To diet while traveling is a slap in the face of the experience, or what the experience should be. Part of enjoying a new culture and way of life is enjoying the cuisine. But how does a guy enjoy the pastas and pastries of Italy, for example, without also adding a dozen extra pounds of fat in the process?
Well, I’m in Italy, enjoying the land and the food and the art and the culture while also staying as lean as humanly possible. What follows is 5 tips that are enabling me to do so. Read them. Save the article for when you embark on your next adventure, and enjoy your travels my friend.
1. Take naps.
A lack of sleep often accompanies travels especially when you’re getting used to a new time zone. A lack of sleep is also usually accompanied by an increase in cortisol, which results in a decrease of testosterone, the burning of muscle and bone, and your fat loss goals halted in their tracks. What’s worse is that your cortisol levels are also raised by stress which can be increased by your travels as well, especially when things don’t go as planned.
So nap. Napping has been shown to positively effect both testosterone and human growth hormone levels, two hormones that are incredibly helpful in the fight against body fat. You need both on your side, helping you burn fat and build and maintain muscle, and napping will help you with both.
2. Take care of your fats in one meal.
As you should know by now your hormone levels are what’s largely responsibly for your body composition. If you want to get ripped or stay lean, as a man, it’ll help a while lot to have optimal testosterone levels. Testosterone is created in the testes when your body converts cholesterol into this powerful hormone that will help you burn much more fat and build more muscle. Thus, you need healthy fats to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Taking care of your fat content for the day in one meal will allow you the freedom to eat local cuisine later in the day (more on this later). Prepare your fats meal yourself. Have eggs with bacon or beef, depending on where you’re visiting and what you have available to you.
As an aside, having meets for your first meal of the day will help you experience an elevation in energy throughout the day as well as meat slows the rise of blood sugar. Also a benefit of structuring your meals this way.
For me, this meal is 6-8 eggs with some thin cutlets of beef, along with a bunch of assorted veggies. Remember, don’t have any high-glycemic carbs with your fats, just fats and veggies, no fruits or breads or cereals to accompany them.
For more on how to naturally increase your testosterone levels and how to burn more fat, read this article:
3. Eat local cuisine for dinner.
Structure your days so you can maintain a great body and healthy hormone levels while also enjoying the body you’ve worked so hard to forge. Structure your “local meal” – which for me visiting Rome is pasta, pasta, and more pasta – for after your workout. I’ve been working during the day, lifting after work, then enjoying a lovely dinner of whatever I want after my workout, which is then followed by a very long walk up and down many a stair and hill.
By having your “local meal” after a workout you’re ensuring that you’re eating your carbs when your insulin sensitivity is at its height. That is, you’re going to use these carbs for fuel rather than storing them as body fat.
If you’re wondering how to best structure your meals, check out this article:
When we are where we live we rarely walk, speaking largely for myself of course, but walking is one of the best ways to burn fat there is. It gets our heart right right in that optimal zone where we’re not burning muscle but instead using fat for fuel. Guys like Charles Atlas swore by it. When they weren’t lifting they were walking. It’s a great way to stay lean.
I think I walked more the last 3 weeks than I did all of the last 3 years combined, and although my diet has been suspicious I’ve managed to stay lean. It’s also the best way to see and experience whatever foreign land you’re visiting. So enjoy the local cuisine, workout, and walk. Walking will allow you to enjoy the local cuisine without seeing it add to your waistline.
5. Use an intermittent fasting protocol.
Meal scheduling is tough when you travel. So make it easier by only having a few meals a day, even two. Right now I’m waking up and working for 4 hours. Then I have my fats meal, and then my post workout shake after I train, followed by a lovely local meal for dinner. The rest of the night is foodless, as well as the following morning.
Not only is this an easier schedule to follow when you don’t know where your meals will come from or what time they’ll occur at, but it’ll help you eat a fewer number of overall calories, even if the meals are of solid proportions. Right now I’m following the Man Diet 16/8, fasting to eating protocol, but there are many others that will work great as well.
Do your research before you head out on the road and find out a feeding and fasting schedule that will fit what you want to accomplish. You’ll probably end up doing it anyway by accident, but having a plan of attack is always the best way to go when trying to stay lean while traveling.
With that, enjoy your journey, have many adventures, and hopefully you’re able to stay in great shape as you galavant across this fine planet. That’s exactly what I intend to do while I’m here in Italy for 3 months, alas, we shall see how it goes. Ciao.