Travel and vacation are two of the most common barriers to weight loss success. Why is that?
Change in routine. Many of us are solid when we have our structured routine with our pre-planned meals but when we are thrown a curve ball it’s like pulling the bottom block when playing jenga, everything falls apart. If we can’t find a way to keep it together on weekends and when we travel losing and keeping the weight off is always going to be a struggle.
Travel can provide a convenient excuse to eat poorly. Most of us loosen the reigns when we travel or go on vacation but this often goes from lightly loosening up the reigns to getting bucked off the horse.
But rest assured. I have one simple trick that can help you!
#1 Tip: Reduce Meal Frequency
What would you say if I told you that you could travel and go on vacation without having to adjust what your order? Meaning you can go into a restaurant and order something you actually want. No plain chicken breast with a side of tears. No eating out of your tupperware in your hotel room. Actually going to a restaurant and ordering a meal… What would you say if all you had to adjust was your meal frequency?
This has become not only one of my most effective strategies for clients but a strategy I implement and utilize myself.
How Does This Work?
Let’s break this down with an example to demonstrate how this works.
Daily caloric intake: 2500 calories
5 meals per day: 500 calories per meal
2 meals per day: 1250 calories per meal
Eating 5 times per day is quite common. This is essentially 3 square meals 2 snacks. Now, not every meal will be calorie equated in realilty but this does not change the premise of the concept.
If you reduce your meal frequency you will have more calories to play with at each respective meal. This provides you with increased flexibility in what you order. Pair this with a change in routine from traveling which tends to result in eating most of your meals at restaurants and this is a recipe for success.
Keeping a meal to 500 calories at a restaurant is quite difficult without ordering a lean protein and side salad/veggies. However giving yourself an allotment of 1250 calories allows you much greater choice. This allows you a burger (without fries) at most restaurants. This might allow you to have a glass of wine with dinner. You can even keep your first meal lower calorie and provide an even bigger buffer for dinner (ex: 500 calorie brunch and 2000 calorie dinner).
✈️✈️EATING ON VACATION✈️✈️ . Tip: Reduce meal frequency . This is a simple trick you can use for eating when traveling or on vacation and it is super super effective. . Let's say you eat 3 square meals per day and 2 snacks or your eating 5-6 meals per day. When you are on-the-go simply reduce that meal frequency to 2 meals. . What does this do? Firstly, it allows us greater flexibility within those two meals because we are spreading our calories over two meals vs. five or six. This makes it a little easier to eat out which is a common occurrence when we travel or vacation. . Example: . 📍2500 kcal / 5 = 500 kcal per meal . 📍2500 kcal / 2 = 1250 kcal per meal . Holy crap, right? . Most likely those meals wouldn't be evenly spread but you get the picture. You could even have a light brunch of 500-750 calories and then have 1750-2000 left for your second meal… . This is not only a good strategy to help MAINTAIN weight and dietary adherence while travelling but it can actually be used as a strategy to LOSE WEIGHT. You could easily drop your meals frequency to two per day have 500 for breakfast and 1000-1500 for dinner and be in a deficit for facilitate fat loss. . Even better this can be done without needing to 'track'. . Different situations call for different strategies. This might work, this might not. If your traveling for a sports tournament and have 2-3 games in a day and/or need to fuel for performance this might not be ideal. . . If you want more travel tips check out my free ebook The Secret Playbook To Making Any Diet Work – Link in Bio. . . . . . #travel #traveltips #fittips #weightloss #fatloss #science #calories #caloriecounting #macros #fitfood #healthy #mindset #fitnessjourney #fitnesslifestyle #fitmom #instagramfitness #nutrition #diet #eatcleantraindirty #bodybuilding #shredded #nopainnogain #flexibledieting #iifym #nutritioncoach #edmonton #yegfitness #TheWorldGuru
Does This Actually Work?
The research continually has shown us that our overall caloric intake is the primary driver for weight loss. This means that if we are eating in a calorie surplus we are gaining weight and if we are eating in a calorie deficit we are losing weight.
If we know that a multitude of diet styles and types can be effective because our overall caloric intake and adherence is the key to success we can use this to our advantage. By reducing meal frequency we adhere to the most important rule – overall caloric intake.
Here’s What You Do
The most important underlying key to weight loss is lifestyle and adherence. In our nutrition coaching we always look at how a plan can work best within our clients given lifestyle. This has resulted in us coming up with easy and mindless strategies that make it too easy for our clients to stay on track.
Instead of telling someone to weigh out every morsel of food on their trip or order everything plain with no starch we could simply say eat 2 meals per day and be mindful of your choices. Doesn’t that sound a lot easier?
“Go for brunch and then have a nice dinner.”
That is your weight loss (or maintenance) plan for while you travel.
The simplest solution is usually the most effective because it is the easiest adhere to.
Things To Consider
Travel plans shouldn’t be a good excuse to stray from your nutrition plan. You always have a choice in what and how much you eat no matter what the situation is. But there are certain situations where you might consider loosening those reigns a little.
How do you know when you should practice restraint and mindful eating and when you should just enjoy yourself without binging?
Ask yourself these questions:
Is this trip for business or pleasure?
If your trip is for business then keep your nutrition business as usual. Business trips are not the time to indulge or stray from the plan especially if they happen frequently. Save that for vacations with friends and family where you want to relax and enjoy yourself.
If your trip is for pleasure you need to identify how often you travel.
Often: You travel for pleasure a lot. It’s probably a good idea to look at this trip within the context of your other trips. Do you have other travel plans coming up that are bigger and more important to you in terms of wanting dietary freedom?
Rarely: It’s a good idea to give yourself a little freedom to enjoy some nice meals and treats while you’re away. Eat mindfully until you’re 80% full and aim to maintain your weight while you’re gone.
Somewhere in-between: Use your best judgement to determine how important your weight loss goals are relative to enjoying yourself on this trip. You don’t need me to tell you what to do and what not to do. Time to pull up your knickers again and make an adult decision.
If your trips always come with a f*** it attitude for your nutrition you may find yourself on the proverbial treadmill of weight loss. Always losing and regaining the same weight. Utilizing a reduction in meal frequency and/or some of the tips below are the best things you can do to maintain or continue to lose weight while you travel.
Other Travel Tips
- Reduce meal frequency (see above)
- Walk a lot to stay active
- Choose to eat a lighter breakfast
- Bring food items with you (varies on type of travel)
- Book a hotel with continental breakfast
- Pack quick and easy on-the-go snacks
Even though you may be reducing your meal frequency this doesn’t mean its a free for all – appies, large pizza, pint of beer, cheesecake for dessert. Your caloric intake and your goal will determine the finer details of your plan. If you need assistance, we are currently offering a free 30 minute strategy session. Click here if you’re interested.
Context is key for every situation. If you are traveling for a sports or the Crossfit games where you will be partaking in multiple events within a day. Then this is not going to be a good solution for you.
If you are traveling and you are looking to keep your plan in check while you are gone this might be one of the most effective strategies you can implement.
If you’re interested in learning the missing strategies you needed that no one ever taught you. Check out “The Secret Playbook To Making Any Diet Work” where we give you the strategies required to make every diet work so you can stop trying to crack the DaVinci Code of dieting.