Your mentality surrounding food and exercise while traveling is the most important piece, because it will set the stage that allows you to fully utilize other useful strategies for maintaining fitness progress. If I were going to sum up this mentality in one phrase it would be this:
Mindfulness over meticulousness.
When you’re in the comfort of your home you have the luxury of being as meticulous as you’d like to be. You can buy the exact foods you want, you can have full control over how it’s prepared, and you can accurately control the portion sizes using food scales and measuring cups. With your workouts you know exactly what equipment you have, which machines you will use, and you can predict how you will fit these workouts into your daily schedule.
Unfortunately, when you’re traveling you will not be able to be as meticulous with your routine. You may be eating at restaurants the majority of the time and have little control over how your food is prepared. You might be stuck in an airport, with convenience store snacks as your only choice in food selection. You might have access to limited gym equipment, or maybe even no equipment at all. If you are hoping to achieve a similar level of control, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Mindfulness is the key to your success. You may not control what food you eat, but you can still control how much of it you put in your mouth. You may not control the gym equipment, but you can still opt-in to doing some sort of physical activity to get your body moving. Being mindful will allow you to tap into how your body feels, and this will allow you to make the choices that nourish and support these optimal feelings (while mitigating choices that make you feel worse). As a general rule of thumb, the same choices that lead you to feel good are the same choices that will lead you to, at the very least, avoid gaining weight.
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