Business Travel Without Breaking Your Diet And Fitness Goals

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Last year was a heavy business travel year for me and it could have easily wrecked my diet and fitness goals and workout routines if I didn’t have a plan to succeed.

You may be surprised to hear me say that traveling for business (or pleasure) can be a great weight loss opportunity.  Keep reading and I’ll tell you how.

A little research and planning ahead will make all the difference.

In order to stay on track, you will have to put a little effort into your food planning on the front end. Luckily everything you need to know to devise a food plan can be learned from your phone.

achieve your diet and fitness goals while you travel the world

There are 3 searches that you want to complete:

  1. Restaurants in your departure airport (i.e. “restaurants in LAX”)
  2. Grocery stores near your hotel
  3. Restaurants in your arrival airport

By finding your go-to food stops and selecting your meals ahead of time, you will not be tempted to eat whatever you feel like in the moment.  Some of my favorite airport food stops are Chick-fil-a, Vino Volo, Modmarket, Starbucks, and Chipotle.

Go online and check their menus ahead of time so that you know exactly what you are going to order.

Once you arrive at your hotel, you will want to find a grocery store to get your fresh snacks, water, and any dinners that will not be provided by your company. Some of my favorite grocery stores are Trader Joe’s and Target.

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Super Helpful Resource

This website makes it super easy to find out what dining options are available (and where they are located in the airport) and it is constantly updated.  https://www.eater.com/airport-dining-guides

HERE IS A TYPICAL GROCERY LIST FOR A FULL WEEK OF TRAVEL FOR ME.  

  • Fresh fruit like strawberries, clementines, or grapes
  • Carrots and individually packaged hummus, avocado dip, or peanut butter
  • Almond or Coconut milk – ½ gallon
  • Evol Egg White Breakfast Sandwiches (I usually find these at Target)
  • Alkaline water
  • Perrier flavored carbonated mineral water
  • Prepackaged salads for any nights you are not going out for dinner
  • Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds – 100 calorie packs

Now you are ready to get back to your room and food prep!

MEAL PREP FOR THE WEEK AT YOUR HOTEL

Make sure you pack a small lunch bag, some sandwich sized Ziploc bags and a small ice pack, you will use them in this step…(no worries, ice packs are TSA approved items for travel as long as they are frozen)  Here is one of my favorite insulated lunch bags, but there are many to choose from!

Fit and Fresh Hyannis Insulated Lunch Bag with Reusable Ice Pack (Marron, 11.5" x 6" x 10.5", Maroon Ikat Geo
  • MAKE A FRESH START: Take lunch, snacks and drinks with you for the day. You’ll eat healthier and save money in the long run
  • KEEPS FOOD FRESH: Stylish, insulated soft cooler lunch bag zips fully closed to keep contents cool for hours
  • EASY TO CARRY: Long, thick straps are perfect for carrying by hand or easily carrying on your shoulder for a comfortable, hands-free experience
  • INTERIOR STORAGE: The interior mesh pocket conveniently holds an ice pack (not included) or other items such as napkins or utensils

Divide up your fruit evenly into the number of days you will be in your conference or meeting. Then place them into your Ziploc bags and store them in your refrigerator.

Do the same with your carrots, or alternative vegetables.  If you have pre-packaged single serving size nuts that’s great, but if not, divide those out into your bags as well.

Travel Tip #1

If your room doesn’t have a refrigerator or freezer, you can take your lunch bag, ice pack, and frozen breakfast sandwiches to the front desk and they will store it in their freezer for you.  I learned this trick as a nursing mother on business travel when I had to bring home my breastmilk for the week without a room refrigerator!

Travel Tip #2

​​​​​If you have forgotten your ice pack, no worries, in the morning, you can just add ice from the machine to some Ziploc bags and that should keep your food cold for the day.

My “6 meals eating plan” to losing weight during travel

You can certainly swap out foods and everyone has different caloric needs so this is just a guide to give you a sense of how I stay on track and continue to lose weight.

A typical eating plan day for me while on business is as follows:

  • Breakfast ~ Evol Breakfast Sandwich (Chicken Apple Sausage Egg White with Cheddar is my personal favorite)
  • Morning Snack ~ Carrots and Hummus
  • Lunch ~ 300 calories of the provided lunch (load up on veggies to fill your stomach)
  • Afternoon Snack ~ Strawberries and Cocoa Roasted Almonds
  • Dinner ~ 300 calorie Salad previously purchased – or 300 calories max if dining out
  • Late Snack ~ Shakeology mixed with your almond or coconut milk

USE YOUR TECHNOLOGY TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK

My favorite tech gear is my Polar A370 fitness tracker and the app My Fitness Pal.  The Polar A370 lets you know how many calories you burn each day. I find that when I’m traveling I tend to burn fewer calories than a typical workday.  (probably because I’m sitting in a conference or long meetings) I use this information from the Polar to provide extra motivation to ensure I maintain a caloric deficit each day.

Polar A370 Fitness Tracker with 24/7 Wrist Based HR Black, Small
  • Continuous heart RATE - have the A370 intelligently Track your heart RATE through the twists and turns of everyday life
  • Assisted GPS - Use your phone's GPS to Track speed, distance and route; get notifications for incoming calls, messages, social media and calendar appointments right on the screen of your Polar A370
  • Improved sleep analysis - get the valued insight you need to get a good Nights rest; the wristbands are made of a soft material and come with a secure buckle
  • Broadcast heart RATE - the A370 can be used as a hr sensor. Pair it to your favorite fitness app

My other technology essential is the My Fitness Pal app.  I like to log my food to ensure I stay at around 1500 calories intake per day.  

