by Tony Gjokaj August 22, 2020 7 min read

Eating healthy has never been easier. It's gotten easier than ever to live the lifestyle that you want - with the healthier food options you want.

When I started exercising and meal prepping back in 2010, it was so difficult to find healthy food options. Since I was obsessed with eating well, dates and events were so difficult to eat at... and when I did eat, I felt like I failed my plan.

Today, I find it ridiculous to even think like that, as a diet is not ruined from minor indulgences or desserts.

In this post, we are going to give you 10 healthy nutrition tips you can utilize if you like to travel. These tips will allow you to make better eating habits, thereby improving your mind and body health.

Let's dive in!

10 Healthy Nutrition Tips To Optimize Your Lifestyle

I. Implement Flexible Dieting.

One size does not fit all in nutrition.

In the 10 years of frequent "bulking" and "cutting" phases, one diet system I followed has always been the best.

Flexible Dieting.

Flexible dieting is a system that revolves around YOUR personal preferences - making it the most individualistic diet of them all. It involves macronutrient tracking, portion control, and calories. This allows you to prioritize eating healthy based on your calorie or macronutrient goals.

Quick tip: Macronutrients are proteins, carbs, and fats. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.

To start, flexible dieting is dependent on your goals. While we know that "calories in vs. calories out" (CICO) is the determinant between weight gain and weight loss... there's more to it.

We need to ensure we are getting proper nutrition by tracking macronutrients and calories.So with that, flexible dieters start by finding their calorie goal and then turning them into macronutrients.

For efficiency, we like to view macronutrient tracking as a budgeting system - you have a daily budget of nutrients that you can spend. To make this as nutritious as possible, we typically follow these guidelines for macronutrients, micronutrients, fiber, and more:

  • Fats: 20-30% of your total calories come from fats. This is determined based on your personal preferences. 1g of fat = 9 calories.
  • Protein: 0.8-1.2g per pound of body weight. This is dependent on whether or not you are in a fat loss diet or engaging in a lot of physical activity. Fat loss ieters tend to be on the higher end. 1g of protein = 4 calories.
  • Carbs: the rest of your calories go here. This is calculated by taking the total fat calories and total protein calories and subtracting them by your calorie goal. 1g of carbs = 4 calories.
  • If you take too many carbs in one day, you just subtract it from your fat calories or vice versa.
  • Always hit your protein goal, or go slightly under.
  • Make sure you eat 2-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Eat a diverse number of fruits and vegetables. This will provide you with nutrients and fiber.
  • Drink one gallon of water daily. This is an average recommendation for people who frequently exercise.

To calculate your calories dependent on your goals, visit our flexible nutrition article here.

Once you get the hang of these guidelines, you will be able to manage this simple dieting system. It has allowed us to explore new foods, go out to eat frequently, and just enjoy life.

We no longer meal prep. we flexibly diet.

II. Learn nutrition facts and food composition.

One of the best tips we can recommend is understanding what kind of foods consist of proteins, carbs, fats, and their respective serving sizes. This can be understood by reading nutrition fact labels, tracking apps like MyFitnessPal, and restaurant menus. 

When you are able to understand the macronutrient compositions of food, you can develop a "sixth sense" to what foods are nutritious and provide you the proper nutrients you need.

Understanding what foods are high in saturated fats or transfats, or super high in sugars allows you to steer clear of too much of these things.

    III. Keep a protein and fruit source with you.

    Keeping protein and fruit with you when traveling is probably one of the more simple tips we can give you. When traveling, always opt for these because we will always give into junk food if it's in our eyesight.

    If you're purchasing snacks from an airport, always purchase a high-protein bar and some fruits. These options are usually available for you - don't resist them.

    Quick tip: carry them with you and leave them in an eye's view when you're traveling.

    As our environments play a big part in our habits, remind ourselves that if we want to make better food choices, they're in our face.

    When I travel, I have protein bars or a small protein powder canister in my bag. Sometimes I will carry a banana, an apple, or orange with me as well. I can never resist an orange.

    IV. When eating out, choose leaner food options.

    As I mentioned prior: when I started fitness in 2010, there were very little healthy food alternatives when I would go out to eat.

    Today, just about every restaurant has a healthier food menu - with low calorie, vegan, or gluten-free options galore.

    Chances are if you're going out to eat at a popular food place, most foods are on MyFitnessPal that you can track. 

    If they aren't, "guesstimate" your macronutrients or calories and go from there. Find comparables on a food tracker app and replicate the calories or macros. 

    V. Never ELIMINATE food groups... but LIMIT the worst ones.

    Simple behavioral psychology says: if I eliminate something completely from my life, chances are I'm going to want it constantly. Same goes for dieting, which is why we never eliminate food groups... we LIMIT the worst ones.

    Moderation allows us to flip the switch and make us realize that it's ok to treat ourselves from time to time.

    To start, we do this by rewarding ourselves with one "free meal" per week. It can be untracked or an estimation. If you can't get to this point yet, do something like the "habit sandwich" technique we mentioned in a previous post.

