Toronto to Vilnius via Frankfurt. That’s the route I fly every summer to join Atlas Member “Simon Black” at his BlackSmith camp in the Lithuanian Countryside. It’s an amazing opportunity to help change the lives and mold the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, but I need every ounce of energy I can bring if I’m going to keep up with them.
Just like you need to conquer jet lag, stay energized, avoid illness, and be at your best with every trip you take – whether it’s to Bordeaux with Atlas or back to Tuscany to see our legendary guide, Filippo Bartolotta. Here are my secrets that are guaranteed to help you have the most amazing trip ever.
Step #1 – Sleep
The #1 tip to overcome jet lag is to get on the local time/schedule as quickly as possible. This means eating and sleeping as if you lived there. When going to Europe, sleep on the plane, land in the morning, and fight to stay awake until the evening. Eat on a normal schedule and then after your first night’s good rest, you’ll be good to go for the remainder of your trip. On the flight over, skip the late night meal, avoid alcohol, put on your eyeshades, insert your earplugs, and sleep! When going to Asia, schedule a flight that lands in the evening. Stay awake on the flight and go straight to bed when you land. Wake up the next morning ready to have an amazing day.
Step #2 – Diet
Listen, this isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve been across the pond before. Airplane food is not worth it. So eat before your overnight flight to Europe, skip the meal and booze, and get some sleep. Most important, have a plan. Traveling for business is not an excuse to eat like you were back in college or high school.
Upon arrival at your destination, I strongly recommend visiting a grocery store. Stock up on real snacks – fruits, nuts, almond butter, cut-up vegetables, whatever you might find helpful to fill the gaps between rich business (or leisure) dinners.
What I noticed in Tuscany was one BIG difference between lean members and those struggling with body fat. Everyone enjoyed themselves at the lunches and dinners. The difference was what members ate between meals. Those that were lean found some activity to do. Those that struggle with weight used that time to eat more snacks and drink more booze. Now granted, we were all on holiday. But if you are in a “Season of Health”, consider that fact when planning your trip. Stay busy, stop eating. Nothing to do, you’ll succumb to mindless eating.
At dinner, remember my “Pick your poison” rule. You can have bread, you can booze, or you can have dessert…BUT you can’t have all three. You can’t even have two of three. You can only have one. Choose wisely. Otherwise, have your protein and greens. Restaurants can do amazing things with vegetables these days. Try’em, you’ll like’em.
Finally, good news if you’re a breakfast eater. Eating a breakfast rich in protein and fiber will help you stay full longer over the course of the day. That’s really good news if you’re spending the next 4 hours in a Ferrari driving up and down Italy. My go-to breakfast is 4 scrambled eggs (make sure you ask for real eggs, not the eggs mixture that might be full of who-knows-what) plus a side order of steamed spinach and a side of olive oil to pour over the spinach.
That might be a little much for you, so try this: 3-egg omelet with cheddar cheese or goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Avoid the toast, replace with fresh fruit or a side salad. Coffee is fine, but limit to 2 cups per day. Replace excess coffee with Green Tea. Limit added sugar and eliminate grains, unless you want to fall asleep an hour later.
Your lunch and dinner shouldn’t be much different. Eat more protein, eat more greens, snack on protein and fiber-rich foods, and don’t drink calories (unless it’s high quality wine, of course).
Nutrition is the most important factor in fat loss and in health. Exercise matters, but food is as strong as drugs. If you want to change your health, have more energy, and simply look and feel 10 years younger, food is what will make the difference.
Step #3 – Exercise
No excuses. The end. Ha. Listen, you already have your no-equipment Home Workout Revolution videos. You can do these in your hotel room. Heck, I’ve done these in the shower rooms of the business class lounge at the Frankfurt airport. You don’t need a lot of space. You don’t need a lot of time. Get up, get it done, and get on with your day. Or make a date with the hotel gym to start the day with a pump up.
The bottom line:
Travel is NO excuse to let any of your healthy habit slips. If you plan and prepare, you can lose weight while on holiday even while enjoying all that your locale has to offer.
To your health and energy,
Craig Ballantyne, Master CTT
The Godfather of Fitness