much more enjoyable. The worst thing in the world is feeling miserable when you're supposed to be having a good time, so here are some things I do to prep my body for traveling.
-Drink bone broth (I'll either do a 1-2 day bone broth fast or drink it instead of my morning coffee as it repairs your gut lining tremendously!) I literally swear by bone broth.
-Make sure I take my probiotics. I actually break the capsule and pour the powder under my tongue because it not only gets into your blood faster, but also cleans your gums! I also have found I can notice a huge reduction in bloating when I take it this way as opposed to swallowing the capsule.
-Start my mornings with lemon, apple cider vinegar water. Helps to kickstart your metabolism and detoxify your body!
-Avoid fermented foods. Things like saurkraut and kombucha are so good for your gut, but if you're overdoing it or your gut is currently unhealthy, it's good to stay away from fermented foods because it can just increase any gas or bloating!
-Don't overeat. Make a conscious effort to not overeat, have smaller portion sizes, and allow time for your body to digest by not snacking so much.
I basically just hit the reset button on my body a couple weeks before I know I'm going to be indulging. This way I know my body is healthy enough and functioning properly to handle everything I consume!
My last tip is to simply enjoy yourself. Be present in the moment and engage with the people around you. Don't overthink or feel guilty about indulging and if you 'slip up' by overeating or not being active at all; let it go!!! Again, you will not undo your progress. Cherish your time, appreciate the fact that you're able to travel, and live!