    I am a foodie at heart. There are times where I can never resist junk food. My solution is typically adding it into my calorie or macronutrient count.

    If we do happen to overshoot my calories, we choose not to ruminate on the food options I make. Even if we mess up, tomorrow is another day.

    VI. Keep water on you at all times.

    If you've been following our posts often, you know this has to be in here.

    Stay hydrated.

    Staying hydrated provides us with many benefits:

    • Regulates body temperature.
    • Helps with joint health.
    • Delivers nutrients throughout the body.
    • Helps with cognitive benefits (sleep quality, mood, and more).

    On average, we should drink about 1 gallon of water per day.

    We recommend starting your day off with water and then keeping a hydro flask or a stainless steel flask on you at all times. If you keep this flask within eyesight, it will be a reminder to consistently drink water throughout your day.

    Back in 2018, I managed 4 branches at a rental car agency. At times, I didn't move from a branch for hours at a time.

    A 64 oz Hydro Flask kept me well hydrated throughout the day. This helped me tremendously.

    VII. Add some flavor into your life.

    When we diet, sometimes we will use artificial sweeteners with zero calories to help provide some flavor into our lives. In fact, I'll carry a water flavor enhancer like MIO on me at times.

    While there are mixed thoughts on artificial sweeteners and their safety, reading this should give you some comfort.

    It's ok to drink artificial sweeteners and diet sodas in moderation. We just recommend not drinking too many because some artificially-sweetened contain B-Vitamins or caffeine.

    If consuming diet sodas or drinks with artificial sweeteners, we typically recommend two at maximum. We don't want you to get too bloated or gassy.

    VIII. Make your side veggies or fruits.

    If you're ordering at a restaurant and are choosing your sides, always opt for fruits or veggies. This will allow you to cover some nutritional gaps (vitamins, minerals, and fiber), and provide you with fullness with your meals.

    We recommend adding diversity to your veggies and fruits so that you can obtain various vitamins and minerals. Some restaurants have nice fruit bowls or excellent salad options... just make sure you don't go too hard on the dressing.

    IX. Doordash it wherever you are.

    If you don't have access to proper food in the current area you're in, or can't go out and get it... Doordash-it. Today, we have a huge opportunity to order from healthy food places today - for just a few extra bucks.

    Although 2020 has been kind of tough with the lockdowns, it has forced many restaurants to open up food pick-up and delivery. This has allowed restaurants to grow, which also provided more options on these food delivery apps as well. In addition to this, we can now order snacks and groceries from various apps now too.

    Eating healthy has never been easier than it is today.

    X. Fill in your gaps with supplements.

    When you can't get enough nutrients or fiber in, supplement to fill in the nutritional gaps.

    Today, most supplement brands have grown to introduce lifestyle and foundational products like fish oil and greens... which are necessities today (which we will eventually work towards).

    Some brands have made it incredibly easy to carry around these products in their bottles or packets, providing you with "on-the-go" alternatives.

    XI. *Bonus* Popcorn Seasoning on Veggies = AMAZING

    I wanted to give you all a bonus one that I hold dear to my heart.

    I hate vegetables. You probably do too. Yet we eat them because they are absolutely necessary for our health.

    This is why I add things like popcorn seasoning to spice up my vegetables. They're pretty low-calorie and flavorful, which is why I am a huge fan of them. If you're "on-the-go", carry some with you!

    Live Your Life

    Now that you have these tips, you should realize that having systematic guidelines towards nutrition allows you to build flexibility in your diet.

    We dislike rigidity in our diets (unless we pay for a meal prep service) because sometimes life challenges us in unexpected ways.

    To optimize our nutrition, we would follow these guidelines:

    • Follow the Flexible Dieting system.
    • Track calories or macronutrients in some way.
    • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
    • Make sure you get protein with every meal.
    • Alternate restaurant sides with fruits or vegetables.
    • Prioritize purchases of protein and fruits to snack on.
    • Online delivery it if you have to - the opportunities here are endless now.
    • Fill in any nutritional gaps with supplements.

    If you have any other nutrition tips that have helped you and you would like to share, throw them in the comments below or email me at tony@reforgedperformance.com.

    Thank you for reading, Reforged Warriors!

    Until next time!

    Tony Gjokaj
    Tony Gjokaj

    Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.



    Also in Reforge Yourself

    7 Ways To Get Off The Couch & Exercise When You Are Depressed
    7 Ways To Get Off The Couch & Exercise When You Are Depressed

    by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read

    When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.

    It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).

    In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?

    Is there something wrong with us?

    Absolutely not. This happens with depression.

    The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.

    I've been there.

    But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.

    In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.

    Read More
    How Hydration Is Essential To Mental Health... And 4 Tips to Improve Hydration!
    How Hydration Is Essential To Mental Health... And 4 Tips to Improve Hydration!

    by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read

    Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.

    When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.

    I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.

    This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.

    In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.

    Let's dive in!

    Read More
    The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide
    The Inactivity Trap: Where Depression and Physical Inactivity Collide

    by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read

    When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.

    I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.

    Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.

    Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.

    So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.

    So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.

    Read More