Staying In Shape While Traveling: The FAT MAN Project

Staying in shape while traveling is no easy task. It is hard between uncomfortable bus rides, flights in the middle of the night that could go upwards of 15 hours, and even arriving in a new city without knowing where the “healthy restaurants” are.

To stay in shape while traveling I have developed a quintessential workout plan that has served me well over the years. It is rather easy to follow as long as one has a bit of discipline and about 20 to 30 minutes every day.

The main concept is to work out for two at three months and then not work out for about five years.

The idea here is that you will get in shape during the two or three months and then add back the weight over the course of 3 to 5 years. I am currently in the six or seven year mark which has officially instituted my status as…. a FAT MAN.

Fat Bastard
The Fat Bastard from Austin Powers

I am now at the heaviest that I have ever been and I am sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I just turned 29 years old in April. Just remember for next year that I will be 29 years old again.

I don’t plan on switching into full “30’s mode” until I’ve reached roughly 34 or even 35 years old.

You just don’t get invited to the same parties when you reach 30 and frankly I Marcello Arrambide. still wants to be invited to parties. I have seen diets come into and out of fashion more often than Oprah’s weight fluctuations.

I love you Oprah!

Losing weight isn’t a tough task. The object of the game is to consume less calories than we burn or starve ourselves. It is up to us to choose the better of the two.  I would recommend consumption of food because starving yourself can present problems.

Whether we want to get fit, stay thin, or just prove to our ex-girlfriend or boyfriend that were doing awesome we simply have to burn more calories than we consume.  This is easier said than done for travelers since it is hard to get into a rhythm without being in the same location all the time. It’s also difficult when we can’t find a gym.  Most of lead a sedentary lifestyle at work and laptops something mobile involving an “i” nvolving addicting Facebook likes and pokes.

Moms, it is not cool to poke your offspring.

The common habit of losing weight today is preparing 1 billion meals to snack on throughout the day. I once was a culprit of this heinous crime by spending my Sundays cooking all day for the entire week.

It is often frowned upon to eat out since restaurant food is cooked with the devil’s food otherwise known as fat.  I was introduced to a new way of looking at diets that I have already started two weeks ago. I have already begun to lose a significant amount of fat as I am now in the two weeks into the project.

I will try to be as concise as possible as I do want to explain certain things we understand what we need to do in order to stay in shape.  At the end of this post I will recommend to site so you can do further research.

Human Evolution
The WanderingTrader Evolution

Our Evolution

To understand how our bodies work we have to understand how we have evolved over the last few hundred thousand years. At the end of the day our species, humans, are animals. Our bodies adapt and change just as any other animal on this planet.

Remember Darwin said that the fittest survive?

It takes humans a long time to adapt and change because we have such long life spans.  Our prehistoric history goes in the millions of years to the hunter gatherer society. So our bodies are not used to our common way of eating.

Agriculture and farming, ie: bread, carbs, and pastas for example, are a new phenomenon that have only been around upwards of 5 to 10 10,000 years.

So if we really put this into perspective our bodies are still used to the way we used to live millions of years ago. This means that we are used to going without food for a few days and then having a massive meal when we catch something prehistoric with the name involving “osaurus” at the end.

This is the idea of why we should eat smaller meals throughout the day. Nutritionists and the society claims that this actually speeds up our metabolism.

The Misleading Notion About Our Metabolism

it was Tyler, the winner of the contest to Jordan, that originally put this idea in my head. At first he told me that in metabolism doesn’t really change if you eat more or less throughout the day.

As a person I love to have is manfest in the morning I vehemently dismissed the preposterous claim that I should get my breakfast. The actual reality is that there have been studies done that prove that it doesn’t matter how many time you eat today, your metabolism does not change.

Your metabolism actually slows down after two with three days of not eating.

So the concept here is something that has been introduced that is rather new called intermittent fasting. The idea where you skip certain meals throughout the day in order to reap the benefits of not having food in your stomach.

There have been plenty of medical tests done in order to find the results of what one’s body does if we are in and fasted state. The findings were extremely interesting in that it does not affect your metabolism in a bad way, it does not affect your muscles (muscle mass is not lost when fasting or when you don’t eat is often), and there is even extremely beneficial health benefits to fasting. Here’s a small list and I’ll provide a link at the bottom of this post we get more detailed information:

  • Decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Increased fat burning
  • Increased lucrative levels
  • Increased advantageous hormone levels
  • Increased weight loss and increased fat loss

The Fallacy That Fact Makes Us Fat

We have been bred to believe that we should not eat fat and that fat is bad. When we think about it analytically our bodies actually need fat because that’s what our bodies are used to. Our body uses fat as energy whereas sugar is converted into fat.

We did not have sugars, refined sugars, or even bread millions of years ago.

What actually causes us to be fat are our bodies reactions to the new diets that we are placing into our system. What actually happens in our body when we consume so much sugar is counter intuitive to losing weight.

Chemicals that are involved in burning fat almost disintegrate entirely. Other chemicals that are responsible for increasing fat in the body exponentially increase.

