A Burn the Fat Blog Archives Classic. Originally published May 13th, 2009. Updated for 2022.
I like to come back from my business trips, vacations and sometimes even holiday breaks in better shape than when I left: More muscle, less fat, better condition, feeling great.
Some people may be thinking, “Impossible! You can’t even maintain, let alone improve, when you have to deal with airports, airline food, business meetings, all-day seminars, hotels, mini-bars, room service food on speed-dial, restaurants and all that travel stress.” Actually, in most cases, yes you can, if you really want to. In fact, while most people slip back or maintain at best, I’ve discovered a way to accelerate my progress when I travel. I got the original inspiration from pro bodybuilders, and it’s actually quite exhilarating to take this challenge and conquer it…
Tips To Help You Stay In Shape While Traveling
For most people, there’s more travel and temptation over the holidays, so these tips come in especially handy during the food-filled, festive time of year, but you can use this advice all year round.
If you travel a lot, and you care about health and fitness, these strategies are not only body savers – they’re game changers!
1. Set a goal to come home in better shape than when you left.
This is the key to it all: The next time you travel – a time when most people surrender to stress, fast food and busy schedules – set a goal to come back in better shape than when you left..
That is the Burn the Fat Travel Challenge.
This challenge is not for everyone. This is for highly motivated bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts who want to challenge themselves. For many people, a holiday is a time to NOT begin attempts at body composition or fitness change, and there is some psychology research that supports this idea. We all need to take breaks from intense training sometime during each year, and you might want to match your training break time with vacation or holiday time and just relax.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I assure you, for someone rightly motivated, this travel fitness challenge can be done, and won….
Naturally, you’re not going to make huge shifts in body composition over a short trip that lasts a week or even just days, but you might burn a pound or two of fat. You might look visibly better in the mirror when you get back. You might get stronger. You might break a personal record in the gym. Maybe you simply have a string of better-than-usual workouts, so you know you made progress.
Whatever you do, and however you do it, simply improve yourself in some way, any way. It may not be easy, but that’s the whole idea. A “challenge” is a goal that’s not easy to achieve – it makes you stretch! That’s good, because those are the goals that make you grow the most, and because simply accepting a challenge generates energy and enthusiasm that makes you rally.
2. Have a plan and schedule your time tightly.
Biggest mistake ever: “I’ll just wing it when I get there.”
No matter where you are, you must have a meal (food) plan and a training plan – in writing (not just in your head) – and schedule it into your calendar. You schedule every other meeting or appointment in your date book – and you have to make a travel itinerary anyway – so why not include appointments with the gym and the kitchen?
When you travel, or any time your usual environment or routine changes, make sure you create a new plan or modify your usual plan to accommodate for the changes:
- Flying? What will you do for meals at the airports and on the plane?
- Road trip? What will you bring with you to eat or where will you stop to eat?
- Out of town? Where will you train?
- Staying in a hotel? What’s for breakfast?
- Attending a 12-hour seminar or workshop? What and when will you eat all day long?
- Business dinner at night? Did you check the restaurant menu online beforehand and commit to your healthy choices, no matter what the rest of the group does?
3. Book a hotel with a kitchen and go food shopping.
For me, this is the king of nutrition strategies on all extended trips: I book a hotel with a kitchen.
I continue to be stunned at how many people complain about how hard it is to eat when traveling. But if you have a kitchen and go food shopping the day you check in, your meal planning and prep is no different than it is when you’re home, right?
(Tip: Remember your shopping list to avoid multiple trips to the store!)
The availability of these hotels keeps expanding and the best part is, they’re often less expensive. I’ve stayed at a Hyatt House, Extended Stay America and Marriott’s Residence Inn among others.
On my last trip, I went a step further; I checked google maps and scoped out one of these hotels located near a supermarket. I found one – with the food market literally across the parking lot. It was actually more convenient and took less time to shop for food than when I was at home.
By the way, it is possible to not even have to meal prep and to eat 100% healthy between restaurants and good hotels. Hitting an 80% or 90% food quality adherence rule is easy-peasy.
I stayed at a small boutique hotel in Toronto a some years ago, and there was no kitchen in my room, but their continental breakfast had steel cut oatmeal, fruit and hard boiled eggs. That’s pretty much the same as usual for me except that I scramble eggs at home.
