Part of the fun of travelling to America is the food. Man do they like their food. The portions are enormous and you’ll never be lacking any kind of fried cheese. Most major cities will have lots of great food options, but if you’re travelling across the USA and visiting small towns, you’re gonna be hard-pressed to find healthy food options. And as I said, that’s part of the fun so you may as well indulge and enjoy.
But here are a few tips to avoid gaining (too much) weight when visiting the States.
1. Take advantage of jet lag
One of the worst things about travelling across so many timezones is the hideous jetlag, both on the way there and on the way back. It’s very likely that you’ll be waking up at a ridiculously early hour, so why not take advantage of that? If you’re awake at 5 am, there will be very little else to do so you may as well visit the hotel gym.
Whether you’re a morning person or not, it’s a few hours to do a quick workout that will give you some extra energy to tackle your tourist activities and assuage any guilt you may have at taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
2. Beware the buffet
The worst mistake you can make (and by you, I mean me) is to hit up the buffet breakfast every day. I know there’s a real “value for money” element, but remember American breakfasts are loaded with sugar. So not only will you be maxing out on calories, you’ll likely feel a massive slump in a few hours, right when you should be out enjoying the sights of the city.
If you do opt for the buffet or there’s no other option, start with your protein (for example, eggs) and add on from there. You don’t have to have 7 pieces of french toast with syrup every day… but then again, that really is the fun part.
3. Plank and push-ups
If you’re not that keen on visiting the hotel gym, or you don’t have access to one (cheap motels are part of the fun) then aim to do push-ups and plank every day. These are quick exercises that require no equipment or workout outfits so can be done anywhere. They’re also vanity exercises, focusing your efforts on your chest and abs which will make you feel better about yourself and not worry so much that you’re not sticking to your usual workout routine.
Another big plus is that both exercises, but especially planking, will help strengthen your core and your lower back. Something that always gives me problems when I’m wandering around new cities for hours.
4. Say no to road trip snacks
I know I know, I’m such a buzzkill. There’s a strong temptation to grab as many bags of sweets and crisps (known as chips over there, weird) as you can carry every time you stop for petrol (gas). But the truth is you’ll end up eating them all just because they’re there, not because you really want them. And again, they’re going to give you a massive sugar spike and then a sugar crash which you could probably do without especially if you’re driving cross-country for hours.
If you’re hungry, there will always be places to stop along the way. Don’t worry, in the States, food is never very far away.
Get in shape when you get home
At the end of the day, if you’re on holiday in the States, there’s a chance you’ll gain some weight. Meh. Enjoy it! That’s what holidays are for. Worry about sorting it out when you get home.
If you want more tips and ideas for the gym, don’t forget to subscribe to our Weekly Workout Newsletter for weekly workouts (obvs). Or better yet, book in some time with a gay personal trainer who can guide you through your fitness journey.