I’ve gotten a ton of questions about eating out and traveling and sticking with your macros.
It’s funny how much we LOOOOOVE to overcomplicate this situation.
That’s why I wanted to chat through some strategies to help you stay on track even when you travel, especially if you’re traveling frequently for work.
Because we have to remember that it isn’t necessarily perfection but that accountability and consistency that adds up.
Sure, it may mean we aren’t as “perfect” as we would like, but we have to remember those small changes add up.
So what are some tips I share with clients who are working to achieve amazing body recomposition results while traveling frequently?
#1: Set one focus – calorie caps, protein minimums.
If you’re just starting out with tracking macros, the change alone is hard. And mentally, we can feel overwhelmed trying to find the balance with traveling, overcomplicating what we need to do.
So start with one small change.
Maybe it’s simply logging to start to get used to the process, even planning ahead.
Then maybe it’s hitting a calorie intake.
Then maybe a protein minimum.
Or maybe it’s focusing on reducing carbs or fats.
But give yourself a singular focus to make the changes easy and allow you to ingrain the habits!
#2: Select an easy ratio – one you know you can hit but that will keep you consistent.
If you’ve been tracking for awhile, you may find there are “no-brainer” ratios you can easily hit. Try one of those over stressing yourself out hitting a “stricter” ratio that may not be as doable while traveling.
Sure this may not be your ideal, BUT it will keep you moving forward so when you can dial things in more, you have a solid foundation.
#3: Review menus beforehand and find items in my fitness pal similar to test out how to hit your numbers and plan ahead.
More menus than we realize list macros or have it online, but even those that don’t…well there are often standard dishes on every menu we can find comparable recipes for and then even enter those dishes into our food tracker to see how we can combine meals out over the day to hit our ratios.
Review options at the places you’re going to and even see if you can pick restaurants so you can combine meals in a way to get close to your ratios.
If you even have control over one meal but not another, plan to go higher protein and lower calorie in that meal to have more fats and carbs and calories for the meal you aren’t as in control of!
#4: Have go-to menu items you know you can adjust the macros on.
I have items that are some of my “go-tos” when eating out because I know I can easily adjust and that they, overall, are in line with my goals.
Like a fajita dish at a restaurant. It’s easy to eat, or not eat, the tortillas based on my macros. I can get a leaner, or fattier protein too, based on what I need.
Or a steak dish or chicken or fish dish with a veggie side.
Or even a burger where you could have half the bun or lettuce wrapped.
Or a stir fry where you could ask for the sauce on the side.
Come up with options that allow you to feel satisfied but also allow you to easily tweak.
Entering in different dishes to your tracker to see the macro breakdowns can help you become more comfortable with doing this!
#5: Find places that list macros.
While fast food places don’t always have the highest quality ingredients, they are better than nothing or processed junk food you grab at a gas station. And honestly, most are getting healthier and healthier options.
Plus they list macros.
Review different fast food places beforehand and enter those meals in for quick and easy logging when you travel.
And don’t be deceived by healthy labels or salads. They are NOT always the best option!
#6: Review the hand portion guide to know your portion sizes.
The more you track and weigh and measure your food, the more you begin to really know what accurate portions are for you. But the hand portion guide is a great reminder and visual when eating out for you to help estimate your consumption.
Sure this may not be as perfect, but something is better than nothing.
And this consistency in knowing what you’re eating still gives you more ability to tweak and adjust on subsequent trips!
#7: Control what you can control – get snacks to help assist you.
Most hotel rooms have a fridge. Most of the time driving, we can bring a cooler and an ice pack.
There are also lots of easy grab and go protein options that don’t need to be stored in a fridge.
Control what you can control and do what you can with those snacks around meals to balance your macros over using that as an excuse to eat…well…crap.
Use jerky, protein powders, hard boiled eggs, greek yogurts…grab pre-made grilled chicken that most stores now have as a quick snack even.
Heck, if you like shrimp, grab cooked shrimp at the store to snack on.
There are so many pre-made items you can grab to eat right then and there if you can’t store in a fridge that can bump your protein and help you balance those macros while feeling fueled.
But be creative. Remember making a change means thinking outside of the way you’ve always thought!
#8: The boring tip – PLAN ahead!
Plan ahead. See this all as an experiment and learning experience. Test out different meals you usually like to eat and see how you can adjust them. Find random snack ideas you could swap in to help you hit the numbers you want.
But taking a few days to even plan ahead can save you a whole heck of a lot of time long-term as well as a ton of stress and frustration.
And the more you do this to start, the quicker the process gets easier!