Work has asked you to go to Orlando for two weeks. You will be in meetings all day and work dinners all night.
Its vacation time with the family. 5 days and 6 nights in the most magical place on earth with your three kids.
Trapped in a hotel and outside of your normal routine of comfort....
Last time you traveled put on 9 pounds that all seemed to wrap right around the SPARE TIRE section of your waist and took 6 months to drop off.
This begs the questions, can you travel and not go TOTALLY off plan? IS IT POSSIBLE to keep the hard work you have put in on track?
The long and short? Yes. YAY! You aren’t doomed! The caveat? You will have to do some planning.
Step 1: Figure out where you are staying!
Do some research on the hotel you are staying in. If your work lets you pick your hotel, look into an extended stay that offers Kitchens or Kitchenettes. If your work picks for you, look to see what rooms come with (i.e. a coffee maker, a microwave, a refrigerator). Seriously look into this. Not every hotel gives you a microwave or fridge. This will make a difference!
Then do some research about the grocery stores around you. See if something you are familiar with is nearby. Trader Joes for example is near my hotel by my office in Virginia. They have foods I’m familiar with and can easily track because they are already in MyFitnessPal. Easy peasy.
Finally google if your hotel has a gym or if there are gyms nearby. I’m not saying you have to train if you are on vacation, but carving out 30 min to lift or walk on the treadmill in the am before you start Day 2 of Harry Potter rides can be beneficial for you energy levels and brain ;) Not to mention fights off some of the extra calories from evening meals and beverages.
Step 2: Mentally commit to staying on plan—whatever that may mean.
I can’t stress this step enough. You need to make a commitment to yourself if you want to stay on plan.
And then tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your colleagues. Let them know you are going to be a weirdo and eat a little different than them or making time for the gym. They will help hold you accountable.
Maybe only commit to being on plan during the day and eating and drinking as you please at night. Or commit to prepping all your food during the week, and enjoying yourself on the weekends. Committ to going to the hotel gym every am for morning cardio or keeping track of your steps throughout the week and hitting your goal.
Don’t punish yourself. Don’t make vacation miserable. Don’t NOT ENJOY. But set some goals. Set some boundaries. Then you can emotionally and mentally feel like you aren’t going totally crazy with food, but you are still getting to enjoy.
Step 3: Generally hitting your Macros and Food Tips
Tracking while on vacation or work trips is possible.
Breakfast is usually the easiest meal for macros. Instant oatmeal travels easy and you can use the coffee maker in your room to get boiling water if there is no microwave. Simply run the coffee maker with just water (don’t put the coffee unless you want some cracked out oatmeal), pour into your oats and cover with a coaster for 2 min. BOOM. Done. Pack nutrition bars or protein powders if you have favorites.
Breakfast out at restaurants is easy too! Order egg whites no oil. Order an omelet with veggies and salsa and sour cream. Order English muffins. Order fruit. Order slices of bacon. Order toast. Order whatever fits your macros. Just order things that are easily trackable!
Don’t forget to account for oil either. They make your food in butter or oil generally, so just throw 2 tbsp of fat into your tracker to keep it honest.
Try to avoid SUGARY breakfast items or items that make it hard to count (i.e. unknown sized pancakes with unknown quantities of cream cheese or peanut butter or nuts or syrup, etc.). Eat what you want but just try to pick items you can TRACK.
If you are choosing to prep your meals, pick up some cheap Tupperware from a dollar store (or pack your own but this is a pain) and make your meals that you know fit! Keep it simple by buying pre made chicken from Trader Joes or the deli at a Safeway or grocery store. You often can find no sodium/no oil chicken breast or turkey at any grocery store if you look hard enough!
If you are required to go to lunches and dinners with work or family, again pick items off the menu that are trackable. Eat steak if you want (if it fits your macros for the day) but make note of ounces and butter and sauce. Take the guess work out! Generally I find I’m HUNGRY if I eat the provided meals because the protein is low, so keep some jerky or protein bars with you. Be prepared!
Step 4: If you only do ONE thing while traveling---do this.
So let’s say you have no plan to stay on your macros. You don’t want to track a damn gram of carbs and you will avoid the gym like the plague. That’s cool. It’s about balance.
HOWEVER, if you can do ONE THING while you are eating Mickey Shaped Pretzels and scarfing down deep fried Cheesecake bites it’s this……..
DRINK YOUR WATER. No joke. Get your gallon in. THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO.
- Water flushes your body. If you are binge eating food, you want your body to use that food and then flush it out. New foods tend to shut your digestive system down, leaving you bloated and full feeling. Keep things moving!
- It will help you feel full. If you have a gut of water you are less likely to eat that 4th funnel cake.
- Most of the foods you are eating off plan will have WAY MORE SODIUM than you are used to. You will feel SO BLOATED if you stop your normal water intake and eat and drink your face off. FLUSH THE SODIUM and save your ankles and belly some bloating discomfort.
- Like any other good habit, if you take time off from it, you will find yourself having a hard time jumping back into it. If you stop drinking water over vacation and then get back to normal life and try to go straight back into drinking a gallon of water a day---you will feel like you are water boarding yourself! Keep up this one good habit so it’s easier when you decide to go back on plan!
That’s it! Do your research, make a commitment, eat things that are trackable (but still delicious) and above all drink your water!
If all else fails, find a team to help you W.I.T.H. these things and take all the guessing out ;)
Health and Love,