How to Eat Healthy & Stay in Shape While Traveling

Maintaining healthy habits can be challenging enough when you stay close to home, but when business travel or vacation is added to the mix, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can be even more difficult. As someone who does a lot of traveling, I can personally tell you that eating healthy while traveling is not as easy as it may seem. However, there are easy ways to work around all of your typical healthy eating obstacles while still enjoying the local delicacies of the city/country you are visiting.


Tips for Eating Healthy

Pack way more snacks than you think you should

Packing a lot of snacks is the key to keeping your diet regular while you’re traveling. Staying ahead of hunger with quick bites such as; trail mix, protein bars, dried nuts, and fruits helps  to make healthier food choices throughout the rest of the trip.

Pack snacks into baggies to prevent overeating #portion-control

As for how many snacks you should bring, it depends on how long you’ll be traveling for. Plan accordingly, and divide big bags of things like nuts and trail mix into single servings so that you don’t accidentally eat through your stash before the trip is over.

Don’t skip breakfast

You should always try to have breakfast before you start a day on the road, whether you’re traveling by plane, train, boat, or car. That way, you won’t have to resort to whatever breakfast foods the airport or train station is selling—which might not appeal to you or might not be that satisfying. Plus, a nutritious breakfast will keep you energized which will ensure you’re ready to take on the day’s travels.

Commit to eating veggies with every meal, even when you’re ordering out

No matter where you’re eating while you travel, try to make at least half of what you eat vegetables. That way you can enjoy the local delicacies alongside a veggie dish. This trick works especially well at buffets, where the food isn’t always of the finest quality, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on something delicious by opting for vegetables instead.

Scope out restaurants with nutritious stuff you’ll want to eat ahead of time

Researching restaurants with nutritious options ahead of time can help you stay on track. Star them in your phone, that way when you maybe get overwhelmed by the stress of traveling, you’ll already have these places locked and loaded, so you won’t have to overthink finding the stuff you consider healthy. Check out my blog on 15 healthy tips for eating out that can be applied while traveling!

Tips for Exercising

Pack the right clothes

You can start planning ahead of time to stay on top of your exercise routine by packing the right clothes. There is nothing worse than getting to a destination and realizing you don’t have any comfortable clothes to workout in. This is a simple and easy way to set yourself up for success for exercising while traveling!

Do bodyweight exercises

Just because you don’t have access to a gym doesn’t mean you don’t have the equipment you need for a great workout. By doing bodyweight exercises, such as jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and sit ups, you can still get their blood flowing as if you had actually hit the gym. This is also an excellent way to workout when you are in a time crunch.

Go for a walk with a friend or co-worker

If you don’t have time to go to the gym or do bodyweight exercises, taking a walk with a friend or co-worker is a great way to get your blood flowing and also allows you to explore the city that you are visiting.


Tips for Sleep

Sleep Strategically

Three days before you’re scheduled to travel, begin moving your bedtime an hour earlier (or later, as appropriate) than you normally would. Add another hour the second evening, and a third hour on the third day. It takes one day per time zone for your body to adjust, so planning ahead can help ease the transition.

Abide by the two-day rule

If you’re going to be staying somewhere fewer than two days, try and keep to your own schedule. By the time your body adapts, it’ll be time to come home.

Move your body

When you’re ready to begin the day,  taking a warm shower and heading outside for exercise to signal your body that it’s time to get going. Increasing core body temperature is a trigger for your circadian rhythm.

Plan your schedule ahead of time

If you are planning to stay up late one night while traveling, just make sure to not plan anything too early the following day if possible. The same goes for if you need to wake up early one morning, try to get to bed a little earlier the night before. Planning your activities ahead of time will allow you to stick to a good sleep schedule.


The Bottom Line

Don’t worry about perfection.

Traveling, whether it’s for business or pleasure can get hectic. The most ideal situation or food might not be readily accessible. Plan as much as you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a situation where all you have available is less than ideal. Also, be sure to make the most out of the little success. If you didn’t have time for the gym, but were able to take a walk, consider that a success, not a failure.

If you look at your options as a continuum of good-better-best rather than good and bad, you will be able to make the better choices when it comes to your health while traveling!

What are some personal tips you would add to this list? Let me know in the comment below.

4 thoughts on “How to Eat Healthy & Stay in Shape While Traveling

  1. Great stuff Mackenzie! I know first hand that you “practice what you preach” #fitnessandwellbeing #budget #healthyfood #wellness

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