The rest of the day, it was not difficult to make healthy choices for lunch and dinner in restaurants and I brought protein shakes and snacks for in between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Another tip: Go food shopping immediately after checking in. The first thing I do after checking in is to make a beeline straight to the local grocery store. I take a shopping list with me because on past trips I found it too easy to forget one or two small items if I didn’t have a written grocery list, plus I like to purchase the exact quantity of food I need for the duration of my stay.
Once you have a fully-stocked refrigerator and kitchen, your meal planning and preparation is no different than it is when you are home. Also, have you seen what hotel restaurant meals cost these days? Buying and cooking your own food can save you a small fortune!
If you’re on a particularly strict nutrition plan, such as a competition diet, I recommend picking up a portable food cooler and some Tupperware and then, provided that you have a kitchen, you can cook and pack anything and keep it fresh during the day. This is what most top bodybuilders and physique athletes do.
You may or may not be able to reheat it if you’re on the go, but I’ve eaten cold chicken breast or turkey – and I like it. Veggies don’t always have to be cooked either – many of them are good raw and crunchy. Naturally, many foods taste better hot (reheated), but I know lots of people who have serious goals (competitors, etc) who will gladly pull a potato out of their cooler and eat it cold.
4. Cook portable foods and bring meal replacements or healthy snacks for long drives, flights and busy days.
If you’re traveling on business or with a very tight schedule, you’ll need to think ahead and plan for where you’re going to be and what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it. Sometimes, a formal sit down meal is not possible or convenient, but you do have options.
I’ve learned how to make a variety of portable meals, including several different types of “oatmeal protein pancakes,” tuna burgers and healthy sandwiches. Any one of those I can eat in a car, on a plane or even while sitting in a seminar room. Fruit and nuts are available almost everywhere, even in airports and if you pack protein shakes or meal replacements, eating on the go is easy!
Here’s my famous high-protein apple-cinnamon oatmeal pancake that has been my portable travel-meal staple for years: burnthefatinnercircle.com/public/apple-cinnamon-oatmeal-high-protein-pancakes.cfm
Snack and mini-meal ideas: hard boiled eggs, healthy beef jerkies, foil packs of tuna, salmon or chicken, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, raw vegetables (baby carrots, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes), fruit, nuts /seeds, protein shakes or meal replacement shakes. Also, if you scrutinize the ingredient lists carefully, you can find decent protein bars made from protein powder and ingredients such as nuts, peanut butter, oats, various fibers or other whole food ingredients.
(Important note: don’t forget to cook before you leave for the airport and pack a meal and snacks in your carry-on bag. You don’t have to eat airline food just because they serve it).
5. If you’ll be eating in restaurants, browse the menus online, and commit in advance to healthy choices when dining out.
Since I usually have a kitchen at my disposal when I travel, most of my meals are just business as usual. I cook them right in my hotel room and bring them along with me wherever I go. However, when traveling, it’s likely that most people will probably be having quite a few restaurant meals.
When I dine while traveling, I make it a habit to scope out the local restaurants in advance and check their websites for the menu. I make a decision in advance whether it will be a regular meal or a more relaxed “free meal.” If it’s a free meal, I enjoy whatever I want, without a twinge of stress or regret (it’s part of the plan), but I always keep portion sizes in mind.
If you walk into a restaurant without having made a decision in advance whether you are committed to staying on your regular meals, you are much more likely to have a “diet accident” and make a poor choice on impulse. This is especially true if you’re influenced by non-healthy-eating companions (don’t under estimate the negative peer pressure factor).
Remember, all it takes is one unplanned cheat meal for things to start going downhill. One meal off the plan can lead to guilt. Then “all or none thinking” sets in and you may tell yourself, “Well, I blew it, so this whole week is shot.” You let loose at the next meal, and then the rest of the week’s meals tumble like dominoes.
6. Scope out local gyms and hotel fitness facilities in advance.
You don’t have to skip a beat in your training when traveling – all it takes is some planning.
Where are you going to train when you arrive at your destination? Naturally, this depends on your personality and favorite training style. I know quite a few people who are willing and able to train anywhere – even in their hotel room – even with no equipment at all. Some people pack resistance bands.
Bodyweight and band training is not my favorite style – I need to, want to and love to pump iron – but band and body weight exercises could be the ticket to help many other people stay fit when traveling (especially if you’re one of those middle-of-nowhere world-traveler types)…
Either way, if you want to stay in shape while traveling, I think everyone should learn how to do at least a handful of challenging body weight resistance exercises including pull ups, inverted rows (you can do them with a suspension trainer or even under a table), push ups, dips, one legged squats, Bulgarian split squats and of course, an assortment of abdominal and core exercises.
