As a bodybuilder who trains consistently even when travelling, my protein needs are way higher than the average tourist and my nutrition a lot more strict. I certainly try the local specialties both in food and beverage to fully experience the culture but virtually always I find it impossible to get enough protein without blowing my daily calorie budget when “going native”. Here in Argentina and Chile, breakfasts and lunches are virtually proteinless. The very late dinner seems to trypically be a big piece of beef that gives them all their protein for the day. As you know I am one of those old school folks who still believes that it is very important to eat frequent small meals and spread out your protein between them. If Intermittent Fasting (IF) really worked and if it really was beneficial to eat fewer and larger meals then the folks here in Chile and Argentina would all be jacked but I have seen exactly the opposite. :)
So what to do? I either bring protein bars/powder with me or hit the local grocery stores with the latter being a lot easier and more fun. Its quite easy to find lean sources of protein at grocery stores around the world and it can be a lot of fun. Fortunately, the nutritional label is almost a worldwide standard now and even if you dont speak a word of the language you will be able to figure it out. The first place I always look is the dairy section because in almost every country I have visited, I have found it to be loaded with nonfat, high quality protein options. To save time pulling every package off the shelf looking at the nutritional label, scan the front of the packages for “0%”, which virtually always means 0% fat when you are in the dairy section! Then read some labels and see which fits your macros.
If dairy doesnt float your boat, head over to the canned meat aisle where you will find all kinds of canned fish, read the labels to find those packed in water and not oil.
Protein supplementation while in foreign countries is easy and lets you enjoy the local specialties, get enough protein, AND stay within your daily caloric budget.
Even if you dont understand a single word of spanish you should be able to figure the below nutritional label out!
In the dairy section, look for “0%”!!!