Hey there and happy almost weekend!
With the holiday weekend approaching I've had a lot of questions from clients and followers about traveling and how to stay on track while doing so. I have a little perspective on this topic so I'm going to start about 3 1/2 years ago when everything with health and fitness really started ramping up for me.
I was super gung-ho about everything related to working out and eating properly. Everything I ate was super clean and a workout was never missed. I didn't do any cheats, didn't drink any alcohol, nothing. I did do quite a bit of traveling for work and I remember getting so stressed out and busy because I had to prep and pack all my food so that I was sure to stay 100% on track. (You can use the search function on my blog and find a few of theses posts.)
Now I look back and literally laugh at myself- what a learning experience! I realize now that packing every single meal for a trip or vacation is not only way stressful, it's way unnecessary. Something that I know now that I may not have realized then is I am just a normal human. I'm not a competitor, or a fitness model that needs to be ready for a shoot at the drop of a hat, so to go to such lengths and put such stress on myself was really not needed. I wouldn't change anything I've done along the way because I have learned from every experience and I think that eating super super clean and being strict challenged me and gave me something to work towards but I can definitely say that things are a little different nowadays.
If you look at my What I Ate Wednesday posts you'll notice a theme-- I'm pretty darn consistent. I eat pretty clean/healthy a majority of the time. I don't kill myself over it, but I do make it a priority. I also make it to the gym as often as I possibly can, but again I realize it's going to be okay if I miss a day here and there.
This consistency is what allows me to not freak out when I'm going out of town or on a vacation. Am I as lean as when I was being super strict- no, but I think the balance I've found is more than worth it. When you are consistent 80-90% of the time enjoying a break or some time off from time is probably going to benefit you more than hinder you. You don't need to pre-plan every single meal and bring a cooler, instead pick up some Quest bars, almonds, rice cakes, and fruit. Pack some protein powder and a shaker cup and you're good to go. Be conscious when eating out and try to get a run in on the beach, but please make your vacations about spending time with family and friends and not about when and what your next meal is going to be! The gym will always be there and if you gain a pound or two there will always be time to get back on track, so focus your efforts on making memories- and Happy 4th!