International Traveling: Keeping your training/nutrition plan on track

HELLO FROM AUSTRALIA!  I am currently writing this from the lobby of my hotel in Australia, where I am speaking at a three day certification course about Hybrid Athletics.  This is such a cool opportunity for me, and happens to be at the tail of of my higher calorie phase that I have been doing for the past five weeks.  That being said, I have certainly been guilty of throwing caution to the wind on traveling weekends, as any staff member can attest that was with me during the Sports Performance Summit last month in Columbus, OH.  However, I have a few projects in the works that I simply cannot afford to act like a jackass about.  I committed to making this trip more about seeing sights, networking, and enjoying time with friends and less about eating food.  Here are a few things I did that have kept me from blowing it:

  1.  Research and prepare :  Australia has very strict rules on what they allow into the country.  In fact, upon exiting the plane, all passengers were asked to wipe off their shoes to avoid any mud-dwelling diseases.  Because it is an island, contagious diseases can be absolutely devastating for the population of Australia, and they treat any and all risks appropriately.  What does this have to do with me?  I couldn’t pre-pack my normal food like I would if I was traveling domestically.  Instead, I went with what was safe.  I ordered limited quantities of the following individually wrapped foods: a.) single serving protein isolate b.) single serving cashews 3.) single serving dried bananas.  With these in tow, I had protein, carbs, and fats in easily portioned sizes that would construct my meals during the THIRTY HOURS of airport time I spent getting to Australia.
  2. Plan your training based on what is available: The hotel gym that I stayed at was actually pretty well equipped.  It certainly had enough cardio equipment to get my cardio in, and there was enough DB weight, a few cable pulleys, and even a squat rack and standard bar in.  With that equipment, I was actually able to do my normal programming for both back day and chest/shoulders with minimal modifications.  I trained glutes/hams right before I left and found a local bodybuilding gym (legendary Dohertys gym) for my leg day.  With those accommodations I was able to get all my training in without it costing an arm and a leg.
  3. Use the resources around you:  With the popularity of fitness, nearly every developed country has meal prep companies that will create pre-packaged meals for you.  Maybe they don’t exactly nail your macros.  In this instance, I buy options that are under the requirements and supplement with the foods I mentioned in item 1.
  4. Get comfortable turning down food.  You don’t need to eat every bit of food put on your plate.  You don’t have to eat airline cookies. While you are often given a lot of food with limited control over quality, the choice to eat that food is certainly in your hands.

This isn’t to say that you cannot enjoy travels and loosen the reigns a bit.  You certainly can.  However, traveling while on a diet doesn’t have to be quite as stressful as it seems.  You can certainly handle business abroad without falling to the vacation mindset.

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