How to not gain weight during travel. Part one “The Cruise”

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It feels good to be back at it providing content. I was working like crazy to get my Certified Personal Trainer certification completed before the holiday season. I crushed the practical exam (proud new CPT) a few days before we left on a big family trip. Which brings me to the topic of this post. How I traveled for 12 days, visiting different cities, which was totally out of my usual routine and gained no weight. We did a seven day cruise, where there is no limit to the food one can eat and added a couple of days on either side for travel and sight seeing cities we had never visited before.

The following are some of the tips I employed.

Try to keep to as much of your physical routine as possible.

  • For me this meant trying to workout with the same amount of time and intensity as possible. I mixed it up with some swimming and snorkeling on a couple days to replace a gym workout. I also tend to do a lot of walking outside of my gym routine, so on the cruise this meant always using the stairs to go up and down the various decks on the ship. We also did a lot of walking touring the cities we visited as well as walking around museums. Traveling can also put different types of stressors on your physical body, like carrying bags etc. Sneak in a little time for stretching here and there when you can, like when you are waiting in a line or waiting for the rest of your traveling party to get ready. Also, you are on vacation enjoy yourself. If there is an opportunity to get up and dance, DANCE. I do not worry about looking silly in front of others, I would rather look like a hero to my kids dancing with them on a stage.

Try to keep to as much of your sleep routine as possible.

  • For me this meant trying to get the same amount of sleep that I normally do, or more. Also, since I am in a new bed and different surroundings, different noises etc, I always travel with a quality sleep mask and soft silicone earplugs to block out light and as much noise as possible. I even go as far as unplugging the room clocks or blocking lights on the TV’s and other appliances. Another tip I have picked up is to use the pants hangers from the closet (the ones with the clips on them) and use those to keep the curtains closed tightly together.

Surviving the Plane rides.

  • Both of my flights ended up being very early. I tried something new for this trip. At the airport after check-in and security, I grabbed a black coffee and added a packet of Bullet Proof Instamix. Full disclosure, I do drink Bullet Proof coffee a couple times a week, but I had never tried the Instamix before. Man did this work for me. I lasted a four hour flight and 90 minutes of ground transportation before I had a chance to grab lunch. While I was prepared with some healthy snacks (more on that further down) I did not need them. And I politely decline the cookies and chips and sugary drinks they served on the plane. Just sticking to water is important to keep hydrated while flying. I also try and move a little during the flight to keep from getting stiff in those Economy seats. Also, at the first opportunity, I will find some grass or sand and take off my shoes and socks and ground myself to the earth. I feel so much better after flying when I do this.
  • I also used the Instamix on the flight home, and again did not need to dip into any snacks the entire way home.
  • Occasionally if I know I am going to eat it relatively quickly once I get on the plane, I will bring some salami on with me to eat. Why salami? It is a fatty, satiating snack that provides a little bit of carbs, some protein and fat that is easy to eat and does not have an odor.

Try to keep to your eating routine as much as possible.

  • I know you are thinking I am on vacation I want to live a little. It is surprising to most just how much of a set back to your health goals a week or longer of decadence can do. The key to balancing enjoying yourself and sticking to your eating routine is just a little bit of planning and forethought.
  • As you know, I eat and advocate a low inflammatory diet. This means different things to different people, but for me, I eat a higher fat, lower carb diet with minimal sugars and grains. So how did I try and stick to this.
  • I brought cinnamon along with me and purchased a small jar of coconut oil. Minimal weight to travel with and a good substitute to add to my coffee in the morning when I was going to be eating breakfast with my family shortly and did not need the lasting effects of Bullet Proof Instamix. This starts the day off right with some healthy fats.
  • For breakfast, I would try to eat as normal as possible. This meant poached eggs, bacon, sautéed veggies (if I could find them), smoked salmon and I splurged on watermelon and pineapple. A number of times I had the omelet chef make me an omelet with the coconut oil I brought along instead of the mystery oil they normally use. It is very difficult to get by without being subjected to processed seed oils, but I used best efforts.
  • Lunch was usually some protein source and a plate of veggies or a large salad with walnuts and pecans topped with guacamole for a dressing. Not too far off of what I normally eat.
  • I am a social drinker that hardly drinks at all. If there was one area out of the norm for me, it was having A GLASS of wine before dinner nearly every night. After all I was on vacation, but the key was not going overboard and drinking all day long, or drinking exotic cocktails full for sugar.
  • Dinner was pretty typical of what I would eat at home. A salad to start with, (since I knew I could not get a quality olive oil, I would forgo the salad dressing), a protein source, usually fish (which I do not get to eat at home as much), veggies (even going as far to ordering an extra serving since veggie portions are too small) and declining the grains and starches. I would get some sauce on my meat but being mindful and making a best effort to eat as clean as possible goes a long way.
  • Even though there is an abundance of available desserts, I was amazed that not much looked or sounded appealing to me. I actually celebrated my birthday on this trip, so one night the wait staff brought me a piece of cake. I took a small bite to be polite, but to no surprise it tasted awful to my no sugar pallet. I am used to 85% pure organic chocolate or my homemade pfat fudge.

Healthy Snacks are important to travel with.

  • These are some of my tips for snacking when travelling or even for lunch.
  • If possible, I try and hit up a grocery store as soon as I arrive somewhere and buy some apples, maybe the occasional banana and some healthy nuts like almonds or walnuts. I prefer apples, as they are low-glycemic and they also travel well in your backpack or bag. A lot of times the hotel lobby or conference area will have apples that you can grab and take with you.
  • In the event that I cannot find a decent store, I will bring my own container of nuts with me from home, usually enough for a 4-5 snacks worth. I typically include raw unsalted almonds, walnuts, cashews and green pumpkin seeds.
  • I will also bring a few cans of sardines and oysters with me from home. They do not take up a lot of weight or space in bags. On two occasions this trip we were at museums during mid-day and the food offerings available were either a well known fast food brand or in-house fast food cafeterias. The benefit of having a higher fat breakfast is that you are satiated for much longer and do not need to eat as much. So between a can of sardines, a can of oysters, a couple handfuls of nuts, an apple or two and plenty of water I am good to go until dinner time. While I do try and eat the sardines quickly and dispose of the can, I really do not care about the smell offending anyone, my health is more important to me.
  • Another food I will travel with is a small bottle of greens powder. While I do not use this everyday, if there is a day that I feel I am behind in my vegetable intake I will take a scoop and mix it in a glass of water. I fully admit the consistency is not as great as if it were blended into a smoothie but getting the veggies in during the day is super important.

With the sleep disruption, early morning flight and travel the last couple days of the trip, I did feel a little inflammation once I got home, but it only took three days of being back on my regular schedule (exercise, sleeping, and eating) to be 100% back to normal. If I can do it, you can do it too. I hope this article can give you some ideas and perhaps inspire you to know that you can travel, have a good time and come out the other side with Exceptional Results for the Exceptional You.

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