Who doesn’t struggle to keep strict when they are travelling? Moreover, who has a plan to overcome this situation?
So many areas of temptation and the age-old adage that “it doesn’t count in an airport/service station/hotel mini bar (delete as appropriate).” It does. So how can the shining sweets, captivating carbs, and till-side treats be avoided when you’re on the road?!
The first trick is to not be swayed to impulse. Take solace and pride (and tap into the inner competitor) by the fact you are directly competing against the marketeers that believe they can puppet you into boosting their coffers. You may be looking at the treats thinking you need them, but simply ask yourself a question of “do I REALLY need this” – it may be the rush of the instant sugar hit is perceived to be worth it momentarily, but the ensuing guilt, dodged eating plan, and sudden craving for more doesn’t actually tip the balance. The smile taken in knowing you didn’t cave should also be celebrated – and that will give you a significant boost, without the calories!
If you have had a very active day, with movement a massive part of it – then there is no reason why you cannot treat yourself, but make sure you savor the moment. Enjoy the treat and make it last – rather than devouring whatever you have indulged on in an instant and forgetting you even had it. However, it must be said that very few travel days are filled with movement – but there will be a blog on how to get around that in the coming weeks.
The other factor to avoid the travel day lapses is to plan, plan plan! Preparation is a fundamental part of performance, so take time the night before you know you will be commuting and prepare meals, snacks and even drinks to save the temptation (and cost!!!). You can even look forward to a pre-selected treat you made or bought previously, and use that as your motivation throughout the times of momentary weakness. If you haven’t prepared – don’t despair, there are always healthy options even on the road. It would take more than this post to educate on informed decisions, but if there are plain salad options; grilled rather than fried options; wraps rather than sandwiches – these all help. For example, if I am on the road without any prepared food (somewhat rare!), I go for a McDonalds Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad (yes they do them!) with a Water and Black Coffee. Circa 190 Calories (including 24g protein) and not a bad lunch…!
Anecdotally, when we as a rugby team were travelling on international sporting duty we were often provided with a selection of foods to eat and drink on the plane to avoid the often very poor quality of in-flight options. We would have some trial mix (nuts and seeds), noodles to simply add water to and would take hydration tablets as well as consuming 2/3 litres of water to ensure we were adequately hydrated on long journeys…as well as clocking up some activity walking to the toilets and stretch routines whilst waiting (we were collectively terrible to sit next to on long haul!).
For 1:1 performance coaching or to speak about workathlete’s seminars and workshops please do get in touch.