Eat and Exercise on the Go

We’ve all been there. On the go, and ready to stuff our face with the next food we see – health and fitness goals be damned. Over my years of traveling across North America and Europe for work, I’ve discovered that the only time I make bad food choices is when I wait too long to eat, and I don’t plan ahead. Additionally, I only fail to work out if I don’t select a hotel with a gym, or near a gym. Today, I am bringing you actionable recommendations when it comes to making food and exercise selections when flitting from Point A to Point B. Let’s do this!

How to Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Planning ahead could mean that you have your ideal macros planned out (carb/fat/protein calories) per meal, a healthy restaurant picked out in the airport or city you’re are traveling to, or that you purchased a meal to go from a restaurant for when you inevitably get hungry.

 Below, you’ll find real-life scenarios that we all run into, and my recommendations.

When you have to eat from a convenience store:

Lean Body Ready-to-Drink Shake (You can even add a banana)
• Protein Bar
• Grilled Chicken Salad + Low-Fat Dressing
• Grilled Chicken Tortilla Wrap + Low-Fat Dressing
• Hummus + Veggies
• Water
• Coffee

Stay away from
• Candy
• Chips
• Soda

When the only available food establishment in town is a diner:

• Egg Whites/Eggs + Potatoes
• Steak + Eggs + Potatoes
• Grilled Chicken + Potatoes + Veggies
• Grilled Chicken Salad + Low-Fat Dressing

Stay away from
• Fancy Coffee Drinks
• Desserts
• Crispy Chicken + Waffles

When the only food available is fast food:

• Grilled Chicken Salad + Low Fat Italian Dressing (12g F/12g C/33g P) = 290 cals
• Grilled Chicken Sandwich (11g F/46g C/32g P) = 405 cals
• Junior Burger (11g F/36g C/14g P) = 310 cals
• Chicken Fajita Taco (12g F/31g C/29g P) = 345 cals

• Grilled Chicken Sandwich (6g F/41g C/28g P) = 320 cals
• Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap (13g F/29g C/42g P) = 350 cals
• Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken (19g F/22g C/36g P) = 390 cals
• Light Italian Dressing (9g F/3g C/0g P) = 25 cals

• Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (7g F/44g C/37g P) = 380 cals
• Double Hamburger (14g F/32g C/20g P) = 330 cals
• Premium Asian Salad w/Grilled Chicken (14g F/8g C/42g P) = 320 cals
• Premium Southwest Salad w/Grilled Chicken (12g F/27g C/37g P) = 350 cals
• Low Fat Balsamic Dressing (3g F/3g C) = 35 cals

• Grilled Chicken Sandwich (10g F/36g C/34g P) = 370 cals
• Apple Slices (0g F/8g C/0g P) = 35 cals

Jack in the Box
• Chicken Pita Pocket (11g F/33 g C/24g P) = 320 cals
• Grilled Chicken Salad (9g F/14g C/28g P) = 250 cals

• Blonde Roast Coffee (0g F/0g C/1g P) = 5 cals
• Grande Café Americano (0g F/3g C/1g P) = 15 cals
• Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Sandwich (6g F/28g C/18g P) = 230 cals
• Feta & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap (8g F/34g C/20g P) = 280 cals
• Egg White & Red Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites (8g F/11g C/12g P) = 170 cal

When you go out to eat at a restaurant:

• Sirloin Steak + Potatoes + Veggies
• Grilled Chicken + Potatoes + Veggies
• Lean Fish + Potatoes + Veggies
• Coffee
• Sparkling Water
• Minimize Alcohol Intake (Vodka Soda is Light Option)
• Low-Fat Dressing
• Save $ by ordering a sides of chicken + veggies + rice/potatoes (this also helps with portion control)

Stay away from
• Bread Rolls + Butter
• Baskets of Chips
• Fancy Coffee Drinks
• Desserts
• Sugary Alcoholic Drinks

How to Plan Your Workout Ahead of Time

Workout options are endless nowadays, which makes working out on the go so much easier! People who succeed in completing their workouts at home and while traveling make them a priority. Here are some tips that help immensely when away from home.


Buy a day pass at a local gym:

• This normally runs $10-$30.
• You may be able to get a guest pass if it’s in the same gym chain as your home gym.

Get a lift in at your hotel gym:

Sample Workouts:

• Push-Ups- 15-20 x 4 sets
• Glute Bridge Press – 15-20 x 4 sets
• Seated Cable Fly – 15-20 x 4 sets

Shoulders (dumbbells)
• Arnold Press – 15-20 x 3 sets
• Lateral Raise – 15-20 x 3 sets
• Upright Cable Row or Barbell Row (increase weight)- 15-20 x 3 sets
• Seated Reverse Fly Machine or Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly- 15-20 x 3 sets

• Bent over hammer kickbacks – 15-20 x 4 sets
• French Press (dumbbell) – 15-20 x 4 sets

Get cardio done on the hotel machines:

Sample Workout:

• Treadmill Intervals (30 sec fast/60 sec steady state)
• Stairmaster Intervals (30 sec fast/60 sec steady state)

Do a circuit workout in your hotel room:

Sample Workout:

40 Seconds on/20 Seconds Rest (Repeat) x the number of minutes you can workout

• Burpee
• Military Push-Up
• Tricep Dips
• High Knees in Place
• Pike Push-Ups

Pack a resistance band and workout in your hotel room:

Sample Workout:

4 Rounds x 10-15 Repetitions

• Sumo Squat
• Lateral Squat R & L
• Squat Jump
• Deadlift
• Seated Row
• Bicep Curls


• Outdoor workouts in unfamiliar areas – This immediately puts you at risk for crime.
• Working out late at night at the hotel with headphones in and loud music- Stay alert so that you can see who enters and exits the gym.


You are worth taking the time to make smart nutrition and exercise choices, even when you are traveling for work or to see family. By putting yourself first, you will show up ready to serve others to your fullest potential.

About the Author: Courtney Alcala-Herrera MS

Courtney lives in Texas with her husband and their two dogs. Courtney is a clinical research and health education expert whose life mission is to spread health and lifestyle modifications to the public. When she’s not traveling across the country monitoring research studies, you can catch Courtney counseling her fitness clients, prepping for her next bikini competition, or racing off to explore with her husband.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.