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Nutrition On The Fly: 5 Surefire Tactics To Eat Clean, Lean, And Healthy At The Airport

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Airports are a dietary deathtrap.

For anyone who’s following a strict diet or obsessed with their nutrition, airports work a lot like quicksand. They’re stealthy and slowly suck you in, and before you even realize it, you’re suddenly helpless, stuck without any clean options in sight.

Once beyond the TSA gates of hell, most people chalk it up as a loss and resort to McDonalds, Shake Shack, and other fast food nonsense.

Don’t get caught in that situation. Go into travel frenetic and unprepared and your diet will spontaneously combust in an instant. But fortunately, eating clean, lean, and healthy in an airport isn’t difficult if you prepare for the onslaught ahead of time.

There are a ton of quality options that pass TSA unscathed and can fuel even the longest fights. Here are 5 of my go-to snacks, bars, and in-airport food strategies to navigate airport chaos and eat clean, lean, and healthy regardless of where you’re jet-setting off to.


1. Load Up Your Carry-On With Protein-Jacked Snacks

airport eating, healthy eating travel, travel eating, travel food, airport food, healthy airport food, food travel, food shops, airport restaurants, travel snacks, healthy snacks on the go, food & travel

If cooking isn’t your thing, or you just don’t have the time, no worries. Get in the habit of stocking up on portable, uber-lean, protein-jacked snacks. Literally, order a case of each from Amazon and shove them into your carry-on. It’s the simplest solution ever.

TSA steals all liquids, so protein shakes are out. But traveling, and flying in particular, is the #1 spot where protein bars excel.

Their convenience is unparalleled, and as long as you’re picking a quality protein bar that’s clean, natural-ish, and not loaded with sugar, they make an extremely lean meal replacement on-the-go.

Here are a few of my go-to protein bars, protein-heavy snacks, and clean, nutrient-rich snacks that I always keep stocked for long flights. Plus, bonus points, it’s always cheaper to buy food ahead of time. Airports gouge you with absurdly inflated prices on just about everything

Most are available on Amazon:

  • Quest Bars
  • Power Crunch Bars
  • RX Bars — whole food, dairy free protein bars courtesy of protein from egg whites. Absolutely love how clean these are and devoid of artificial crap.
  • Raw Crunch Bars — our #1 ranked snack/energy bar. They’re delicious, uber-clean, and loaded with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Health Warrior Chia Bars — our #3 ranked snack/energy bar. Powered by chia, they’re a great source of clean fuel and energy.
  • LARABARs — easy way to shoot yourself up with fruit and healthy fats. Good source of vitamins and minerals, without any added sugar.
  • EPIC Bars and Bites — think clean jerky, in a ton of fancy flavors. They come in both bar and bite form.
  • Justin’s Almond Butter Squeeze Packs — awesome source of healthy fats in tear-open, single serve packets. Especially delicious on top of Quest bars.
  • Calbee Snapea Crisps — savory, crunchy, high in protein and fiber, sans sodium.
  • Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, other nuts — always available in any Hudson News. Great clean source of healthy fats and protein. Just avoid any nuts with sugar added.
  • KIND Bars — solid source of healthy fats and protein. Easy to find pretty much anywhere if you’re in a bind.
  • Chobani yogurt — great source of protein that’s available at most Hudson News locations. They also pass security.
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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • Kenny

    As I travel a lot, I have been doing most of this, almost to the T. The only small difference is that I make my own protein bars to know exactly what is in them. Or, now a days, I will take the Clif Bars that are closest to what I make at home.

    Even while at the destination city, I will work out, and also skip ‘restaurant meals’ to the point that I will challenge myself on how many days of travel I can do without eating out. And, it has worked SO WELL for me since it is the UNKNOWN in the restaurant foods that kills the program / lean-it-up (pun intended) and throws one off balance.

    Yes, it defeats the purpose to be finally arriving at a place in life to have a “corporate expense account’ and ‘skip out on good foods’. But, that is a way to live longer.

    Today marks my 7th year on the home-grown-program that I picked up from all sorts of places, but mostly from Lean It Up, and I am at a 68.4 pound weight loss from 217.6 to 149.2 with the lowest weight being a few days ago at 148.6. My idea is 154, and my BMI is 2.1 now, so it is all good.

    Thanks for EVERYTHING you do for everyone at Lean It Up, and keep up the great work. We still NEED lots of people to be listening to all of you guys (us guys and gals) and implement. So, the road ahead is almost like solving world hunger when it comes to nutrition and fitness!!!!!



    • Hey Kenny,

      I’m so impressed with all of your hard work and discipline, that’s a MASSIVE change and improvement. You should be incredibly proud.

      I couldn’t agree with you more — controlling what goes into your body is such a massive aspect of nutrition. But don’t discount how hard it is to consistently skip restaurant meals and stay on point when you’re traveling, major props to you for doing that well.

      And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the kind words. All of the work I do here at LIUP is to benefit you guys, so glad to here it’s working for you. Keep up all of the hard work!


  • siska

    Helpful nutritional tips for travelers like sprei anti ompol