Veterinary sales rep Jaclyn Goldman, author of The Travelling Saleswoman blog, says she gained over 40 pounds after starting her sales career, which took her all across the country, made eating out a regular affair, and often left her staying in a different city (and hotel) each day.
Success in sales requires both body and mind - so here are a few tips to help you take care of your body while you are traveling.
PS: while these tips apply to both men and women - we skewing our tips toward women sales reps. Hope ya'll are okay with that.
And she's not alone. It's easy to ditch your healthy diet while traveling for a multitude of reasons:
- You're in an unfamiliar place, so you grab what's easy and fast
- It's easy to get caught up in the "vacation" mindset and overindulge
- Stress and interrupted sleep schedules can lead to junk food cravings
- Workouts can be restricted (finding the space, time, etc.)
And to add to the difficulty of staying healthy on the go, studies have shown that simply moving across time zones is enough to throw your body's delicate system of microbes (gut bacteria) out of whack--traveling and jet lag have been linked to obesity and metabolic complications like diabetes.
Clearly, traveling isn't always kind to the waistline.
I decided to do some research and find out how seasoned pros who travel reguarly stay on track and keep fit despite the temptations of the road.
Travel Hack #1: Pack your snacks
Anyone who's flown in the last decade knows airport security has really cracked down. You can't take liquids weighing over 3.4 ounces on the plane (unless you purchase them after the security checkpoint), so BYOB is out of the question. But you can still bring smart snacks in your carry on!
Consider stowing these healthy snack options in your carry on:
- Dehydrated fruit
- Trail mix
Don't be tempted by fatty, fried foods in the airport. Look for whole grains, veggies, and fiber if you're hungry before your flight.
And once you're on the plane, forgo alcohol and carbonated beverages in favor of refreshing H20. Alcohol packs 7 calories per gram--more calories per gram than both carbohydrates and protein, and without giving you the feeling of being full.
Travel Hack #2: Steer clear of fast food
When you're traveling by car, you face a whole new set of challenges.Rest stops are filled with convenience store food items that look good, but can wreak havoc on your health. Fast food restaurants lurk at every exit and may seem like a siren song to your junk food cravings. Steer clear!
Once again, bringing your own healthy snacks is a great way to skirt the temptation of fast food. Pack a cooler or insulated bag with healthy foods you know you'll actually eat, like:
This makes it easier to bypass the rest stop temptations when they arise--and arise, they will.
When you want to eat out, find local cafes and eateries that cater to a health-conscious crowd.
Experts suggest searching for vegetarian or vegan dining in the area, even if you normally eat meat and dairy products. Vegetarian and vegan meal options are often low in saturated fat and high in fiber. You might find a new favorite dish!
Travel Hack #3: Arm yourself with apps
Technology is making it much easier to stay healthy on the go. There are tons of apps available that promise to steer you in the right culinary direction when you're away from home, but these are the best I've seen. Check them out!
Apps to Help Sales Reps Stay Healthy
It's easy to locate the healthiest options at restaurants (even fast food) in your area with this app.
When you're traveling, this powerful app is like a friendly local with great, healthy food suggestions. It will show you where to find the best food, farmer's markets, artisan shops, and healthy local favorites. Bonus: It also shows you tasty alternatives to fast food!
This app lets you set the interval you want to take between bites, and sounds a bell each time you're due for another bite. It's a great way to learn to eat slower, savor your food, and more accurately identify when you're full.
Travel Hack #4: Get active anyway
Most hotels provide a gym for their guests, but if yours doesn't (or if you just want to switch things up a bit), lace up your shoes and head outside!
Check your GPS for nearby national, state, and local parks where you can squeeze in some exercise.
Local flavor more your style? Take a self-guided walking tour of the city you're in to burn some calories and get to know the culture.
If you're not keen on getting outside, a Pilates workout may be perfect for you. You can complete the exercises right in your hotel room and burn a whopping 500 calories per hour!
It's worth it!
Staying fit on the go may not be easy, but with a few tweaks to the way you eat and exercise when you travel, you could find yourself weighing less when you get home than you did when you left! Pack your snacks, steer clear of fast food, arm yourself with apps, and get active wherever you are to stay healthy on the go.
Have some travel hacks of your own? Leave them in the comments below and we may feature them in an upcoming post!