5 Ways Travel Derails You
& 5 compact, lightweight fixes
We leave our comfort zone when we take a trip. But that doesn’t mean we need to neglect our weightlifting and eating habits. Here are the five most common problems we face when traveling — and their simple, solid solutions.
- Problem: How do I easily get protein?
Solution: Travel with two shaker bottles. Keep one empty for making shakes, and the other full of your favorite protein powder. (I’m a fan of Vega brand ‘Protein and Greens,’ available at Duane Reade/Vitamin Shoppe.)
- Problem: What about my other supplements?
Solution: I empty out 3 pill bottles, and fill them with: psyllium husk fiber powder, caffeine supplement, and creatine. I pack them in my luggage. I consume them as desired while traveling. (Same goes for protein, of course.)
- Problem: The local gym is ________ (insufficient; inconvenient; unavailable).
Solution: Getting to the gym is one of my first priorities, each day. If there are no gyms available, I already know that beforehand, from my earlier research on the area. If that’s the case, I have a home workout already lined up for myself.
I travel with a 50-60 lb “Monster Band.” I have used it as a makeshift weight belt for dips, when the gym I’m using doesn’t have a weight belt. (This particular use is highly advanced and poses safety risks.) The same band works: as added resistance for pushups; in place of cable chest presses; in lieu of dumbbells for bicep curls/overhead presses; and as a replacement for the leg abduction machine.
And, if I decide to skip a workout/s altogether, I **JUST OWN MY DECISION.** I enjoy the extra free time. I don’t sell myself a story that it was impossible to work out (because it’s always possible). I don’t wallow in guilt. And I don’t let the situation snowball.
- Problem: The people around me are not “watching what they eat.”
Solution: Leverage it to your advantage. Each morning, identify the meal/s or time/s of day that you’ll enjoy calorie-heavy foods. Those social meals will provide your carbs and fat for the day. Budget around that. The rest of the day, focus on low-calorie, protein- and fiber-adequate foods. Consider focusing, too, on no-cal and low-cal beverages (like coffee, tea, water).
- Problem: Where do I get food to eat on my own?
Solution: Keep it simple. Use the internet or simply your feet to find a nearby drugstore or market. (It’s never a bad idea to research your options before your trip.) Once inside that store, stock up on foods that are NOT triggering for you.
Right now, I just focus on canned or packeted tuna. Every local drug store I’ve come across carries these. And, if I needed to, I’d buy a can opener, at the same store. Best part: tuna doesn’t require refrigeration or special prep.
In the past, I’ve also purchased oats, and frozen fruit & veggies, when I know I have access to a fridge & microwave. You can always call ahead to a hotel, to ask whether your room would have these appliances. (The paper coffee cups that hotels provide, can double as little microwaveable oatmeal bowls. Plus: most frozen veggies can be microwaved in their package. And frozen fruit can be enjoyed straight from the bag, if you like.)
And finally, nuts are a no-fuss travel staple — provided they aren’t a trigger food for you.
All right! How did we do? Did I vanquish some stress and excuses?
Let me know: which of the solutions listed above will you employ on your next trip?