Almost all hotels at least have cardio machines in their gyms (if not, stairwells = great cardio). Cardio is also easy to do outdoors, weather permitting.
A little mini-rant: About those hotel “gyms”… I sometimes want to go back to the concierge, smack him upside the head and say, “You said you had a gym. That’s not a gym, that’s a workout room!” (more like a workout closet!)
What’s most bizarre to me is those workout rooms with one weight training machine… and it’s something like a deltoid lateral raise? If you only had room for one machine, wouldn’t you get a multi-purpose machine like a cable station or functional trainer that lets you do multiple exercises?
Sometimes you get lucky, like I did during one stay at the Hilton in San Francisco (they had free weights – including plenty of 45 pound plates… Score!) That was a rare treat, but if you’re counting on the hotel gym, I’d suggest calling and asking what equipment they have, so you know in advance.
My style? GOLD’S GYM! Why? Because it’s the original body-builder’s gym…
My last trip: I chose my hotel based on: Kitchen, proximity to supermarket, proximity to Gold’s Gym. The gym was a 5 minute drive from the hotel – so close it was even walkable. It took only minutes to scope this out on the internet, and a quick phone call to confirm details.
Of course, I can’t always find a Gold’s, but if not, all I do is look for a gym with a complete free weight area, so my training is always business as usual.
7. Learn resistance band and bodyweight resistance training
8. Walk, bike or make physical recreation part of your travel plans.
Brisk walking or hiking, especially up and down hills, certainly might count as “formal cardio”, but I typically put walking in the N.E.A.T. category. However, it never hurts to get some extra activity, and all physical activity burns calories and provides some health benefits.
During one of my trips last year, I spent an entire afternoon hiking in the hills of a beautiful national park. On another trip, I rented a bike and rode for miles along a beach-side bike path. That certainly counts as outdoor cardio. On my recent trip, I spent an entire day walking through museums and then sightseeing (that was more like NEAT, but it can really add up – I walked for hours).
I’ve found that more often than not, when I am on the road, whether for business or pleasure, there are plenty of opportunities to get some physical recreation and see the sights by foot.
9. Make every travel fitness problem a non-recurring event
Even well laid plans can have a wrench thrown in the works due to unexpected events, ranging from flight delays to seminars or meetings running late. Don’t beat yourself up – it’s not your fault if that happens… once. If it happens twice… then you can look in the mirror at who is to blame for the recurring problem.
Years ago, I learned from Thomas Leonard, who was often credited as founder of the personal-coaching movement, that you should “turn every problem into a non-recurring event.”
Unexpected problems will happen. When they do, you should not only create a contingency plan in case that happens again, but do what Leonard recommended: “Overreact” by taking up to 10 steps to make sure nothing even remotely like that ever happens again. Brilliant! And it works!
My original inspiration for the Burn The Fat travel challenge…
Several years ago, I was talking with my training partner – who is a huge fan of pro bodybuilding – about how the pros not only “stay in shape” with so much international travel, but actually travel from contest to contest on the professional bodybuilding circuits. I didn’t understand how they pulled that off, but they do. That got me thinking….
I used to be one of those guys who dreaded training and eating right while on the road and thought it was too hard to bother…
But if those bodybuilders could peak for international competition while literally hopping from one airplane and hotel to the next, I said to myself, then what’s stopping me from at least maintaining or preferably, improving a little bit? Indeed! That’s what inspired me to stop complaining and start training and eating like a champion, no matter where in the world I found myself.
The Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle “Travel Challenge”
Every time you travel and the thought “How will I stick with my nutrition and training” pops into your head, remember this article and do the travel challenge!
Now you know how to stay in shape while traveling… or even improve yourself while traveling.
Use some of the tips from this article and in the comments below, let us know how it goes, or share some of your own favorite travel fitness tips and how you have successfully stayed on your plan or gotten in better shape when you’ve traveled before. If you have a tasty portable meal/recipe that’s perfect for travel, share that below as well.
Train hard and Expect Success!
