Traveling without Packing It On

The best ways to lose weight are to avoid restaurants, avoid sitting for long periods, and work out six days a week. So what do you do when you travel? Yeah. Last year I racked up 110,000 miles on one airline alone. (And I flew on a bunch of airlines.) This morning I leave for a two-city trip. I notched another belt loop just thinking about it.

But I can lessen the damage and possibly even gain fitness during the trip. (I once lost weight on a cruise.) It's not easy. Hotel security at two different hotels has knocked on my door during in-room workouts. I once kicked over a lamp doing kenpo at 4 a.m. But some of these tips won't get you in trouble.

Rumble Roller

Rumble Roller

Bring a miniature foam roller. If my carry-on has room, I use this small Rumble Roller. I'll write about foam rolling in another post. Foam rolling--especially with this instrument of torture--is better than a massage. And it's key to my recovering from long flights.

Don't sit in airports. Avoiding sitting is no hardship. The TV is terrible and shrieking kids are drawn to sitting adults like a magnet. Walk around . If you have to work, try to find a place to work standing up. I work in airport clubs, standing up with my laptop propped on a shelf.

Exercise subtly at the gate. Here's a great move that won't attract too much attention. Stand on one leg. Now reach down while moving your butt back into a one-legged squat. Touch your big toe (the one that's on the floor) with the opposite hand. Stand up. Repeat a bunch of times on each foot. It's the perfect exercise for getting blood flowing through your legs and glutes. And people will just think you've dropped something. Again and again. You klutz. Oh, and try doing this exercise on the plane. It's a hoot!

Avoid hotel breakfasts. I bring packs of Shakeology for breakfast along with my trusty Blender Bottle. Starbucks Via, along with hotel ice, make for iced coffee in the morning. That way I can work in my room, unless I have to do breakfast with a client.

Avoid meeting-room lunches. You know, those crummy sandwiches and inedible salads and weird-flavored chips. Instead I pack nuts, raisins and other dried fruit, and protein bars. I have a food allergy (celiac), which gives me an excuse. You can just say the work "Allergy" and look sad. You're not really lying, even if you don't actually have an allergy. 

Restaurant Dinners, on the other hand, are usually necessary. I'll eat big if the food is worth it. If not, I order appetizer and salad. 

Bring your own workout. I do Insanity in the hotel gym, checking ahead of time to see that it's open 24 hours.  That way I can do my crazy workout at 4 a.m. without scaring the poor souls on their ellipticals. For in-room working out, P90X2's last-phase workouts are among the quietest extreme ones. You just need to add a couple exercise bands. On this trip I'll alternate between Insanity and the treadmill: a series of intense 3 minute sprints with 30 seconds of walking in between. 

Do not watch the TV in your room. Sleep is key. (I violate this rule constantly. We don't have HBO at home.)

On to Dallas--my favorite eating town--and Cambridge, Mass. Wish me luck.