What to Pack, Prep, and Do to Keep Yourself on Track

Between dining out, disappointing hotel gyms, and time zone changes, it can be hard to keep up with healthy habits while you’re traveling. I’ve spent years figuring out sensible strategies that work, and in this episode, I’m sharing my best travel health tips. With a little motivation, some creativity, and a bit of dedication, you can sail through your trip feeling strong and fit.


00:01:30 – Believe it or not, I bring this when I travel
00:02:07 – The hotel amenity that tops my list
00:02:58 – This travel must saves me money & keeps me on my game
00:04:32 – How I adjust to changing time zones
00:07:04 – A surprising aid for jet lag
00:08:20 – Do you have to avoid alcohol to reach your ideal weight?

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Subscribe to my podcast

Watch the FULL VIDEO on my YouTube Channel

Read my book, Sugar Impact Diet

Learn how foods cause leaky gut in The Virgin Diet

Download my FREE protein cheat sheet

Oxiline bioimpedance scale

Renpho travel scale

TRX Training: Free Shipping on all orders $99+

Resistance bands

Reignite Wellness™ bars

Reignite Wellness™ shakes

Paleo Valley Beef Sticks

Reignite Wellness™ Amino Power Powder

Reignite Wellness™ Clean Creatine Powder

Reignite Wellness™ ElectroReplenish

Reignite Wellness™ Defendzyme

Etekcity food scale

Track your protein & macros with Cronometer App

Half-gallon water bottle

Reignite Wellness™ Sleep Candy

True Dark blue blocking glasses: Get 10% OFF with code JJ10

Manta Sleep eye mask

Buensueno noise-canceling earplugs

Reignite Wellness™ Magnesium Body Calm

Watch Ziva Meditation's Free Masterclass: How to Overcome Anxiety, Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep

Watch The Truth About Alcohol and Weight Loss—Can You Have Both?