Author of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
Founder and CEO, Burn the Fat Inner Circle
PS. The Burn the Fat travel challenge is something you can do on your own, all year round. Several times a year, on specific dates, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle sponsors a 12 week body transformation challenge. Thousands of people have entered since we started doing it back in 2009. If you’re a Burn the Fat reader, you are invited to join is for the next challenge. To see the contest calendar visit this page: www.BurnTheFatChallenge.com
Bonus Tip: Having a local friends in the area who’s versed in BFFM and willing to feed you.
Heh… Best strategy of all: BFFM meals made FOR you! (Thanks for the hospitality and the anabolic dinner, bud!)
Way too many carbs… didn’t you know that fruit makes you fat ;) hehe.
Great advice Tom. Love Marc’s bonus tip ;)
I find that most hotel gyms have some dumbbells, although they rarely go above 50lbs. I use it as an excuse to slow down and control my movements… enhance that mind-muscle connection.
Plenty of protein! Eggs were in the fridge… and didnt you see the chicken breast? :-) re: 50 lb dumbbells – I thought you just held two dumbbells in each hand – a 50 and a 40 :-0
ha! You are a meathead ;)
Oh, there’s the chicken breasts hiding in the background.
Booked for a week’s self-catering next June. Know where everything is (check) Get other half on board with clean eating (check: I deserve a medal for that bit!) The only drawback (and main focus of 6 months’ intensive planning/brainstorming): his parents are coming along. Anyone got any tips for dealing with the deep-fried bacon woman?!
Emma (: The most important thing *I8 have ever learned from *Tom venuto* is *GENTLE HONESTY AT ALL COSTS*!! -fmhty (: If this does not work (: *NOTHING WILL*!! ): xoxoxo
This drove my girlfriend mad (especially since she is vegetarian) but on our trip to Rome I used the blender in the hotel kitchen to blend chicken and broccoli. Because it was the middle of summer I stayed hydrated and didn’t miss a meal.
Really – a “chicken and broccoli shake”? Dare I ask how it tasted? I have in fact, heard of “tuna shakes” before (they are “infamous” in certain bodybuilding circles) but chicken and broccoli shake? That’s a new one to me… I guess you could blend ANYTHING if you wanted to…
Yeah it wasn’t good. I don’t plan on having another one any time soon. I have not heard of tuna shakes, I don’t think I want to know that one. Also because I was abroad there was no gym around, if you ask the hotel they usually let you borrow a sack of potato’s. Not a great muscle builder but gets the heart pumping.
Another strategy is to use planned overtraining sessions prior to leaving (for advanced trainees, who have the time). Something like Thrice a day training for 5 days, followed by 5 full rest days. Of course,you have to care of the diet.
Alright, I’ll bite. How do you make a tuna shake?
Oh boy, we’re getting way off topic, LOL. For the record, I’ve never made one or drank one and trust me, it is not in any of my recipe books. But if you must know…. just google “tuna shake baby!” (LOL)
When I am going to visit a family member or close friend for an extended period of time, I’ll order a large container of my favorite protein powder online and have it shipped directly to their house. That way I know I’ll at least have something until I can get to a grocery store and I don’t have to worry about packing it.
I’ve done this before when staying with family. It’s a great idea for planning ahead!
When I am out of my “comfort zone”, even if it’s just staying at the in-laws across town for a weekend, I plan meals ahead. Getting to a gym has been the easy part when traveling since most gyms offer a day pass, 3-day pass, etc. Food is the killer! Oatmeal in portioned out ziplock baggies, packets of tuna, individual serving cups of peanut butter, even small baggies of seasoning so I’m not tempted to just load my tuna up with a lot of salt. Most places I have traveled have adequate access to grocery stores to load up on perishables but I like to pack the above staples just in case, then I have a safe go-to. Being one of those girls that carries a huge purse you could live out of, I always have packets of almonds in my purse so I don’t die if I’m stuck in a carb/sugar infested building.
During a recent trip across country I found myself in a hotel with 18 floors. I was with my family and several other of my buddies that I like to workout with. They had a nice gym with plenty of weights and we used those on one day. The next day we took advantage of the stairwells. We started at the basement. We ran up one flight and back down and then did 18 burpees. Ran up two flights of stairs and back down and then did 17 burpees. Then ran up three flights of stairs and back down then did 16 burpees. The pattern continued. It was an awesome workout. I’m glad I had friends there to share it with. I did not make it to the 18th floor. I was completely exhausted after 16. My son and my trainer made it to the top and completed all 18 rounds. Two others quit before I did. I felt quite accomplished and completely wonderful.Burpees and stairs-a great combination.
