Be Prepared

It seems a lot easier to stick to any workout program or nutrition plan when you’re on your regular schedule, but often times workouts don’t happen or any sort of nutrition plan goes out the window when a special event happens.  And it can take 2-3 days to make up for one bad cheat day too, so how can you avoid needing to make up for lost time?  Be prepared.

Being prepared means thinking ahead about potential obstacles to sticking to your workout and nutrition plans and finding ways around those obstacles.

The workouts:

With the workouts, it can seem impossible to get them in when you’re traveling or when you’re really busy at work.  When you’re away from home you don’t have your own living room to workout in and maybe you can’t have all your equipment with you.  But you still need to get those workouts in, so how can you be prepared to do that?  Well first off, you need to bring a laptop or portable DVD player to play the workouts on.  Also, invest in a pair of workout bands, because they are easy to pack.  Even if you prefer working out with dumbbells, you can’t bring them on a plane or in your car typically.  Bands are super easy to pack and they will give you a great resistance workout.  If you’re at a relative’s house, just get up before everyone else, head down to the basement and get your workout in before everyone else’s day starts.  That’s what I do over holidays and on family trips and it works out great.  If you’re  a traveling business man, most hotels these days will have a workout room which you can use.  It’s easy to bring your laptop in there and use their equipment, so it’s even easier to get the workout done.  Or if your particular workout is just a cardio workout, move some furniture around and make the space you need.

The nutrition:

Who doesn’t hate lunch?  It’s often hard to think of what to eat and so many options sound so boring.  One thing that I see people not preparing every day is their lunch.  Where I work, I would guess 90% of people just eat from the cafeteria instead of packing a lunch.  There are some healthy options, but it seems like most people go for the pizza or burgers.  I could easily eat 1500 calories just at lunch if I were too lazy to pack my lunch.  Instead, I make Shakeology in the morning and eat that for lunch.  I replace what could be the worst meal of my day with my healthiest meal of the day and it only takes me about 5 minutes to get my lunch together.  Now that is 5 minutes well spent!  If you’re going to an event where you know the food is going to be terrible for you, pack a healthy snack ahead of time.  Grab a piece of fruit and maybe put some almonds or pistachios in a bag or (what I typically do) grab a protein bar.  That way when you’re at the event you can fill yourself with a healthy snack and not  get tempted by whatever is there.  If you know you’re going out to a restaurant for a special event, check out their menu online first and plan out what you’re going to order.  See if you can find nutritional info so you can already know what you will order and that it will help you stick with your nutrition plan.  Finally, if you’re going to a situation where you know you have no control over the menu options, it’s going to be all about portion control.  You need to tell yourself ahead of time that you won’t have a piece of cake at the graduation party or that you’re not going to eat two burgers, a hot dog, and a couple beers at the grill out.  These situations happen, but if you plan ahead of time how you’re going to control your portions they don’t have to ruin your diet for the day.

So when you’re not in your typical routine, make sure to prepare yourself for what temptations or obstacles might pop up.  It’s often not too hard to guess what your food options are going to be, so you can come up with a strategy before you go.  When you don’t have a healthy snack on hand is often when that fried, greasy food looks the best.  If you go through the steps to make plans before you go on a trip or out to celebrate with friends you can still enjoy yourself and stick to your workout and nutrition plan.  I’m not saying it’s easy but a little effort beforehand can save you a lot of work in making up for the missed workouts and poor eating!

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