It is one thing to achieve your best physique and keep balance with work, family and your training at home. It's a completely different thing to keep the routine you have while being smacked with extremely different circumstances.
Below I want to show you just how I found balance while holding onto my exact weight (or near enough).
I want to share with you my own experiences of traveling and the mixture of circumstances iv purposefully put myself into for a greater experience. For more current info about me, you can visit my Instagram account at @rickwestman but for a quick recap on some of my history with traveling and maintaining a good or (better) physique, I have prepped for 6 weeks in South America for a natural physique contest and placed 2nd just a day after landing.
After another natural competition I left for Greece just days after finishing a vigorous 3+ month diet and witnessed some extreme physical changes in just a matter of days.
These are just a few examples of the experiences I have gained. Not to get too far from the main blog, I am currently writing this while on a six week vacation around Europe and as much as I want to enjoy all of the food and carbohydrates they have to offer, I need to maintain what I have for when I begin my next contest prep the day I land.
HOW TO NOT GET FAT.
This is probably the hardest question to answer but with the simplest instruction.
What types of foods you eat matters but only to a certain degree, which we will get into on another blog (Carbs are energy) for this blog I want to simplify how to travel and not get fat. This all starts with a simple equation to find out how much food your body needs to maintain the weight it is at.
The way I set it out is in pounds (lbs) this gives you a much closer figured to work with and the equation goes as follows;
Your current weight in pounds
multiplied (x) by
10 - 15 (the amount of energy to expend)
This second figure (10-15) depends how truthful you are to yourself and how active you are.
Ten being the lowest would mean your someone that is usually sitting and sometimes does some type of cardio, fifteen would be a highly active person with an active job and weight training every day of the week. These are just extreme examples to help you select where you might sit but that being said, if your trip is outside your normal activity level you may have more room to indulge if you earn it during your trip. One example would be a huge hiking trip up and down rough terrain when back home your use to sitting at a desk pushing a couple of buttons, this would allow you on that day alone to eat above your calories (because you earned them).
Dont confuse yourself with the saying “I will just work it off” the body doesn’t work so easily. Once the food is stored into its chosen locations (most likely fat) it wont be useable until you follow a set plan to allow your body to give it up again and this could take months depending on your habits and current physique.
HOW TO COUNT CALORIES!
So you have your magic number. What do you do now?
For me I use an app called MyFitnessPal which you can download for free and keep track of the foods you eat so that each day you hit your target number. This app has been around for years now and covers majority of the foods all around the world. What you need to remember is that these foods have been uploaded by other users and may be off a few calories or not exactly add up correctly so you have the option to input your own foods manually.
We then need to take one step further into our daily calorie number and break it down into the macronutrients our body is fuelled by. There are three macronutrients - protein, carbs and fats. For protein we want to aim for 1g per pound (convert kts to lbs) of body weight or above if MyFitnessPal rounds it up. Then fats will be 1g per kilogram of body weight but if you know your trip will be highly active or a country known for a more available carb source like Italy for example, I would then round your fats down so you have more room for the foods that are easily available to you. So this would leave the remainder of your calories to goto carbohydrates.
The main aim while traveling is to hit your target calories so your body has a consistent amount of energy to use without running the risk of putting your body into a state of starvation, which can cause muscle breakdown and fat storage.
For personal reference before I left for my holiday I spent four weeks on a maintenance amount of calories with roughly 80% of my food coming from wholesome foods and solid proteins, the consistency would have helped set my body up to continue through my holiday on the same calories and hold my weight from 80kg (when I left) to 80.7kg (when I returned home).
left - is before leaving and after four weeks of a maintenance diet.
right - is one week after returning from Europe and 6 weeks of only calorie counting