When I traveled last year during the Holiday contest, I planned ahead and packed snacks for on the road in a small cooler. I checked into hotels with either a fitness room or a swimming pool. I kept track of my calories and micronutrients so I could figure out what I needed to eat to have a balanced day. It worked out really well. I lost.8# fat and gained 1.1# muscle during that week!
When I traveled last year during the Holiday contest, I packed good snacks for the road trip and made sure I ate every 3-4 hours. I stayed in hotels with either a fitness room or a swimming pool. I tracked my calories and micronutrients so I could plan my next meal and keep it balanced. Ilost .8# fat and gained 1.1# muscle during that week so it was successful!
Excellent advice, Tom. I am a frequent traveler to some remote locations and have suffered from some inadequate planning in the past. Not any more. Thanks.
I loved getting all these great traveling ideas. For me, the #1 thing I’m going to start w/ is a positive attitude. I have to believe to achieve, right? I’ll be in the secluded mountains of W. Va. & plan on doing a lot of uphill wogging. As a beginner w/ free weights, 15 lbs. will do me nicely for lunges, squates etc.(driving down). Staying w/ the MIL will be rough as far as the nutrition goes. She piles the food on your plate & bakes way too many goodies for the holidays!!! Not to leave out the night time tv eating the whole family will do. Geeze, the temptation could be torture, but I’m starting the mindset now. I will be victorious over social holiday eating, I will be victorious over social holiday eating, I will be victorious over social holiday eating, I will be victorious over social holiday eating……protein shakes & bars are already bought. Taking my blender for green shakes & smoothies. Bring it on. :-)
When staying in a hotel, I enjoy using the stairs for cardio. I can usually improvise a good workout with whatever equipment is offered, or my own bodyweight. However, if my stay is more than a day or two, I throw an old bench and a few free weights in the back of the truck and take my gym with me. My family knows that I will be relaxed and ready to embark on travel adventures after a good workout (and coffee). As for nutrition, unhealthy eating during transit is a great temptation for me. So, I pack plenty of unsweet tea, fruit, and nuts, and I indulge in my favorite on-the-road sandwich, crunchy peanut butter and banana on Ezekiel bread.
I always walk everywhere when I travel. I walk from the hotel to the nearest grocery store to stock up for food for my room, I walk to my meetings, I walk to meals, etc. The extra activity helps if I cannot keep up with my usual workouts due to the lackluster hotel “gym”. I also always pack a bowl/plate so I can eat whatever I get at the grocery store!
String cheese is a really great portable snack.
I, too, am a walker–especially when, even after having asked about the gym beforehand, discover my description and the hotel’s differ vastly (do the employees even look?) Homemade jerky is a lifesaver.
(And I’ve heard of tuna shakes, thanks to certain folks that belonged to the gym I did, plus a Navy SEAL website. Go figure.)
do you have a home-made jerky recipe for us? ;-)
Hmm. I’m a jot-and-tittle sort of cook, in spite of my intense desire to learn French technique. For jerky, select very lean beef–fat adds flavor to steaks and prime rib, but it goes rancid in very little time for preserved items. Freeze until stiff, but still slice-able. Cut into thin slices. Marinate in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce (I favor Tamari), garlic powder, plus whatever strikes your fancy. I’m a big fan of Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, but if you are intent on limiting salt, by all means choose what you like (lemon-pepper might be dandy). Marinate overnight, then dry in a dehydrator, or very low temperature oven(200 degrees F). Experimentation is good. How long does it take? Varies–if it matches your favorite commercial variety in texture it’s probably good. Refrigeration is still encouraged, although I often leave at room temperature.
This has been my issue since starting the holiday challenge.For the last 2 weeks going on 3, I’ve been out of town. I bring most of my food with me. On sunday I do my shopping. Fire up the grill with 12 chicken breast ( lean) and cook my dinners. Lunchmeat (turkey) whole wheat bread, bananas,apples protein bars,milk ,a weeks worth of whey protein and hope they have a decent breakfast.I request a fridge and microwave for my room. What has been the most challenging has been going from 1st shift to 3rds. I use to workout in the afternoon ,now I’m workout in the morning. It’s been tough working sometimes 12 hours a day and then go workout but you just have to do it. All of my progress has been on the road. It can be done if you want it bad enough.
