On the Road: How to keep up with your fitness and nutrition while away from home by Susanne Milner

I love to travel and consider it a hobby of sorts.  I travel for pleasure and for work. Since I changed jobs last year, I’ve been traveling more for work.  For most of us, work travel is a reality which has its perks but can also take us away from our regular diet and fitness regimes.

While it is challenging to maintain your diet while on the road, there are strategies that can help you to maintain your weight loss and even help you drop pounds while on the road. My first test of maintaining my diet while on the road came this October for a work trip to the Toronto area.   I consulted with my trainer, Sophie, who gave me some excellent tips and I’ve developed some of my own. Here they all are:

     1. Hotel Choice

Sometimes you’ll be able to choose your own hotel and if this is the case, having a kitchenette and a fridge in your room are both good tools for staying on track.    A fridge allows you to stock certain items like greek yogurt, which makes for a healthy, protein-filled snack or quick breakfast. A fridge also provides a way to take those  leftovers from your dinner out into the office for lunch the next day.    If you are lucky enough to have a kitchenette and can pick up some groceries, then you can prepare meals much like you would at home.

2. Breakfast Buffet

OK, so, maybe you didn’t prepare breakfast and you are indulging in the hotel’s breakfast buffet.  No worries, here’s how to tackle it like a champ. Stick to your fruit and veggies and your proteins here.  Most breakfast buffets have fruit salad, yogurt, granola, eggs, breakfast meats and peanut butter.   Skip out on the carbs found at the cereal and waffle bars and yes, those fluffy pancakes.  If you start your day with good carbs and proteins, that should hold you until lunchtime or at the very least break time.

3. Snacks

Packing healthy snacks is another essential element to maintaining your weight loss.  You’ll most likely be tempted to grab something at the airport or on the plane but save some loonies and some calories by planning ahead.  Dry goods like beef jerky, protein bars, nuts and even some dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage can stave off hunger and keep cravings at bay.  

4. Fitness Centres

Most hotels are equipped with swimming pools and fitness centres.  Take a look at your hotel website or call ahead to find out what equipment is available. Consult with your trainer to see if you can alter your current training program to fit in with the equipment available.  Making the extra 30 minutes to an hour to fit in your regular workout will give you even more energy for your busy days on the road.

5. Trials/Drop-Ins at Local Gyms

Many gyms offer trials, day-rates or even group buying deals so you can access some great fitness classes while you are away from home.  I was able to try a gym near one of my hotels for three days and on another trip, I went directly to a fitness studio I found through Groupon.  By going to them directly, I received an even better trial deal through the owners.  Since I prefer group glasses to a solo gym workout, this is my usual method of keeping up with my workouts while on the road.

6. Walking

If you can plan your days out in advance or wake-up earlier, you’ll find you can fit in at least one 30 minute-walk while on the road.   If you are travelling in an urban centre and have the time, skip the public transit, park your rental car and walk to your meetings and appointments instead.  You’ll see more of the city this way and before you know it, you've increased your daily activity level.

If all of the above fails, get back on track when return home and don’t be too discouraged if you weren't able to keep up your regular routine.  It’s just a blip and you’re still making positive changes in your life!   Happy travels.

By Guest Blogger and True Conditioning Client, Susanne Milner