Recently we’ve had a lot of clients who have come to us saying that they have an upcoming trip, and they’re starting to get really nervous about it, feeling like they won’t be able to stay on track with their goals while they’re away. As we always tell them, it can definitely be a challenge to stay on a meal-plan 100%, but with some careful planning, it can most certainly be done!
Here are a few tips to help make it easier than you’d think!
#1: Research ahead of time
It’s always best to know what supplies you’ll have on hand at your destination, so that you can plan ahead of time. If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to call ahead and ask if your room has a fridge/microwave. If not, sometimes they’ll accommodate your request for one!
Staying with a friend? Be sure to ask ahead of time if you can bring some things to keep in their fridge, and if there’s any chance you can visit a grocery store to pick up a few extra essentials when you get there, or better yet, they might offer to grab them for you!
#2: Freeze it
Preparing and freezing your meals can be the easiest way to carry them with you no matter where you go. Most airport security won’t let you use ice packs, but freezing all but your current day’s food allows you to kill two birds with one stone: carry your meals for the day while keeping them cold with your frozen food. If you have a fridge/freezer at your hotel/destination, then this is the best option for you. If not, you can even carry a freezer bag such as the one you use when you go grocery shopping, bring some Ziploc freezer bags, fill them with fresh ice every day, and you’ve got a portable fridge no matter where you go.
#3: Carry foods that don’t need a fridge
Even if you can’t carry your frozen meals with you, there are plenty of dry food options that you can carry with you in your checked baggage or carry on. Here are a few options to choose from:
Low sugar beef or turkey jerky
Homemade protein muffins (see our recipe!)
Homemade protein brownies (see our recipe!)
Canned flavored tuna
Rice cakes or chips
Oatmeal (pre-portion in baggies with stevia and cinnamon)
Whole grain tortillas, bread or bagels
Unsweetened shredded coconut (tastes great mixed in with oats, cereal or yogurt if you pick some up)
Peanut or almond butter
Then when you get there, it’s just a matter of picking up a few fresh things such as veggies or dairy, and you’re good to go!
#4: Think inside the box
Often “boxed foods” are considered to be bad for you, but in a pinch they can be quite handy! If you have chicken on your plan, but don’t have a place/time to cook it, then try out the Chicken Souvlaki Protinis Snack by Maple Leaf. While many of their protein snacks are quite high in sugar, this one packs only 2 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein per serving! Grab a couple of those and you’ve got a perfect on plan protein source.
Even places such as Subway, McDonalds or Applebees now have nutrition facts on their websites. So if fast food is the only option, you can make an informed choice and stay, for the most part, on plan.
When it comes to weight loss, the main thing is to focus on the nutrition label. Even if something might be processed, if it fits your plan then utilize that! The more open you are to making things convenient, the more feasible this lifestyle becomes.
#5: PORTION CONTROL!
Above everything else, whether you’re getting enough protein, whether you’re eating too many carbs, whether your food is fresh or processed, the most important thing in terms of weight loss is portion control! Keep your portions in check, avoid super high calorie foods, such as anything with heavy sauces or that are deep fried, and even if you don’t eat a single on plan item for a week, chances are you’ll still be making or maintaining progress. Losing weight isn’t just about eating healthy foods, it’s also about calories. So when you’re away from home don’t stress about eating foods that aren’t organic, farm raised etc., just focus on moderate portions, and you can stay on track with your goals almost anywhere you go.