TIPS FOR TRACKING & TRAVELING LIKE A PRO
I just got home from a weekend of traveling to Ohio to visit my family and it was such a great trip! Most of the time traveling is really fun; I enjoy visiting all my people or exploring a new city, but sometimes it wreaks havoc if you’re used to routine, like me. And in general, it can be stressful on your body. Between packing, early flights, time changes, or long hours in the car, it can really take a toll!
Over my years of traveling, whether it’s around the world or some place just a few hours away, I’ve learned a thing or two about alleviating some of that stress and bringing my routine with me. Not only do I feel better but it also makes my trip more enjoyable and my transition back to the real world is smoother.
If you find traveling to be extra stressful and destructive to your healthy habits, check out these tips for maintaining a bit of normalcy while still leaving room for plenty of fun while en route.
Aside from tracking, one thing we are constantly encouraging our clients to do is to stay hydrated. Even though we can’t always control our food options while traveling, we can keep up with drinking water, which can also help combat hunger and keep us feeling good. The best way to do this is to bring your own water bottle (I won’t go anywhere without my hydroflask). Bringing your own water bottle is not only better for the environment, but it's also free. There are so many different kinds of refillable water bottles - from insulated to collapsible and everything in between - so it should be no problem finding one to meet your travel needs and/or space limitations. Invest in a good one and fill it up on the way to your gate, if you're flying, or each time you make a stop, if you’re driving.
PRO-TIP: We recommend our clients drink 100+ oz. of water everyday. Depending on the size of your water bottle, give yourself a goal to drink X amount of bottles per day to reach over 100 oz.
BRING ALONG MACRO-FRIENDLY SNACKS
Currently, there are no laws against bringing food on airplanes, so save room in your carry on for a few snacks. Choose things that are easy to toss in a bag and eat on the go. This will not only save you money from grabbing something pricey at the airport, but will also keep your hunger at bay during unexpected delays or extra long flights. There’s nothing worst than having a delayed flight or being stuck in traffic and succumbing to major hanger.
Here are some of our favorite macro-friendly travel snacks:
Greek yogurt and cottage cheese single servings
Laughing cow spreadable cheeses
Jerky or protein powder for quick, easy protein
Rice cakes (only 7C/0F) when you just need a little something to crunch on
Crystal light to add to your water when you are feeling like you just want to eat (can help curb cravings)
Applesauce or baby food packets
Carrots or snap peas or other raw veggies to munch on
Bars (RX bars, Epic bars, etc.)
PRO-TIP: If you don’t have space in your luggage for snacks, try to make it to a grocery store for a quick snack run once you reach your destination. If you don’t have access to a store, even most gas stations have some easy options like fruit, veggie sticks, protein bars, hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt, and lower-calorie packaged snacks.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Again, there are no laws (yet, but hopefully never!) against bringing food on flights (as long as it's not liquid), so take advantage of it! Packing and traveling in general can be stressful on your body, so help yourself out by maintaining your normal eating habits as much as possible. No matter what time of day my flight is, I make sure I bring a meal with me, especially if it's an early flight. If you're lacking space in your carry on for bulky tupperware, keep it simple and toss your meal in a ziploc baggie. You may get a few funny looks at the airport, but I've eaten a salad out of a ziploc before!
If you're taking a road trip, even better. Save room in the car to pack a small cooler full of meals. You don't need to have every single meal prepared for the entirety of your trip. But having meals while you're on the road will not only save money and time from having to stop every couple hours, but it will also keep you feeling good. Bring enough meals for the time you expect to be in the car and toss in a few extra snacks to have on hand during your trip. The goal is to eliminate getting caught in a situation where you're starving and have left yourself with no options. If this does happen however, don't sweat it. Make the best possible decision you can in that situation and don't worry about it!
PRO-TIP: When you’re tracking and traveling, even if you don’t track your entire trip, estimating is still better than nothing at all. Even if you’re not tracking your macros exactly, try sticking to a protein goal and staying within range of your total calorie goal as a way to stay on track. Prioritize protein by choosing high-protein meals and snacks.
FIND BALANCE & DO YOUR BEST
As much as I love routine and keeping up with my daily habits, I have to remind myself that taking a trip, especially a vacation, is about getting away and relaxing. For me this means loosening the reins on my routine a little bit and finding a balance between work and play. My balance looks like being prepared while also staying flexible. If you find yourself with minimal food options, do your best and don’t worry about it. If you’re in a new city, try new foods and enjoy them, guilt-free. If you don’t get your usual work out in every single day or even at all, it’s ok! Find a fun walk or hike, rent bikes or kayaks or give yourself a step goal each day as a way to stay active without feeling the need to hit the gym during your trip. At the end of the day, do the best with what you have and know there will be plenty of time to get back in your groove when you return from your trip.
PRO-TIP: If you’re in a new city and want to try ALL the food, don’t be afraid to get a smaller portion of something and only take a few bites. Share with a friend or throw the rest away. This will help you avoid getting overly full and will leave you with room to try even more things!
Traveling can be big and scary when you’re trying to stay on track of specific nutrition goals. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel and get back to it when you get back from your trip. However, remember the progress you’ve made and the goals you’re working for and know that you can find a balance in staying on track while also enjoying your trip, it just takes a little extra preparation.
For our best tips on tracking while traveling, check out our travel bundle in The Shop! Inside you’ll find a guide to tracking while traveling with an accompanying packing list, 4 weeks of on the go workouts, and our macro-friendly restaurant guide.