When feeling stressed while traveling, what do most people want to do to feel better? Eat! The airports have restaurants and snack shops everywhere. To combat coming back from your trip with an extra 10 pounds (and I'm not talking about heavier luggage), we should properly prepare. By planning ahead, I mean, bring some healthy foods with you on your trip. This can be a lot easier than most people think. If you are bringing a carry-on bag, you can easily make this work.
The main thing is to plan ahead. It just has to be a priority to pick these items up ahead of time. Either go to your local supplement store or buy them right here online. This part is really key. You must take action if you don't plan ahead, you will sabotage yourself. Remember the old saying, "if you fail to plan you plan to fail". Let me get off my soapbox and continue this article.
On our trip we simply brought 4 protein bars and 4 meal replacement packets and a shaker. I have found it helpful to actually place one of the shake packets in the shaker. This way it is more convenient to just open it up and use it.
I don't know about you but sometimes I crave a bar and sometimes I feel more like having a shake. I like to throw in some whole food meals between this if I can. Along with these items, it is a good idea to bring a 16oz to 32oz of water. If you forget, you can easily pick one up at the snack shop. There are many other ways to prepare food for your trip. Get creative and bring things that you enjoy. If it tastes good you will be more likely to stick with your plan.
While At The Airport
Now lets get you going on your trip. I'm assuming that you now have your supplements. You've picked your favorite bars and shakes. When at the airport, take out your shaker (put water in the shaker first), then, put the shake powder in. If you have ever put the powder in first, you know that it will stick to the sides more than if you put the water in first. After this is done just shake and drink. I have also found it helpful to actually be in the airport while doing this, not in the airplane. If you are in the airport you can then go to the washroom and rinse it out really good (After rinsing place a paper towel or two in the container, this will help from excess water leaking out). This way it is clean for next time and won't get that terrible smell that these containers can get if left unattended.
In The Air
The bars can be really convenient when you are in the air. I just ate an apple, some nuts and 2% milk (I requested skim milk because the profile was better, but they did not have it here). As far as the nuts, we actually had to pick them out of a nut/pretzel mix. Another good choice here would be the meal replacement drinks that are in the disposable containers. EAS, Met-Rx and Pure Protein offer a variety of these alternatives. You can bring fruit or a nut mix from home. The point is to bring something you will like and is easy to digest.
If you have time between connections, there are several good choices for real food alternatives. Many of the restaurants offer a chicken or fish salad. You will probably be better off going with a protein and vegetables. Watch the cooking oils and the sodium. You don't want to blow up like a fish. Try to eat light. The main reason is you are probable going to be less active than normal, so it would make sense to take in fewer calories than normal. If you make the mistake of going for a pastry or a big serving of pasta beware that you are stimulating your hormone insulin. If you do this you will store fat. Storing fat is not the objective here. We want to prevent you from storing fat.
Hydration Or Dehydration
Make sure you drink at least 8oz. of water before getting onto the plane and 16oz. for every hour you are in the air. I know this may sound like a lot. The air in the airplanes, are very dry. For this reason it is easy for you to get dehydrated. Now on our trip I have followed this simple rule, and I'll tell you that is quit a bit of water. Not to mention all the getting up to the bathroom. I have found it is very helpful to get up anyway and walk around. Each leg of our trip is about 2 1/2 hours in length. So it is actually nice to be to get up and walk around. Being dehydrated also slows down your metabolism. So why waste all your efforts in the gym on being dehydrated. So drink up! (The water anyway).
Alcohol And Caffeine
We were just talking about being hydrated, what does that have to do with alcohol and caffeine? It has a lot to do with it. Both of these substances will work against you trying to stay hydrated. So take it easy on both of these. Caffeine is one thing, but when we go to those specialty coffee shops many of the beverages are loaded with extra sugar, so beware (caffeine won't make you fat but alcohol and sugar will). If you decided to have some of these, drink more water.
At The Hotel
On our trip we are staying with family. Most of our travels we stay in a hotel. Well how should we handle this? Order everything on the room service menu right? No. Well, after all you have been working hard and your traveling away from home. This is good enough reason to PIG OUT right? Not a good idea if you want to keep your waist line, or at least keep it from getting any larger. Hopefully you have your back up of bars and shake in your luggage. I'm sure your going to want some "real food".
O.K. Let's order some type of protein, like fish or chicken or even a lean steak with steamed vegetables and/or a salad (with oil and vinegar). The restaurant at the hotel would be happy to prepare this for you. Also order a turkey sandwich, with low-fat mayo and/or mustard on the side. You should keep as a back up in your mini-fridge for when you get hungry later. Don't for get to keep drinking that water. Pick up a gallon or so along the way somewhere.
These are all suggestions. You can create your own plan. There are many ways to make your trips work for you not against you. You can pack nuts, fruits or a pop-open canned tuna. For supplements, you can bring the drinks that are already made. You just pop it open and drink. As I mentioned earlier, there are some meal replacement drinks that are already in a disposable container. You just drink then toss the container. The main thing is to have a plan and work your plan. An ounce of regret could weigh tons, especially when you get home to find you clothes don't fit the way they did before.