Weight Loss and Travel: The 4 Things You Need to Know

Feel like travel is the enemy of weight loss?

Maybe you’ve been here before…

You eat healthy food and workout for a few weeks or even a month, and you are feeling really good. But then, it’s time for a vacation or work trip, and suddenly all your strategies go right out the door.

Then, you say, “You know what? Maybe it’s just not possible to do this weight loss thing away from my home.”

And if I were with you, I’d stop you right there because it really is possible. In fact, you can maintain your weight and even lose weight when you travel. That’s why I’m giving you my favorite skills and tools while for the next time you’re on the road, in the air, at a hotel, or staying with someone else.

Mindset Matters

If you joined me for The Weight Loss Code, then you know we discussed a lot about the power of mindset and your belief system. Mindset is often the missing link that’s so crucial when trying to achieve healthy, permanent weight loss. This same mindset and belief in yourself are needed when you travel.

You have to ask yourself, “Do I believe this is hard or do I have the ability to do this?” Decide that saying, “No” to the Twizzlers, chocolate, cocktails, and chips at the airport isn’t deprivation but rather the empowering decisions you’ve made for your health.

This also means that when that larger portion arrives on your plate at a restaurant or hotel, you make the mental decision to only eat half of it.

We often overeat just because the food is in front of us. So, if you already decide that you are only going to eat half, you can hand the plate to your waiter and say, “Thank you! This was delicious!” and know you are making a better, healthier decision for you. Portion matters most when it comes to fitting food into your lifestyle without denial or deprivation.

It’s important to remember that you are creating a weight loss journey for real life. And real life involves travel, work, vacations, going out to eat, and staying at a hotel.

Optimize and Maximize

Once you have your mindset right, you then need to make a plan. Travel with food you can count on. Here are a few things you can pack…

  • Apples or pears.
  • Fresh cut veggies like carrots, celery, or snap peas.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Lots of water (!)

When you are able to maximize your strategies, you are never without healthy choices. You are better able to make the healthy decisions – in the moment – without having to think about it or let those justifications creep in.

If you haven’t prepped or haven’t decided your food plan, it’s easy to abandon your weight loss journey. In the same way, you pack your clothes and plan your itinerary, take some time to plan out your travel meals and food plan.

The Ultimate Pit Stop

The first stop I make when I arrive at my destination is a nearby grocery store. I head right to the produce section and grab mini carrots, baby tomatoes, apples, and a few greek yogurts. I make sure to stock my hotel fridge or bring this bag to a friend or family member’s home (if I’m staying there).

One of the other things we discussed in The Weight Loss Code is that structure gives you freedom. We often associate rules with deprivation but it’s actually the opposite. Creating a plan that works for you eliminates the anxiety around what you will eat, ultimately lessening your anxiety, and allows you to be more present for the other things in your life.

The same thing goes when you find yourself at a restaurant. Try to stick to those basics, as much as possible. Stay away from the greasy rice bowls and super oily sauces. Instead, find that clean protein. If it comes with fries or another carbohydrate, sub a salad or ask for a little bit less.

If you are with a friend or family, ask them to split something with you. Share the burger with the side salad or a few fries. Have one glass of wine, and that’s it.

Create those boundaries for yourself, so you never feel deprived. Also, remember what makes you feel good. Chances are, overeating doesn’t leave you feeling like your best self. So, it’s not about eliminating certain foods for the rest of your life, it’s about portion control and having strategies in place to always be a conscious consumer.

Move More

Don’t ditch exercise. Always pack sneakers and a pair of workout clothes, so no matter where you are, you can get a walk in or utilize the hotel gym, try a class at a nearby studio.

Decide that you will take 30 minutes each day of your vacation or work trip to get outside and get moving.

How you treat yourself and how you approach situations is key to your weight loss. Tell yourself that these 30 minutes are important for your overall self-care and stick to it.

Plan your exercise ahead of time right along with your food and meal plan. Check out the hotel or surrounding areas and make a plan. Ask your friend to go for a walk if you are staying with them or pop into the hotel gym after your conference each day on a work trip.

(Working out on a work trip can be a great way to decompress and combat the stress or crash you feel that may cause you to reach for the sugar or Starbucks fix towards the end of the day.)

This will also help you easily transition back to a better routine when you get home, so you don’t feel like you are starting back at the beginning each and every time.

The point I want you to remember is that when you know what you’re next step is, you are able to keep moving forward.

Let’s start that planning right now! In the comments, tell me this…

  1. What’s the *one* snack you will bring with you the next time you travel?
  2. What’s the choice you’ll look for the next time you are at a restaurant?
  3. And, while you’re typing, what’s that exercise plan going to look like?

Begin to establish the plan now, so you can easily reference this when it comes time for your next vacation and work trip.

Healthy, permanent weight loss is possible. You just need the strategies, steps, and support to keep you motivated.

Click below to get my *free* ebook and learn five things you can start doing today to outsmart your fat cells and start losing weight.

About the Author:

Jennifer coaches busy, successful women with imperfect lives who want to look and feel amazing from the inside out. With her tried-and-proven weight loss method—ENERGY to Thrive™—Jennifer takes the fascinating science of physiological transformation and breaks it down into six empowering steps.


  1. Marcia August 2, 2018 at 6:51 am - Reply

    This comes at a perfect time. It’s very hard to travel and make the right choices. Even going out with friends is tough. Friday we are going to an Italian restaurant with family. Their pasta is homemade, but they also have great salads. So I’ll get the biggest salad they have and either have them put on grilled chicken or salmon. Next week friends want to go to a new burger place. Not sure what else they have there. This one may be harder.

    • Jennifer Powter March 27, 2019 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      Marcia – the key thing is that you’re thinking about this!!!!

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