5 Solutions to Eat Healthy & Stick to Your Nutrition Plan When Traveling

One of my favorite things to do when I travel to a new place is to eat my way through the city, so to speak. Basically, I like to try out the best-rated restaurants and lunch spots on yelp and experience the local cuisine.

That doesn’t, however, mean that I throw away any and all caution to eating healthy while I’m traveling. Essentially, I stick to eating the same way I do when I’m at home – with a focus on protein, healthy fats, and moderate carbohydrates in the form of starchy vegetables and some grains.

Yes, it can be somewhat tougher eating healthily and sticking to a nutrition plan while away from home, but it’s completely doable if you set yourself up for success. Success in this aspect means a little prep work, a little research, and a little planning.


And before I go into the 5 tips, I have to make known: one thing I don’t do while traveling is stress out about eating. There’s no need to add any additional anxiety/guilt/stress about eating. Relax, it’s vacation!

Problem: The hotel we stayed at in Santa Monica had the most beautiful display of all every kind of pastry you could imagine for breakfast. But that was it. Since I don’t crave dessert upon waking up, this generous complimentary breakfast wasn’t going to work for me.

Solution: Google the nearest Whole Foods/Natural Grocer/Market that sells healthy food. I found a Whole Foods that was 1 mile from our hotel, and proceeded to get my breakfast there every day except for one while we were in Santa Monica. Not only did that provide a lovely walk every morning, but it also provided me a hot bar full of delicious, healthy food of my choice for breakfast:


Tip: bacon weighs like, nothing! This whole plate cost me $5!

Problem: The only food there was in the room was mnm’s and chips (true story – not even a fridge!)

Solution: Bring your own travel-friendly food. I brought along KIND bars, Quest bars, beef and turkey jerky, grain-free macaroons (- which would also make a great Valentine’s Day truffle!) plantain chips, and coconut chips for snacking on the plane and in the room.


Problem: You’re away on business, and will be eating dinners out with colleagues a lot.

Solution: Check out the menu beforehand. There’s a healthy option anywhere you look. If there’s not a healthy option on the menu, figure out how you can ask the server for a modification to make one. Also, try to order it first so you don’t experience any pressure from what others’ are ordering.


Problem: It’s hard to stick with healthy eating/a nutrition routine when the rest of your routine is all out of whack, as well.

Solution: Try to keep routine as much as possible (unless this stresses you out.) This means keep up some form of exercise. You might not be able to hit up your usual Tuesday morning spin class, but could you run some sprints on the hotel treadmill? Lift some dumbbells around? Get in a hotel workout? Do it – even if it’s just 10-20 minutes, and it will set the tone.


The hotel gym where we stayed left much to be desired, but I got in a couple short (15-20 mins) workouts in when I woke up, did some yoga and walked a LOT. Some other routines I practiced: I couldn’t bring along my foam roller, but I brought along The Stick and used that at night. I also tried to read before bed, which helps me get a good night’s rest for the next day!

Problem: There are temptations everywhere!

Solution: Choose which temptations you really, really want to indulge in. For me, it most certainly was not the pastries at the complimentary breakfast. I chose my indulgences. The San Diego beer tasting or splitting a piece of cheesecake for dessert? Sign me UP! Just because there are cheap cookies offered at the conferences you attend, doesn’t mean you need to eat them. Instead, choose something that will really satisfy you, like the local milkshake place across the street that locals love.


Do you have trouble eating healthy while traveling?

What tips can you add to this list?

