Traveling, vacations, BBQ dinners... how in the world can you stay on your nutrition program? It's 100% possible to stay on track you just need to know how to do it and be consistent in your efforts.
The most common issue I get from clients is how to track, plan, and eat when they are not home. Is it harder ? Yes. Does it take planning? Yes. You need to be willing to execute and follow.
Personally I have had some of my own issues with poor planning with traveling. Sitting in the car for long hours, getting mostly protein snack bars ( GI upset) and very little fruits and veggies, I know struggle. 100% my own fault for poor planning. Here are some ways that you can plan ahead and stay on track.
#1- Search for protein rich foods first. Protein is one macro that seems to be under the radar. You can find fats and carbs easy but hunting down good protein is not always that easy to do. First thing you want to think about is your protein source. Order that "dry" or sauce on the side. Try to get a lean source of meat and then split it in half if it's a larger portion for later !
#2- Measure and weigh your food. Ok yes carrying a food scale isn't that cute but if you are on a cut or need to make weight for a meet, being precise is key. If not, then just make your best decision while eyeballing it.
#3- Pack foods you enjoy and like to eat as snacks. You want to be eating as "normal" as possible when you are traveling. Flights, jet lag, time changes and an unfamiliar place is already enough stress. Think about foods that you eat daily, for me that is nuts, fresh fruits, veggies and then rice cakes and single packs of oatmeal If it can be packed and consumed while traveling then bring it. I always pack protein powder in individual baggies that make it super convenient when traveling.
#4- Choose quality foods over taste. A lot of people are getting in the mindset "live to eat" vs. "eat to live". Keep in mind that restaurants add in a lot of butter, sugars, and oils to make it taste better. However that increases the caloric intake by a lot and can mess up your day of eating in one meal. Be smart about what you order. Choose foods that are steamed and not fried. Ask for dressing on the side and without any added sauces.
#5- Exercise when you can and adjust your nutrition accordingly. When you are eating for performance, you need to be filling up your body for muscle recovery. However sometimes exercise takes a back seat on vacation. This is where you can leave your protein and fats as is then fill in your carbs around it. If you train, add more carbs. if you had an active day, biking, swimming, hiking, then treat it like a training day. Adjust where you see fit !
The most important thing to remember when traveling is you need to CARE. When you care about something it will be much easier to make better choices, stay the course, and execute what you want. It is allow important to remember that staying the course doesn’t have to include a lack of enjoyment or a missing out on fun. It just has to include some thinking ahead, some responsibility, and a solid assessment of goals and priorities.