You know that moment when you come back from this amazing trip and when you get on the scale it shows 7 extra pounds? That would be a huge turn off for most people. Especially for those that are struggling to stay on top of their diets and workouts.
We live in a world where a third of the US population is overweight, according to the National Institute of Diabetes. Weight loss is a hot topic for decades now. So this is definitely an issue that we need to address.
As a personal trainer, I know for a fact that most of my clients will carry a few extra pounds when they get back from a trip – regardless if it’s recreational or for business purpose. And I guess this is an issue that most people have, and it makes total sense if you think about it.
When you are traveling you are out of your normal, everyday routine – you don’t eat what you normally eat, you don’t work out like you normally would and so on. So gaining a little bit of weight is not something uncommon. This might be fine if you have just 1 or 2 vacations a year, but what if you are traveling a lot? How can you maintain a healthy constant weight when you’re away every other month or so?
Well, regardless of how often you are traveling, here are my top tips for staying in shape.
This is something that I always recommend. If you know you’ll have a trip in a couple of weeks or in a month, you can actually start getting ready for it in advance. No, I don’t mean packing your bags. What I mean is that you could diet down a little bit before you leave. You could double down on your workouts as well.
I found that it always helps if you could lose maybe 3-4 pounds before leaving. This can offset the weight gain from your trip or it can at least minimize the extra pounds you’ll be carrying when you get back.
So here is my strategy for this.
A healthy and achievable weight loss rate is somewhere around 1-2 pounds per week. So depending on how much weight you think you need to lose before leaving, you can determine when you need to start dieting down. From my experience as a personal trainer, for most people 2-3 weeks is enough.
The most effective and no-hustle way of losing weight is to restrict your caloric intake by 20-25%. So if you would normally eat 2,000 kcal a day, cut back to 1,500 – 1,600 kcal. Doing an extra cardio session per week will help as well.
So that’s that. Let’s move on to the next step.
Another great thing you could do ahead of time is to do a little bit of research. What can you eat over there? Are there any supermarkets around the place you will be staying? What kind of food are they serving?
Sure, when you’re traveling you should experiment and eat new foods too. That’s a big part of traveling, to be able to experience and enjoy new, tasty and delicious foods. But, if you want to balance all that with maintaining your weight as much as possible, doing a little bit of research ahead of time will help.
Other things you can ask yourself are: does my hotel have a gym or is there a park nearby, where I can jog early in the morning?
Walk a lot
I remember when I first visited Vienna all I did was to walk around exploring as much as I could of this amazing city. The only time I used the train was to commute from the airport to the hotel and back.
So I would literally walk up the 10 miles a day. You know how many calories you burn in a 10-mile walk? Anywhere from 700 to 1,200 depending on different factors, such as your weight, age, how fit you are and so on. That alone is a whole lot of calories. Heck, if you would be doing that each and every day of your trip you could actually end up losing weight by the time you go back home.
Anyways, on a more serious note, walking instead of using the tram, cab or subway is so much better, especially when you are visiting cities that offer so many different tiny streets to explore by foot. You can discover amazing places that you would’ve not come across otherwise.
I just love “getting lost” in the cities I’m visiting just by walking around a lot.
Go to a ski resort
If you’re into winter sports, you can plan a trip to a ski resort. Skiing or snowboarding is a demanding physical activity that will keep the weight off. Not to mention that it’s super fun, even if you are not an expert or even never done it before.
On top of that, it’s a great family trip as kids love snow. If you get bored with it there are always other fun things to do, such as hiking or shopping. Or maybe you can rent a car and drive to a nearby village and start exploring that as well. There are countless things you can do.
Here’s a list of 10 European ski resorts to consider.
Find 20 minutes to workout
If you’re traveling to a place where there’s nothing much you can do, such as a business trip, try to find at least 20 minutes to exercise. That should be enough to burn a couple of hundreds of calories and to get your blood flowing.
It can be a gym workout if you have access to one, or it can be some bodyweight exercises inside your hotel room. Or go out and run around the block for 20 minutes. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Skip a meal (or not!)
Lastly but not least, what you can do is to skip a meal. This is not something that I usually recommend, especially when you’re traveling, but there are circumstances in which you would be better off if you would skip one meal each day.
So if you know for a fact that you are going to overeat because the food is just so delicious or because it’s going to be a night out with your friends, you can actually skip a meal before it. This is also referred to as “intermittent fasting” in the fitness industry.
The best meal you can skip is the breakfast. By doing that you can enjoy two big and tasty meals through the rest of the day, without going overboard with the calories. I can imagine that skipping a meal might not be easy for you, but if you want to give it a try, here’s a little tip.
Black coffee acts as a natural appetite suppressant, so you could try drinking one cup of black coffee early in the morning. Drinking lots of water helps too. Sometimes we feel that we are hungry just because we are not hydrated, so that’s a good advice regardless if you are skipping meals or not.
And that’s all there is to it really. I found this tips to work wonders for myself and for other people as well, so why not give it a try? Just pick 1 or 2 of these tips to stay in shape when you are traveling (you don’t really need to do all) and try to implement them during your next trip.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below.