Travelling generally throws a persons schedule out of whack. It’s harder to exercise, you generally eat out more unless you’re staying at someone else’s house, and even at someone else’s house you don’t want to eat just anything – what if your dear ol’ granny needed that pear for dinner? Who knows.
I figured out a long time ago that you generally need to give yourself a break on vacation. You can’t keep everything the same because the environmental factors are not the same. I feel like once you accept that you can’t control the factors to make everything like it is at home, then you can begin to control what is controllable.
Exercising: I’m not the type to go for a jog when I am on vacation. It sucks in general, so why would I want to work out on vacation? Actually, I sort of like running… But not enough to do it on vacation. Jogging is not a vacation activity in my mind. So what to do? What to do? What to do? If you’re one of those people who really will go out for a jog or what ever while on vacation, I say go for it. Personally, I prefer to replace my typical workouts with things in the place I am visiting. You’ll notice I recently went to Whistler, so I ditched CrossFit and went snowboarding for 4 days in a row. In another place, I might go for a bike ride or I’ll go swimming in the ocean, kayaking, or hiking. Even if all you do is walk all over New York City all day then you’re going to be solid. I think if you’re a high end athlete who can’t afford to lose any time on your marathon training or figure skating training or what ever it is that you do, then my general advice probably won’t help you, but I think this is a good start. Take the pressure off to do things exactly like you do at home and do what you can with where you are.
Eating: Eating is probably the hardest thing when you are traveling. Like you get hungry and grab a chocolate bar or chips, or you end up just not eating right, or everything in a restaurant ends up feeling unhealthy even when it’s a salad. I think you can do your best.
What I have taken to doing is buying a lot of things like granola bars (my favourite are the Kind bars) and dried fruit. I will definitely get dried fruit when I go to a developing country because I found the last 2 times I went to a developing country that they just do not serve as much fruit and veggies as I am accustomed too and dried fruit is ok with customs – you cannot transport fresh fruit or meat across the Canadian-American border and I just won’t bother even trying if I am going to another country just in case. I get this dried fruit that is made by a fair trade, organic company and they don’t add any sugar or anything so it’s actually super healthy.
As for meals, I generally try to pick out as many healthy choices as possible. Try skipping the cheese burger or the chicken fingers and fries. Pick out the chicken breast and salad instead or the pasta. Try sharing the appetizers or big plates, definitely consider sharing the desserts or skip dessert all together. Personally I try to skip dessert most of the time when I am on vacation, I’d rather fill up on “healthy” things like the pasta. The pasta is probably still pretty calorie and fat loaded but I know I’ll feel better later by sticking to that than if I get a dessert. If I am really hungry I like to pick out an appetizer – and I try to get a healthier one like a salad or a brushetta instead of something “bad” like wings or other fried, oily things.
At the end of the day, it is all relative and you have to make the choices that’ll work better for you. Like I am going to put more effort into actively avoiding dairy on vacation than I could at home even though it’s just a natural choice to not bother with dairy at home. I have found a few small ways to minimize the damage while I am travelling – in some instances I have even lost weight while on vacation. I hope that sharing a few of my tips here will give my readers an idea about where to start to their own travelling food and exercise choices. Best of luck and have a great day.