Remember, what gets measured, gets managed!  

This app makes it super easy to manage your food intake.  There are so many restaurants and brands already loaded into the app that I never struggle to calculate my calories.

PACK YOUR ESSENTIAL FITNESS GEAR (SNEAKERS AND A SPORTS BRA)

Most every hotel has a gym so don’t miss out on using it.  Just 30 minutes on the elliptical is all you need to keep your metabolism up for the day.  This is your time without family obligations, so use it wisely and hit the gym!

Travel Tip #3

If you forget your sports bra, don’t let that be an excuse, head to the nearest department store and purchase one.  If you are on a tight budget, the pain you will feel from having to buy one will make you never forget again!

Travel Tip #4

If you forget your sneakers, no problem!  I have made this mistake too, so I have curated a 22 min workout of common exercises that you can do in your room, without shoes.  All you need now is your phone and the timer app so you can ensure you are working through the exercises for the full time allotted.

Related:

Do you always set a goal to workout in the mornings, but always fail to follow thru?  Check out my Secrets to Early Morning Workouts article for some ideas to help you out.

22 MINUTE HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT TO ACHIEVE MY FITNESS GOALS

  • Warmup ~ 2 mins of jumping jacks and stretches
  • 1 min of planking followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • 1 min of burpees followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • 1 min of running in place with high knees followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • Repeat three more times for a total of 4 reps
  • Cooldown ~ 2 mins of stretching

And there you have it!  My tricks and tips for making no excuses and continuing to be successful in your weight loss journey while traveling for work.

I find that I actually lose more weight when I am traveling since I don’t have to cook for my family and I have more time for me.  

When I don’t have to see the food that they are eating, I am not tempted to eat it. When my day is over in the office, I am free to hit the gym so I never miss that opportunity.       

47 thoughts on “Business Travel Without Breaking Your Diet And Fitness Goals”

  1. I don’t travel for work but the workout tip & healthy food choices were definitely helpful! I’ll be picking up a few of your suggestions this week!

    Reply
  2. These are great tips for staying on track while traveling. I do a lot of traveling and while I do let myself occasionally indulge when traveling, I also make sure that I keep my fitness and healthy eating routine going.

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  3. Traveling always seems to mess up my self-care routine. I never drink enough water (because, who wants to use airplane bathrooms?), eat right, or get enough sleep. These are good tips for trying to stay on track.

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  4. This is such a helpful post! I find it’s easy to stay on track when I’m home, but as soon as I travel, everything becomes more difficult. I love how you included a great workout, too.

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  5. Great tips! I noticed that I tend to ~cheat~ when I’m on the go. I feel like my calories don’t count when I’m not at home (which is totally wrong)!! My goal this year is to eat healthy so these tips will definitely help!

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  6. Not only can grocery shopping keep your weight loss on track, it can also save you some big time money! I love hitting up the grocery store and stocking our hotel room with things, especially healthy snacks and beverages!

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  7. Great tips. I travel once a month for business and I almost never eat healthy or workout. It is so hard to stay on track but will definitely be doing some of these next trip.

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  8. I have never thought about meal prep whilke trraveling. I usually just grab something from the local area, but I can see the value in iut. Cutting cost and controlling what you are eating

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  9. Great tips! I have some travels coming at the end of the month and I plan to use these tips. Especially packing lunch and checking out what is nearby prior to getting up there!

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  10. Good to know. I don’t diet, but I do need to watch it so I can fit into my pants. Granted, if it’s a vacation, I pig out, since I”m on vacation. But business travel I’ll watch it. Somewhat.

    Reply
  11. These are some wonderful tips! As someone who used to be a flight attendant, I can certainly relate to how important health and fitness are!
    I think this is an excellent post that should be shared!

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  12. I am into fitness and eating clean, especially travelling is the most challenging thing for me. When you eat interesting food outside, it is really hard to resist. I like the idea of making meal prep, that way we have control what we intake.

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  13. Such a great article to read! These are really important to know most probably for the people always worrying about their health during on a trip. I will share this post with others.

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  14. I like how you give improtance to research including the restaurants. It pays really to plan ahead or at least make a mental Note of the does and don’t while on travel.

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  15. It is really hard to maintain diet while traveling. I found that most of time my weight will reduce as the food from the plane taste horrible. end up starving. Last summer my trip to India reduced my weight. Unfortunately whatever I lost came back once I back home. Thanks for sharing the wonderful tips .

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  16. Everyone is into healthy nowadays. Even you’re in a business trip you shoud track your diet meal. Such an informative post.

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  17. Oh my, this is really my problem. I tend to overeat indulge whenever I travel on official business. I cannot stay away from eat all you can buffets and then I just lounge around the hotel. Oh well, I consider that my rest and relaxation.

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  18. I always try to stick to good healthy eating habits while traveling for business because one I can’t afford to get sick, and two, eating well brings you more benefits such as nutrition and energy one needs, especially while away! xo, Suzanne

    Reply
  19. You’re rips are so simple, yet few people actually take the time to do these! It would be interesting to try this when traveling to a country where you can’t count on your basic chain restaurants/grocery stores

    Reply

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