I’ve shared with you guys before that traveling used to be a huge struggle for me. Whether it was a day trip, a work trip, a weekend away or a full blown vacation, I’d throw caution to the wind & eat everything that wasn’t nailed down. Any lack of structure or change in routine was an excuse to overeat and overindulge.
I hated it. I dreaded travel. I’d inevitably come home feeling miserable & terribly disappointed in myself.
I felt out of control. It’s interesting, isn’t it, that I hated my lack of control and I hated feeling so terrible but I was the only one putting the food in my mouth!?!
Confusing, right? I hated feeling stuffed and bloated. I hated feeling out of control. Overeating made me feel self-conscious and often made me isolate myself, not enjoying my time away.
Yet every time, I’d stuff myself stupid.
Today I want to share some of my personal fat loss travel tips. There are absolutely more temptations when you’re away and less of a feeling of confidence when you’re outside your element. It does take practice. It does take patience. It’s not about perfection.
It’s 1000% okay to enjoy a special treat but I want you to be able to travel with confidence and I want you to come home feeling amazing! Let’s work on that.
I enjoy my trips more, have more fun & have higher energy when I make food choices that are aligned with my goals no matter where I am. I also don’t fear travel, no matter what. I know that no matter where I am, with these fat loss travel tips, I can make great choices in any situation.
Fat Loss Travel Tips
To share some of my fave fat loss travel trips, I want to take you through a recent trip I took and how I thought through moments of temptation & indecision.
This particular trip included a 7 hour car ride, a 6 hour car ride, a hotel room that didn’t have a coffee maker (wtf!!!!), 3 meals out, a wedding and then some.
There are two overarching strategies that I find it INCREDIBLY helpful to travel with:
- Am I even hungry?
- Is this worth it?
One thing I noticed about my past travel experiences is that I often ate when I wasn’t hungry. On a road trip, I’d eat out of boredom. I’d eat as a distraction. Eating was an activity whether I was hungry or not.
Now, when my mind drifts to food (which happens often), I’ll start by asking, “Am I even hungry?”
If I am, I’ll eat. If I’m not, I calmly reply to myself, “E, you’re not even hungry” and then I’ll redirect my attention to something else – a song, a book, a travel companion, etc.
Here’s a beautiful thing I’ve learned – I don’t need to eat when I’m not hungry & I don’t have to feel like I’m missing out. I’ll get hungry again! And soon! And when that hunger comes, I’ll eat. Until then, it’s all okay.
Sometimes I’ll remind myself, “Don’t worry, you’ll get hungry again soon. You can have it then. You’ll enjoy it more when you’re actually hungry and you’ll definitely feel better afterwards than you would if you eat it when you aren’t hungry!”
The second question I repeatedly ask is, “Is it worth it?”
This is a big part of how I implement my mantra “I eat foods I love that love me back”. When I walked into the rest stop after 5 hours in the car and started eyeing all the snacks I asked, “Are these worth it?”
Heck no. Nothing I can buy in a rest stop is worth it.
If I’m going to eat, I want to enjoy it!
When I got to my destination, I was invited out to dinner. They picked a Thai restaurant. I love Thai food but of course nearly every dish comes with pasta or rice!
I caught myself feeling a little bummed and like I’d be missing out if I didn’t have rice.
As soon as I noticed the thoughts, I asked another one of my key questions:
When I get back to the hotel tonight, will I be happier if I have the rice or happier if I don’t?
For me, on this day, I decided I would be happier if I didn’t have the rice.
See, rice just isn’t worth it for me. It’s bland. It’s not special. I’ve had it a million times before and I’ve never thought, “OMG – that’s rice is to die for!”
So, I set out to find the most amazing protein & veggie option I could find. Salmon with a spicy coconut curry over broccoli. Perfect! Hold the rice.
It was amazing. The rice would have only been a vehicle for the curry. Not needed!
The next day we had a small dinner party (12 people) at an incredible Italian restaurant. Pizza. Pasta. Bread. Oh my.
When we got there, I was reeeeaaaaally hungry.
They ordered pizzas for the table. You know, the really, really good authentic pizza.
Would the pizza be delicious? Yes!
But, when I got back to my room later that night, would I be happier if I ate the pizza or happier if I didn’t?
Probably happier if I didn’t, and here’s why – I was also ordering an entree. If I’m going to eat pizza, that’s a meal! I didn’t want everyone else’s appetizer to be my meal.
Now, I could have sat at the table and felt jealous of their pizza and like I was missing out by not having it.
Or, I could order an appetizer more aligned with my goals that would curb my hunger and help me not focus on the pizza.
Charcuterie to the rescue! A few slices of meat & cheese was perfect! It was delicious, it didn’t spoil my appetite and I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all!
Every single person at the table ordered pasta…except me.
Could I? Absolutely!
But I asked myself, “What choice will make me feel best later tonight?”
What can I do?
Is there another option that I’d totally love & enjoy?
If there wasn’t, I’d probably have mindfully enjoyed some pasta without guilt.
But, there was a special on the menu – half a chicken over broccolini with a fried egg.
It was incredible. In fact, when it came to the table, I think a lot of the pasta eaters were jealous of my choice!
The other fat loss travel tip that helps me so much is to make time to move.
Before I got in the car for the road trip, I made time to sweat. Doing something to take care of myself helped reinforce my resolve for the day. I didn’t want to indulge in rest stop candy bars after making time to work so hard that morning!
The following day when I woke up in the hotel, my knee was swollen and in a fair amount of pain. I could easily have talked myself out of a workout. Instead, I asked myself a powerful question:
What can I do?
I definitely didn’t want to run, squat or aggravate my knee. But that doesn’t mean I can’t work out!
I went down to the hotel gym and did a circuit workout of shoulder press, rowing and push-ups. It was perfect!
Sure, there was a lot I couldn’t do but there was also a lot I could do.
When there’s no gym, I can do a body weight workout in my room.
I can go into the hotel stairwell and do a stair workout.
I can walk to explore a new city instead of drive.
There’s always so much you CAN do.
If you feel out of control when you travel, remind yourself that you ARE in control. You might not be in the habit of making choices you feel good about, but you are in control.
Start by making one small improvement at a time, maybe by picking one of the questions in this post and bringing it with you when you travel!
For more of my thoughts on making good choices when you travel, check out these posts!
Travel Strategies for Weight Loss
Do You Treat Weekends Like Vacation?