Ask The Fitness Jewell: How Do I Eat Healthy While Traveling?

Travel doesn't have to be the death of your diet. A little bit of planning and some strategic packing will make you feel at home no matter where you are!

I've got a business trip coming up and I'm worried about how to eat clean on the road. You must travel a ton. How do you do it?

I'm on the road as I type this, so I know just the feeling you're describing. I attended a fitness expo last month that required me to travel from Los Angeles to Dallas for three days. Coincidentally, I was also one week away from stepping on stage at the WBFF World Championships in Las Vegas. People told me this was crazy, and that it would be impossible to stay on my contest prep meal plan or even to eat healthy while on the road.

Quite honestly, I hadn't given it a second thought, I'm so accustomed to being on the move. I'm always stocked with healthy eats wherever I am, so for me travel is no different from any other week at home. This is the mental approach I advise you to take to keep your abs and your frequent flyer miles.

Whether you're traveling for work, pleasure, or are just "on the go" more often than standing still, you can maintain your healthy habits with just a bit of effort and planning. Here's how.

Option 1: Same Meals, Different Town

Staying on track with 4-6 healthy meals per day and buying each of those meals at restaurants adds up quickly. Don't break the bank! Pack the essentials for preparation and convenience, and then modify your meals accordingly. Many hotels offer refrigerators in their rooms, so call ahead and inquire if one is already in yours.

Even if the answer is "no," the majority of hotels out there do have them available and can move one into your room upon request. Don't be afraid to ask —it's the only way to get what you need!

When you're committed to fitness and clean eating in today's modern world, you can sometimes feel like a stranger wherever you are.

With a fridge in your room, make the most of your "home away from home" mindset. Think about it this way: When you're committed to fitness and clean eating in today's modern world, you can sometimes feel like a stranger wherever you are. If you're someone who preps your meals at home every week and carts them around with you, why would you not take them with you to travel?

"Um, because of the NSA!" you say? I've never once had a problem going through airport security with the frozen packs and food in my bag. If that's a concern, then throw that bag in your checked luggage, and bring however many meals you will need for the duration of your flight with you in your carry-on. The money you save should outweigh the expense of checking a bag.

If it's just a short trip, pack a few extra Tupperware dishes with you, grab whatever you typically carry your meals in during the work week, like Six Pack or Fitmark bags, and pack it full of however many of your typical meals you can. This should work for overnight trips, and it'll give you a great head start on a longer one.

Option 2: Grab and Go

If bringing pre-packed meals isn't an option, or you don't want to pay to check an extra bag, use these "grab and go items" that are even easier to travel with. They'll all fit in a suitcase, and no food prep is necessary!

Grab-and-Go Travel Food

Protein pancakes, you say?

You heard me! These bad boys travel well, and they have helped me stay on track countless times. Depending how many days I'll be on the road, I always pack two protein pancakes per day of travel. And as a bonus, they help curb my sweet tooth, preventing me from raiding the hotel mini-bar. (Yes, I'm human, and having direct access to a fridge stocked full of candied nuts, chips, candy and other snacks I wouldn't typically have around has tempted me a time or two.)

Here's how to make them:

Hit the Road Jacks Recipe

  1. Mix ingredients and cook on stove as you would a normal pancake. Make a large batch so you have multiple meals ready to go. Breakfasts and snacks, at your service!

Hit the Road Jacks Recipe PDF (37.1 KB)