1. Outside walking, jogging, or running always is always available — except in the worst weather. If you aren’t hypersensitive to boredom, a few laps around the hotel (or inside the hotel) will do the trick.
2. Body weight exercises need no equipment.
3. If your room has just a refrigerator, you can store healthier food, like roast beef and other deli fare, and veggies from a local super market.
4. If your room lacks even a mini-refrigerator, cheap styrofoam ice chests usually can be purchased. Fill with ice from the hotel’s ice maker every day or so. Instant cool storage. Abandon the ice chest when you leave.
5. Most burger chains have “protein style” burgers which have no bun and may be wrapped in lettuce. Hold the cheese, please. Extra tomatoes and onions (unless you need to spare others). Salads are available from most chains known for their junk food.
6. I am so grateful to live in a country where we have to really think about what we should eat, rather that just finding any food to stay alive.
Thanks so much for reminder of ‘no excuses’!
Since my in-laws eat out every meal, I try to plan and bring as much food with me as I can. I also have a container of oatmeal at their house. I also bring a kettlebell and a pair of dumbbells so that I can still get in a workout or two.
As a military family our last move had us in hotels for six weeks. We had four children and one dog with us, and while we had terrific gyms on the bases, I couldn’t always leave the kids to go work out. I invested in some Bodylastics and LOVED them. I would much rather have had my dumbbells, but for a cramped (very cramped) hotel room in the middle of winter, the bands worked beautifully. When boredom struck, I used my laptop for videos to freshen things up. Oh, as an added bonus, I was able to use the bands in the car and at rest stops! (When you are 70 lbs overweight and on a roll, you don’t stop simply because you are moving cross country!)
I’m an anxious flyer, so the airport/airplane are dangerous territory for me going off BFFM and comforting myself with sugary high-cal foods, wine or a cocktail, etc. To counter this I “treat” myself when I get to the gate to a non-fat latte (almost all airports have some kind of espresso bar these days) and a healthy power bar I’ve brought with me. This may not sound like much of a treat, but since I usually drink my coffee black and almost never eat processed foods like power bars, this routine gives me an illusion of indulgence that helps calm me down. Also, I try to remember the advice from Tom’s book that “hunger is not an emergency.” I observe many people who get to the boarding gate area and make a beeline for the pan pizzas, giant pastries, etc. and then accept whatever nuts, cookies or other small snacks are still on offer on flights — as if they may never get another good meal. I just put up with a little hunger and look forward to lunch or dinner at my destination.
I always ask for the top floor, and in the back… then use the stairs. I leave my stuff in the car to go to the room first and carry everything up with one in each hand only (and NO strolling). I also prepare ahead of time by getting a map of the area and highlighting routes to the grocery store,walking if possible. And when I am downstairs at the gym or wherever. I always look for interesting people that I can meet at the workout center later.
Since I work in areas with limited accommodations that have no gyms, I always use whatever alternatives are available. Body weight exercises in the room using the furniture. My backpack has a looped hand hold on top, so I fill it up and lift like a dumbbell. I can always pack a jump rope but sometimes the ceiling may be too low in the room. When staying in the city I go outside and use the overhead walkways to do stair climbing routines. The downsides are cramped hotel rooms, complaints about jumping up and down from lower floors and the easy decision to lie in bed too long. But it never fails that if I get in a 20 minute routine my day is much better.
This was a timely article for me. Of course it is all common sense but sometimes you just need someone else to lay it out for you.
I am travelling to a ski resort for the holidays and am also participating in the Holiday Challenge. I needed some ideas or someone just to say its Ok to take pre made food on the plane with you.
It’s funny I have also been visualising my shopping to look exactly like in the photos.
I guess it also gave me the body weight exercise ideas which I will do too!
For traveling, Tom’s apple cinnamon protein pancakes or creamy vanilla protein pancakes are my favorite. I also take protein powder, nuts (almonds, etc.), pre-portioned bags of oatmeal, stevia for sweetener, and protein powder, and some pre-washed apples (each apple in its own bag with a napkin). If I need to take all of my protein with me because I don’t think I’ll be able to cook once I get there, I’ll cook and freeze chicken breasts and/or turkey burgers ahead of time and take them with me in a cooler.
I often find myself at all day trainings and at the mercy of their buffet. Your article gave me courage to plan ahead and bring my ow. Thanks
There are a whole bunch of good ideas on here, although I was really hoping for some yummy recipe’s too. Like that Home made Beef Jerky???
