Lessons from the Biggest Loser: Maintaining Your Weight Loss Goals on the Road

By Allison Jones

Last night on the Biggest Loser the contestants traveled to Park City, Utah for a week of training with Olympic athletes Apollo Ohno, Lolo Jones, Jazmine Fenlator, and the US women’s curling team. The confessionals showed a group of contestants who were stressed and nervous to be off the ranch and out of their daily routines.

Biggest-Loser-Logo

“Everybody’s fighting real hard and everyone is very nervous about this week because our food is different our workout routine is different. There is no telling what the scale is going to show,” commented Jay Sheets.

Rachel Frederickson who prepared all her food in advance of her trip to Utah said, “This week is going to be a big challenge for me, so, I said you know what; I am going to be prepared…This is stressful and really fun but it is a lot of emotions and I don’t want the food to be a trigger this week.”

“I have been struggling with eating here in Utah,” said Bobby Saleem. “I am eating a lot more carbs then I have been used to eating…Travelling is hard and sometimes you don’t have the time to make the right choices, but you really do have to plan ahead.”

Despite two physical challenges, a training session with eight-time Olympic speed skater Apollo Ohno, an Olympic inspired obstacle course from Bob Harper, and the always grueling last chance workout, some contestants still struggled. At the weigh-in, viewers were shocked to see Bobby and Jay gain 2 and 1 pounds respectively, while Jennifer put up a zero.

Bob Harper said it best telling the contestants, “Every time the biggest loser travels the weigh-ins ALWAYS [stink]…that’s just what happens when we travel.”

But the news wasn’t all bad. Some contestants rose to the challenges and put up impressive numbers. Most notable was Rachel. Not only did she win both challenges she also lost 6 pounds (4.35% of her body weight) bringing her to a total weight loss to 105. Marie, David, Chelsea and Tanya also registered losses at 5, 4, 3, and 2 pounds respectively. The end result, Jay was eliminated and the remaining contestants move on to week 13.

Biggest Loser Lessons Learned

So what’s the point of this story (yes, there is one)?

The Biggest Loser contestants are not alone. Traveling is a reality many of us face. Whether you are traveling for work, holidays, or vacation, maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the road is hard. Eating out can quickly derail your healthy eating habits while workout time can be crippled by a busy schedule and long days. All in all, traveling can put a crimp in your weight loss goals.

So what should you do?

I reached out to our Fitness Together trainers for some helpful hints and tips you can use on your next trip.

Be Prepared

prepared

Arm yourself for success by preparing in advance. Joe Caruso advises clients to “Take a page out of Rachel’s book and prepare food in advance to bring with you.” You may not be able to bring entire meals, but small snacks such as almonds, fruit, and cut up veggies, can help you stave off hunger and keep from making bad choices. (Check out our recommendations for 10 easy and energizing snacks)

Scope out the hotel you are staying in. Do they have a gym? What does their room service menu look like? What does the hotel restaurant serve?

No Gym, No Problem

hotelroom

If your hotel doesn’t have a workout facility you can still get in a great workout – right in your hotel room. Joe recommends trying this in-room workout.

  • 20 bodyweight squats
  • 20 alternating lunges
  • 20 jump squats
  • 15 plie squats
  • 15 pushups
  • 15 dips
  • 12 close grip pushups
  • 30 second plank march
  • 15 burpees
  • 30 second mountain climbers
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 30 second high knees (running in place)

Repeat the circuit twice. Limit the time between exercises to maximize the cardio impact.

Room Service Recommendation

salad

Almost every room service menu offers a salad option. The trick is ordering the salad with the dressing on the side so it’s not drenched when they bring it to your room. Nix the croutons and add chicken, fish or lean steak to pack in some protein to keep you satisfied.

Helpful Hints for Eating Out

salmon2

Don’t be afraid to special order your meals when dining out. Good manners keep many of us from inconveniencing the chef with special requests. The truth is most don’t mind (plus you’re paying the tab).

Portion control will be your key to successfully eating out. Restaurants give you multiple servings in your meal. Ask for a to-go box and put half of your meal in it to cut back on the portion you eat.

Choose lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and steak. Pass on the starchy sides and ask for steamed vegetables as a substitute. Skip heavy sauces and fried foods.

Finally, pace yourself during happy hour. Alcohol has empty calories and can lower your inhibitions to keep on track with your diet.

Taking some time to prepare for your travels will keep you on the right track and making the right choices. Enjoy safe, happy, and healthy travels.

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