I love to travel. There’s just something about being in a different city that invigorates me. The only thing about travelling that I find challenging (other than the typical unfriendly nature of the custom officials) is trying to find ways to stay fit and lean.
Often times travel equals bad food, alcohol, and lack of physical exercise. All of these can lead to added fat. The thought of this can put a damper on any vacation, especially if you’re busting your butt the other 50 weeks of the year trying to awaken your abs.
If you’re worried about gaining fat while travelling/vacationing, give these tricks a try.
4 Ways To Stay Lean While Travelling
1. Skip Meals During Your Travel Day
I know what you’re thinking…”won’t I lose muscle if I don’t eat every 3 hours?”. To me, I’d rather skip eating every 3 hours than to eat an airline meal containing huge amounts of sodium, refined carbs and fats. It’s hard enough on your body to sit on an airplane without moving for long periods of time. Believe me, you’re not doing it any favours by feeding it airline food.
Also recent research has been showing that occasional short-term fasting can actually spare and even help build lean muscle. Short-term fasting usually lasts up to 36 hours. This means you would stop eating after supper the night before (7pm) and then go the whole travel day without eating. By the time you have breakfast the day AFTER your travel day, you would have fasted for 36 hours. Personally, I don’t go to this extreme. Sometimes on travel days I’ll skip breakfast and then wait until supper once I arrive at my destination. If the thought fasting this long scares you…pack some protein powder, buy a bottle of water, and mix it on the plane.
2. Hit the Big Muscles With A Workout Once You Arrive
After a long day of travelling, the last thing you’ll want to do is probably hit the gym for a workout. Most times you’re sluggish and just want to relax. I’m more about finding ways to increase and maximize my energy. A great way to elevate your energy levels is to get in a solid lifting session. Remember those awesome feelings you have after every great lifting session at the gym? This is a perfect time to awaken those groggy and tired muscles from sitting in an airplane seat all day. Ensure you work the big muscles…the quads, lats, chest, and glutes with compound movements like the squat, deadlift, and presses. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, do body weight exercises like push ups, squats, lunges, etc. Working these muscle require the most energy output (and can cause a big rush of energy after your workout). Since you’re working out in a fasted state, you can also burn lots of fat. If you’re worried about losing muscle from working out in a fasted state, you can have a protein shake before the lifting session.
3. Complete Your Cardio and/or Lifting Workouts In The Morning Before Breakfast
As controversial as it is, lots of people get great results by working out in a fasted state (especially cardio). It can help you burn your stored fat as energy since your body is in major fat burning mode before breakfast. While you’re sleeping, your body is actually burning fat to keep your body functioning. By skipping breakfast and hitting the gym, you can continue to use fat as a prime energy source during your workout. Ensure you eat food right after your workout as your muscles are primed to absorb and put all the calories from your breakfast to work via repair and recovery.
4. Pass On The Small Insignificant Foods So You Can Enjoy The Local Favs
Skip the nuts from the mini bar fridge, the chocolate mint on your pillow, or the old croissants in the hotel lobby. You’re in a new city so enjoy the local foods that you can’t get in your home town (I’m thinking an authentic Philly Cheesesteak). While on vacation, think of your daily calorie allowance and use it on the main meals that you can really enjoy. This may mean skipping your typical mid-morning snack so you can enjoy a local treat at lunch. You can be a little more flexible on your meal frequency during vacation as it’s only for the short-term.
Remember…if this is your vacation, these tips are mainly meant to be kept in the back of your mind. It’s all about balance. Think about incorporating a few, if not all of these tricks, during your next vacation but don’t let it control you or take away from your travelling experience.
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