It also doesn’t help when were eating 3 to 10 times what we should be eating every day by indulging in fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King.

staying in shape while traveling
My previous transformation while I was staying in shape while traveling

The Solution

The problem many times for me has been trying to stick with the program when I have to eat six or seven times a day. I have no time to prepare meals and also barely have enough time to work out.

Going on a diet as well is working out is a chore when we do it that way.

The concept behind intermittent fasting is that you have all the benefits of fasting but at the same time adjust your schedule to get the benefit of eating at the right times.

In other words, fuel your body when they need fuel and don’t provide fuel when it doesn’t need it.

It is alternating between workout days and loading your body with carbs and eating more fat on days where you don’t work out.

In the next post in going to provide a much more detailed outline of exactly what I’ve done before and what I’m doing now in order to fit a healthy lifestyle with travel.

I never wanted to believe that it was actually true until I stumbled upon an article by Dr. Andrew Weil on Huffington Post.  He summarized that maybe we should start looking into this form of eating rather than others and I was convinced.

Dr. Weil has been at the forefront of nutritional information for as long as I can remember. He is definitely a trusted name that I would and one of the main reasons I decided to try it.

I find it very fitting that the industry that makes a profit out of our food purchases wants us to eat more throughout the day. When we think about it analytically it is probably better to go with our evolution than trying to fight it by eating 1 billion times a day.

I have already seen exceptional results and plan on tinkering around with different things and will show my results here on the site.

It’s quite easy and simple I will not be working out for more than 30 to 40 min a day and will be visiting the gym only three days a week. Look forward to sharing my results.

Here are some resources that you will find useful

LeanGains.com (more for diet) – The Godfather of intermittent fasting. Great information of why whites beneficial, how it done, and how to alter it to your schedule. (All information is free).

Eatstopeat e-book (more for explanation of diet)- Any book highlighting a lot of the benefits of intermittent fasting in addition to all of the medical research that has been found to prove the theory is correct.  You can buy for $9.99 and if you like it within three days pay an additional $27.

Dirty Diet (more for diet)- A more extreme version of a diet you can use that includes cutting out carbs for the entire week and then loading up on them at the end of the week. This confuses the leptin levels of the body which assists in fat loss.

Arnel’s site (great information for diet, exercise routines, and running examples) – this is the first site that I used to lose over 30 pounds in 12 weeks. It has great information on how to work out and how often in addition to how to eat and how to eat it. I would not recommend the schedule of eating and instead read up on lean gains above in order to find a better schedule.

BarBend has a great article here on whey isolates – which they frequently update. Good if you want to compare and contrast different types of protein isolates if you want to supplement the protein intake from your diet.


  1. Overhauling one’s body through food choices is a complete lifestyle change. Diets don’t work anymore! Instead, it’s important to switch your focus to eating real, whole foods and eliminating anything made by man.

    IF is an excellent tool to add to one’s arsenal in combating an unhealthy lifestyle.

    Great post, Marcello!

  2. wow! you look fantastic. i’m join going to really read through this more closely as it seems practical and obviously you have gotten great results. congratulations.

  3. Great results Marcello! I agree with you that it is so difficult to stay in shape while traveling. You’re constantly on the move and have no consistency in your eating habits. Although strength training is tough on the move, I traveling with a pair of good jogging shoes and run everywhere I go at least 3 times a week. I got some strange looks in places like Ghana, India and Ethiopia, but hey….at least I didn’t get fat!

  4. Staying fit while traveling is definitely an issue I noticed first hand while road trippin the US and eating greasy spoons.
    Staying fit is a whole lifestyle change for sure, and it’s difficult to stay on track when you’re days are so hectic.
    We’re just starting our travel blog now but we’re keeping a whole section dedicated to exactly this issue and healthy living in general, it’s nice to see we’re not the only ones who think about it.


  5. I am personally a huge fan of the “If you are hungry than eat dammit” diet. And if I feel like i’ve been sitting too long i go to the gym, or grab my camera and start walking around, or organize an adult game of Red Rover (cause im cool like that). But yes, I go back and forth between bite sized snacks all day and having 1 delicious, hi-quality fresh cooked meal (i love to cook). Id rather have 1 good meal than a few meh ones.

    My diet, which I personally find brilliant and easy to follow, consists of:
    1. Getting as much raw fish as possible into my belly at all times
    2. Encouraging lo-carbers (leaves more bread in the world for me)
    3. Skipping meals of crap (fast food, cheap imported ham, pan de queso) to save myself for things like raw salmon, proscut di parm, and fresh picked Maine blueberries.
    4. Eating what im craving, but only a little of it (because otherwise you know you will just eat everything you can get your hands on until you give in and eat that 1 thing you wanted in the first place)
    5. Copious amounts of Mountain Dew – especially if it’s the Colombian kind with real sugar (its pretty much the only soda i drink, but man I should buy stock in it).
    6. My yearly EAT NOTHING BUT BBQ MEAT FOR 3 DAYS tradition. It’s a man’s wet dream, but hot cause im a chic.

    And being 30 has nothing to do with anything f&%ker. Im 33 and still awesome! 😛

  6. I like that “Wandering Trader evolution” image…
    You made us a real study here. Inspiring.
    Indeed, I also pay attention to my health while traveling. But I tend to lose more weight, rather than gaining. It’s due to long long hours of walking and exploring.

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