If you don’t know me, you should know that I did my first competition prep while traveling 85%. I still travel that much! Managing nutrition on the road is one of the most challenging things ever. Especially in sales. We are usually asked to go to dinners, have a few glasses of wine, meet clients, etc. Temptation is literally everywhere. When we travel we forget to drink fluids, binge on airport food, and spend nights indulging with coworkers. I made these mistakes early on, and here’s what I learned: you have to plan. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way:
Do your research: Carefully research your hotel. My preferred hotel chain is Marriott, and they have the Residence Inn, which has mini kitchens. (These are awesome, especially in prep)
When researching your hotel, you should find out the following:
- Does it have a hotel gym or do they have an agreement with a nearby gym?
- Does it have a microwave or do they charge a fee to get one? (some do this,
- Do they have a concierge lounge (complimentary waters, biatch!)
- Does the room have a kitchen?
- What restaurants are nearby? Do they have healthy options? Is it something you can suggest for a business meeting?
Pack emergency snacks. Holy crap!? Need I say more. When you are traveling, YOU WILL get hungry. Have snacks on hand like quest bars, rice cakes, or fruit. If you forget emergency snacks, there are usually coffee shops with cups of fruit. Opt for those.
Pack a water bottle. Fill it up as soon as you get through security and fill it up all day long. You can gain around 5 lbs of water weight from the air. It’s so jacked up, but the more you water you intake, the more that goes out.
Avoid planning meetings around drinks: This isn’t always possible, but if you are serious about weight loss, you really need to cut back on drinking. For those of you that are groaning, understand that drinking not only slows progress, but can cause a major binge the next day. Coming back from a binge can take weeks.
That being said, It can make people uncomfortable when you show up for happy hour and then don’t want to drink. When I was in prep, I tried to plan lunch meetings instead of “dinner and drinks.” It avoids the uncomfortable, “Why aren’t you drinking?” question.
- Tip: If you can’t avoid a happy hour meeting, try having just one drink with a glass of water. You could also get there early and order club soda in a rocks glass. Carry it around all night and no one knows the difference!
I swear to god. Don’t open the menu: This trick sounds totally insane, but I am a sucker for temptation. I have no will power. In order to completely avoid making a poor choice, look up the restaurant menu before you even go in the door. Make sure it is calorie friendly and don’t even open the menu when you get there. This eliminates temptation for you. Most popular restaurants list their menus online, but if you aren’t here’s a good rule of thumb.
Clean protein: (chicken or steak) + clean carb (veggies or salad) + light in fat (dressing, sauce, or maybe the chicken is cooked in a little oil) = usually a good choice.
For example: I might have
4 oz filet mignon + asparagus
chicken + salad with light balsamic on the side.
Also restaurants like using a lot of salt so please please drink a lot of water.
Lastly, make time to workout: When I first started my job, we had a company meeting and there was barely anytime to workout. I was really afraid that I wouldn’t look focused or people would judge me if I took time to go to the gym. When I got down to the fitness center, I saw one of the female executives on the treadmill. I told her I felt bad that I was working out so early in the day. She turned to me and said,
“We work so many hours in this job, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll go insane. Make time to make it a priority and don’t be sorry.”
It’s easy to want to work around the clock when you travel. I won’t lie when I say I have jogged to a fitness facility at 4am, but I am usually graced by the presence of top executives. I’ve learned that successful people make health a priority, and much like their work lives; they don’t make excuses.
I hope these tips have helped you in your fitness journey. Do you have any other tips you’ve picked up?! Leave them in the comments below!