6 Ways to Fuel Your Body While Traveling
I repeat, fuel your body. Not "maintain your weight" or even "lose weight." This is about optimizing your energy during a time where it's often expelled, not worrying about how many units of force you expel onto the earth (aka weight). Just as vacations are often a reward for months of hard work, feeling great throughout the day is a result of planning and positive choices. I am by no means "perfect" at being healthy while I'm traveling, I face the same exact issues and temptations that many people do, especially those with a history of food or body-related insecurities. Below I've compiled what I think are 6 surefire ways to put your health first while traveling.
1. Walk as much as you can
Maybe you booked your trip with the idea of sitting poolside for 8 straight days in mind, but it's probably (and by probably I mean definitely) a good idea for you to incorporate some adventures into your day. After all, you're likely going to a place you've never been before and I can almost guarantee that you'll see and experience more of the location by walking it. Take advantage of Apple's Health app so you can track steps, distance traveled, sleep patterns, etc. and make it a game to compete with your friends and family!
2. Get a workout in in the morning
Yes, in the morning. Whether or not you're a "morning person," getting that sweat session in before you get your busy day started will ensure that you're a. getting the day started on the right off and b. that you can truly induldge for the rest of the day without having to worry about having enough energy to workout later. Because let's be real, you're probably going to eat more than you normally do, or at least different types of food/drinks, and not want to work out come evening. Or is that just me...?
3. Eat well so you can get that workout in
It took me way too long in life to realize that I like eating well so I can perform well during workouts, and not that I had to workout because I wasn't eating well. The balance between a healthy diet lifestyle and workout routine is truly cyclical. They completely influence one another and have to coexist in a way that supports and complements the other element. Think like yin and yang. That being said, eating well most of the time while you travel will certainly help you consistently get those workouts in throughout your trip.
It starts on the plane, too. I used to get anxiety thinking about being stuck on a plane for 6+ hours with only airplane food, until I realized there was 100% many things I could do about it. For one thing, I usually opt out of airplane meals. They're salty so they can stay preserved and so they'll taste good when microwaved, and often full of preservatives, gluten, etc. etc. I even read an article recently that said that flight attendants themselves get through flights by not eating at all because of what flying does to your digestive system! Sounds crazy, I know, but I honestly think I might try just hydrating like crazy on my next flight and eating good meals before and after and see how it goes. Read more about the flight attendant hydration theory here. For now, my go-to's have been bringing fresh fruit, veggies and trail mix with me to get me through the flight.
4. Minimize partying
WAIT DON'T LEAVE YET. I know, I'm sorry. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but hear me out. Partying often means alcohol, which means late nights, both of which make for hangovers and my least favorite thing on the face of this earth and everything in the universe for that matter: wasted time. If you're like me, you'd rather taking full advantage of a day and get a good night's sleep to keep that momentum going throughout my travels. Of course, there's a time and a place for celebrating, but whenever I have a few decent options of things to do in front me, partying is usually at the bottom of the list.
5. Try blending with the culture's eating habits
I noticed, in both Europe and Thailand, that people enjoy their food (including sugars, gluten, and all the other things that Americans seem to have deemed as the doom of our healthy existence) while still being healthy-looking. Of course, they might also tend to smoke a bit more or walk a lot more, and who really knows what their internal health is looking like? In terms of weight, though, these people eat as they please and still stay trim and able to walk. While on your trip, pay attention to the portions people eat, the manner by which they eat, and the timing of their meals. Most times, I see that food is a specific event of the day, with little to no distractions taking away from the quality of the meal and the time spent with company over the meal. It made me look at my eating habits back in LA, which are sometimes social, but often driven by a time-crunch or altered heavily by a diet restriction.
6. Be in the moment
It may be cheesy, but the only times when I find myself overeating is when I get too wrapped up in myself to enjoy the incredible opportunity that is traveling and seeing the world. Take a breath, look around you. Life is good!