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 630_How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] I'm JJ Virgin, PhD dropout, sorry mom, turned four time New York Times best selling author. Yes, I'm a certified nutrition specialist, fitness hall of famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe, but I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as many people as I can, and that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast. To synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive.
In each episode, we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness. Join me on the journey to better health so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full out.[00:01:00]
Just because you're going on vacation doesn't mean your health goals get time locked too. Now, whether you're traveling for business or for pleasure, your wellness routine doesn't have to take a back seat, no matter how stamped your passport is. You won't always have access to a complete gym or all the equipment you use daily, of course, but with a little motivation and creativity and some planning, your fitness and weight loss goals can move with you wherever you go.
So here are the things that I do because I travel about 80 percent of the time. The first one is I bring my scale. Now, this has got a benefit too because then you can weigh your luggage, right? But I bring my scale. I literally get on the scale every single day. And again, when I talk scale, I'm talking about a bio impedance scale.
So I can look at what's going on with my total body water and get those guesstimates for my body fat and my muscle mass. So that's the first thing that I always make sure that I have. And if you can't bring a whole big one, Renpho actually has a small [00:02:00] travel scale too, so you can fit one in, no excuses there.
Next thing is I plan ahead. So I always try to book hotels with gyms and I actually will find out what they have in their gym because I've gone to enough of these places over the years that I've been duped where they go, we have a fitness center. First of all, if they have a fitness room, you know, you're in trouble.
But generally they'll say something. I go in there and it's like a broken treadmill. So what you want to make sure of is that you actually know what's in the gym or if there's a gym close by. And the other thing that I do is I travel with a TRX because I can throw that into a door jam and I can work out anywhere.
So you can travel with a TRX, you can travel with bands, and of course, travel with your workout shoes because you can always go for a hike or a walk or whatever. What I like to do when I'm traveling is to look at what's around to see if I can try something new, especially if there's something like a great hiking area nearby.
The next one. [00:03:00] Is that I travel with food. Now I know I'm saying this, I will tell you that I am high maintenance and I travel with a bunch of stuff, but you know what, it saves me money and it makes sure that I stay on my game. So the other thing I do is travel with food. And this is a huge one because otherwise you are going to waste a bunch of money on stuff that's going to hurt your health.
So I will travel with my bars. I travel with my shakes. I travel with. Beef sticks, grass fed beef sticks. I travel with my essential amino acids and my creatine and my electro replenish and my enzymes. I also travel with the food scale. And of course I've got my Cronometer app on my phone. And why I do this is so that I make sure that I can get my protein in.
By the way, I've got a protein cheat sheet to make this easy for you, jjvirgin.com/proteincheatsheet . But a lot of times you'll end up somewhere and they either don't have anything that has protein in it, or it has like a little piece of chicken with your meal. And I'm like. What was [00:04:00] that?
So I know that I've got my bars, my shakes, the beef sticks, I am covered. And at the very least, if I've got some essential amino acids, I'm covered. So I always do that. And I always have my enzymes because I never know what kind of food I'm going to be facing, and I know I'm going to need a little help.
And. Well, I might pack some of that in my suitcase, in my carry on and make sure I always have enough stuff because you never ever know when you're going to get stuck somewhere and there's nothing around for you. I also always have a water bottle in my carry on so that I'm covered. Now for time zone adjusting, and this is super huge.
I don't know what's been going on lately, but it seems like I've been going back and forth between the West Coast and the East Coast like every two weeks. And that can really mess you up. I mean, think about just how much daylight savings times adjustment can mess you up. So what I do for times on adjusting is I use caffeine, I use my sleep candy, and I use light and I use blue blocker glasses.
Here's what I do. First thing that I do is as soon as I [00:05:00] get on the plane, I change my phone to the new time zone and I start living as if I'm going to the new time zone. So that's the first thing that I do. Now, I will make sure that I've set myself up so that I have ample time to sleep. And also I will use workouts.
Like in the morning, I will get up, have some caffeine, get a workout in. So I'm back on my schedule. And of course, you get up in the morning, expose yourself to light because that tells your brain you're awake. I will also use. Dark glasses and blue blockers. So at night, if I need to, I'll start using my blue blockers to get away from the screens, or I'll use sunglasses even to just make my brain think that it's more nighttime.
The other important thing here is that we travel with these little dots. You can even use duct tape to put over the ridiculous things they have in hotel rooms. Like all of the different TVs and stuff that are blinky, those will mess up your sleep. Speaking of sleep, you can either travel with the little [00:06:00] dots if you don't happen to have them, an eye mask works great, and I have a very specific eye mask that I use.
I will put it into the show notes. That is a complete blocker of all light and also doesn't mess up your eyelashes, women. So that's important. Now you never know where you're going to be and what the situation's going to be with light and noise. Just trying to think of where I was recently. I was in Berkeley, California and the hotel, the way the drapes close, they didn't close.
Like there was a whole thing of light on either side. So we had to wear our eye masks. And we were in Berkeley on a street so you could hear everything. So earplugs, eye masks for the wind, always travel with those. And especially on the plane, you're going to definitely need those things. And again, sleep candy and magnesium.
I'll use sleep candy to start to help me. I know that let's say I'm switching to West Coast to East Coast. And I need to get myself to fall asleep a little bit earlier. I will use sleep candy. I'll take it two hours before I really need to, to help me [00:07:00] start to fall asleep sooner and magnesium also works well too.
Now, this is the one I got from my girlfriend, Emily Fletcher of Zeva Meditation. She goes, you know, I can totally hack jet lag and I just use meditation to do it. So that's another one that you can do is. Use some meditation to adjust to jet lag, and you can do that to help you fall asleep at night.
There's great sleeping meditations. Emily's got a great one. So meditation can work really well here, too. And then one more, and you think about this. This is why I travel with that water bottle in my carry on, because first of all, you don't want to go drink out of plastic bottles, right? And now every airport's got some kind of a water fountain.
So I travel in my carry on with my water bottle with electrolytes so that I can stay well hydrated as well. A lot of times if you've been traveling, you've been on a lot of flights, you come out and you just feel like swollen and puffy, that's not being overhydrated. That's being dehydrated. And now you've got, you know, all this extracellular swelling.
[00:08:00] And so what you want to do here is make sure that you are drinking. Good clean water, add some electrolytes, that will help a bunch. I know that when you're traveling, could mean that you're eating out more too. Again, that's why I always travel with my enzymes and I check out menus ahead of time. But it also might mean you're drinking more too.
And when I say drinking, I mean alcohol. So the big question is, do you have to avoid alcohol to reach your ideal weight? Let's talk about this. Watch this next video where I'm going to dive into the science on how alcohol impacts your body and whether or not there's a place for it on the path to your weight loss goals.
Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great, and more importantly, that you're built to last. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. And my website, jjvirgin.com and make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single episode at subscribetojj.com. See you next [00:09:00] time.
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