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  1. Great tips! I am an avid follower of all of them :-) I’ve found that I often end up losing a couple pounds while traveling, even though I feel like I’m splurging all the time! It’s probably all the extra walking and activity from sight-seeing and visiting.
    Katie H. recently posted..The Ridiculous Amount of TV I Watched While SickMy Profile

  2. Love these tips! When I travel, I usually don’t do any real workouts because I’m walking so much anyway!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Quick Eats and Oatworks GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  3. I have to say that not really because here in SA, we have Woolworths in every town. With them, they have bite size snack options which are just the right amount of protein a woman for example needs per meal or snack. They have cut up veggies as well and the things aren’t fried but grilled with either a sauce or you choose the ones without the sauce.
    Otherwise if it is a town which really don’t have a Woolworths, I find a cafe to buy some raw nuts from, tinned tuna (have an opener in my handbag), etc.
    Love the tips you give the readers here. Very handy.
    blackhuff recently posted..Counting calories vs counting macrosMy Profile

  4. Great tips! When I travel I make sure to walk a lot – just exploring, shopping, or walking to meals/conferences adds up to quite a bit! I usually don’t bother getting in formal exercise while travelling, so walking everywhere gets me the movement I need.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..WIAW: Going for Healthy Fats.My Profile

  5. Such great tips! These are ones I definitely follow when I travel and as I’m gearing up for a work trip next week, I’ve already started my list of snacks to pack, how i’m going to get in a brief workout, etc.
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..My Top Tips to Drink More WaterMy Profile

  6. i definitely always pack my own snacks. i try to choose items on the menu that are most nutrient dense, but also allow myself to break free from normal eating and enjoy the vacation. that’s what life is all about1
    christinaorso recently posted..Fashion Advice Needed! Kate Spade SaleMy Profile

  7. I do just about the same thing – I don’t like pastries but I do want to experience the local fare so everything I eat is local or if not, something I brought from home. I never eat chain restaurants when traveling.
    Julie recently posted..WIAW: My relationship (with food)My Profile

  8. I love that you said to choose your indulgences. It’s important to figure out what it is that you really would enjoy and want. If you start your day with sugar, it’ll be sugar all day long! Love keeping to a routine, too. People think I’m nuts when I’m on vaca and go running in the morning, but it’s my routine and my favorite way to start my vacation day! Plus it helps keep my temptations at bay and focus on what I want!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted..What Does God Want Me To Do?My Profile

    • I love to exercise more when on vacation-maybe because I know I have all day to relax and do what I want, but its the perfect way to start each vacation day!

  9. great tips!! we always try to pick snacks 😉
    purelytwins recently posted..20 Valentine’s Day RecipesMy Profile

  10. Always love tips – we can collect from everyone & use what works for us! :)
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Are you Defined or Developed by Social MediaMy Profile

  11. Oh my, I had to laugh-when I was scrolling down the page, I really thought that you were wearing a leotard in that picture!! I had to look 2x, haaa!
    Great info!
    I use to travel alot with work, we always had group breakfast (buffets), lunches and dinners (usually set menus, always dessert, lots of alcohol).
    I learned to always pack my own snacks and oatmeal packs for breakfast. If I drove, it was easier, I could bring more (pack a cooler if needed).
    And I totally agree with ‘pick your indulgences’. If you know that everyday, say at an all inclusive that you can have a frozen mudslide, with free sundaes and full dessert buffet-limit to the ones you normally would not have access to or the ones that are a true treat to you! (for me, its usually something I cannot get or make at home!)

  12. Yes, I have tons of trouble keeping up with my diet while I am out. One of the big reasons for this is that I can’t take my juicer around with me, so that messes up my nutrition shot in the morning of a nice hand-made veggie and fruit juice. Having Whole Foods nearby is awesome, but I’ve never seen a Whole Foods outside the US. (They have Whole Foods in Canada I know, but not in South America/Mexico) But they do have farmers market type places to get some good foods.
    Alex @ Juice It Upp recently posted..How to Relieve Constipation Quickly – A Natural SecretMy Profile


  1. […] And I would have a number 6, which would be road food, but I covered that pretty thoroughly in this post of how to stick to your nutrition plan while traveling […]

  2. […] And although it was all about natural health food and products, I veered pretty far from sticking to my nutrition plan while traveling. […]

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