Anyway, my favorite recipe lately is for my Pita Pocket Turkey Pizza. It’s really easy and can easily be changed up to fit ‘your’ macro’s. I like it hot or cold.
Pita Pocket Turkey Pizza
Thomas Sahara Pita Pockets-100% whole wheat-2 loaf
Shaws Pizza sauce-1/8 c
President Fat Free Feta cheese- 2 0z
Shaws reduced fat mild cheddar cheese-1/2 c
Turkey 99% lean ground, cooked- 4oz
Total Macros for both equals:
I know!… where are all the portable recipes gang! come on! :-)
(thanks for sharing yours Barbara)
No Problem Tom! :)
I forgot to put how to cook it..LOL..as if anyone needs this..I mean it is Pizza after all but..just in case..
I turn on the oven to 400 deg F. Then get out all the ingredients and make them up…dividing each ingredient onto the two pita pockets. I use a cookie sheet. Then, place in the oven for between 8 and 10 min. That’s it! I don’t even pre heat the oven..waste of energy ;)
I travel about 600-800 miles a week in my car and live out of a hotel during the week. I actually pack a travel cooler that I keep in my car with half sandwiches like chicken or or turkey loaded with veggies on it. I alos pack greek yogarts suchas chobani, fruit, and almonds. I have loads of water in there also. Evenothough the hotel has a free breakfast most of it is not healthy but i have convinced them to carry oatmeal now so ihave that in the morning, with a high protein yogart, then during the day i have my half sandwiches and fruit to snack on. I very rarely eat out even on the raod travelling unless I run out of food and the first option is i find a grocery store to stock waht i need just till i get home. Seems like alot of work but not really. I pack the night before i leave grab the cooler on the way out in the morning. It also helps me control how many calories since i have to make all fit in the small travle cooler that is sitting on the passenger seat so i can get into it when needed-just reach over unzip the top feel for what i need and done.
I think the biggest key to progressing while on the go is wanting to progress bad enough to not give in to “playing the trip by ear”. Tom is right, it requires pre-planning to eat right on the go, and to sit down and pre-plan requires commitment and desire. Desire it and commit to it (that’s my foremost advice).
As far as eating, I have an Igloo Playmate cooler that easily holds 6 divided tuperwares (1/3, 2/3 division) that you can pick up at Walmart super cheap. I use the 1/3 division for my carbs and the 2/3 for my meat. Pick up some Great Value 3lb Chicken Breast while you’re at Walmart for around $7/3lbs (a good deal on lean protein in my opinion) and also pick up a box of Post Shredded Wheat Original Big Biscuit and a box of Great Value Knock-off Cheerios (they are whole wheat with no added sugar). Cook your chicken the night before and pack out six tuperwares with your chicken and either Shredded Wheat or whole wheat fake Cheerios and you’ve got yourself six easy A/B Food meals for on the go. I use this setup all the time and it works great. Never underestimate the value of commitment + tuperware/cooler combo- it’s professional grade.
Wish I’d have seen this email, 2 weeks ago!!!!! Stayed with family, the food side I was able to control to a certain extent but exercise went out the window. The weather was minus 5 some days and slippy under foot. It made it a little tricky to get out and walk. During the summer I was able to walk everyday when I went to visit my family. So kept my weight static. (I did eat more because I was on holiday)! I wasn’t so lucky this time and I have the feeling certain people want to sabotage my efforts!!!! The only good thing I can say is that I am home now and determined I will not slip any further. I will get myself back on track. Thanks Tom for all this great and positive info you pass along. It gives me a lift, when things get tough.
Thanks for the tips, I can sure use them. This is one of my biggest struggles, going off the diet and exercise schedule while I am traveling. I always say I will stick to it but never do. Especially the food, I do not do well if having to eat in restaurants.
Great tips Tom. I’m a guy who travels a lot and have got very good at staying in shape and even improving while on the road. For exercising on the move I highly recommend the Bodylastics resistance bands….they are far more effective than a suspension trainer and way more convenient. You can attach it almost anywhere and the sets go up to 400lbs…strong enough for anyone and you can simulate most gym/free weight exercises with this system.
Hey its great if you can find a Gold’s gym wherever you go and can afford to pay the expensive fees but if not this system is about the best you can get. It has been a lifesaver for me