1. The Travel
- Pack your meals with you for the journey. This is the most optimal and if you’ve got a time sensitive deadline, or you’re away strictly for business, I’d recommend this option.
- Buy your food at the airport. With healthy food being more readily available then ever, picking up some lean cuts of meat or fish with some greens is no problem. Especially if you’re flying from a UK airport, where there’s almost always an M&S.
- Fast. This is a good option for short (<4 hours) or overnight flights. In the latter option, it’ll also help you regulate your meal times again so it’s breakfast in your new location.
- Eat plane food, but be diligent. This is the least optimal but I know some people won’t do the above, no matter what. In this case, you have to be diligent and not take the piss. Plane food can be hit or miss. I’ve had some good meals and also some terrible ones, so I’d check beforehand before taking this option.
2. What To Eat When Abroad
- If you’re on a business trip, try and be as good as possible. It’s a business trip after all, and while there may be some entertaining involved, I don’t think it warrants falling off the wagon. Especially if you’re in the middle of a transformation.
- If it’s a holiday in the middle of a transformation, enjoy yourself but try follow the [70:30], or [80:20] rule, just so we can at least maintain the results we’ve got so far.
- If it’s a business trip or holiday in the middle of a time sensitive deadline, like a competition or photoshoot, you need to be on it. No excuses if you want to look your best in front of the camera or on show day. You’ve just got to suck it up really.
- If you’ve worked your ass off for 12-16 weeks with the goal of looking your best on holiday, enjoy yourself!
Eating To Maintain When Away For Business Or Leisure
- Eat 3 main meals a day. If you normally eat 4 to 6 meals a day, dropping to 3 helps control calories. This will also allow you to have bigger meals when you do eat, and makes sure you don’t miss out socially.
- Protein and greens first. No matter where you eat, you can almost always pick some lean protein off the menu, and ask for vegetables on the side.
- Keep protein intake up. One thing that helps control cravings and hunger is keeping protein intake up, even when abroad. If you’re now only eating three main meals when abroad but need something in between, your best bet is to have some protein powder or a snack like beef jerky. Both are travel friendly, and make for great snacks when abroad.
- Opt for lower carb options. Carbs are the hardest macronutrient to control on the road. When you get carbs in restaurants or shops, it usually comes with a lot of fat too, unless you’re in a place that serves dishes like steamed rice. Going low carb is easy, and much more of a safe bet to make your trip a success.
- Eat light in the day, and eat big at night. Whether you’re on holiday or away on business, dinner is usually when you go to the nice restaurants, or have entertainment events. So it makes sense to make your last meal of the day the biggest. I’d recommend you to eat light during the day, sticking with mainly protein and veggies, and then allocating the majority of your carbs and calories to dinnertime.
3. How To Train When Abroad
- Train as soon as you land. This is a tip I picked up from listening to an interview with professional wrestler Triple H, who said one of WWE’s secrets to staying fresh and focused during their manic travelling schedule was to do something when they land in their new destination.
- Train first thing in the morning. Again, this will help reset circadian rhythms. Try wake up at your normal time and train first thing – you’ll feel much better for it.
- HIIT. Simple but effective, 10 to 20 minutes is all you need to get some real work in. All hotel gyms have some sort of cardio equipment, and at the very least, a treadmill which you can do deadmills on. I’d keep HIIT super simple when abroad, and just go hard for 20-30 seconds, followed by 60-90 seconds at a slower pace or rest. Repeat for the allocated time you have.
- Timed Paired Stations. If you’re strapped for equipment, the best thing you can do is pick non-competing exercises, set a rep target for each exercise, and perform as many exercises back and forth as you can in the time you have. For example, you could do dumbbell overhead presses paired with split squats for 10-15 reps each, for 20 minutes. The next day, you could do dumbbell bent over rows with chest presses. You get the idea.
- Bodyweight/Band Circuits. There really isn’t any excuse not to get these done. They can be done anywhere with little space required. Below are two of my favourite circuits I give to clients:
Workout A – Bodyweight Only
- ‘Squeeze’ Press-Ups – 10-15 reps. As you go down, squeeze your hands in against the ground to activate chest more. You can make this easier by doing normal press-ups, or elevating your hands. To make it harder, elevate your feet, or if you have a band, use that for resistance.
- 1 and ½ Bulgarian Split Squats – 10-15 reps each leg. Go all the way down, come up half way, go back down, then come up for 1 rep. You can make this easier by doing normal split squats. To make it harder, you can slow the tempo down so it’s 5 seconds down, a pause at half way, and then 3 seconds up. You could even try Bulgarian split squat jumps.
- YTWL – 3 reps each at 10 seconds in each position. Squeeze your upper back on each move. It’s tough to train your upper back with no equipment at all, so the best alternative would be pull-aparts with a band.
- Single Leg Hip Thrusts (foot elevated) – 10-15 reps each leg. To make it easier, do these on the floor. To make it harder, add pauses or reps.
- Plank to Press Up – 10 reps a side
- Reverse Lunges – 10-15 reps a side
- Mountain Climbers – 10-15 reps a side
- Super Slow Squats – 10 reps. 5 seconds down, 5 seconds up.
Workout B – Bands
- Band Pull Aparts to Hairline – 10 reps
- Band Pull Aparts to Neck – 10 reps
- Band Pull Aparts to Chest – 10 reps
- Band Bent Over Row – 30 reps
- Band Biceps Curl – 10 reps
- Band Lateral Raises – 10 reps
- Band Overhead Triceps Extensions – 10 reps
- Band Resisted Press-Ups – 10 reps
- Band Hip Thrusts (around knees) – 30 reps
- Band Squats (around knees) – 30 reps
- V Ups – 10-15 reps. The only exercise not involving bands, just because it’s easy to train the abs without it!