The Flexible Dieters Guide To Traveling & Not Losing Your #Gainz
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Think about how awesome it would be to travel and not lose of your #gainz!? Or maybe even come back lighter than when you left like what happens to me most times!
And I’m going to be blunt by saying that thank God you have Flexible Dieting for when you are traveling because it is by far the best tool you could have in order to travel often and still keep your results. If you’ve ever tried to travel while on a meal plan you either fell into 3 different categories:
1. You were so stressed out trying to get foods close to what your meal plan called for that you couldn’t even enjoy the trip or focus on the business that brought you there.
2. You had to be anti social and either eat at the hotel, eat at different restaurants than your? friends/co worker, and/or you didn’t go out at night with them to get a few drinks because your meal plan didn’t tell you what to do in that case.
3. You said screw it and just ate whatever the hell you wanted and you didn’t care if you gained the weight back on. You didn’t want to have to deal with trying to juggle a meal plan with all the others things going on that traveling presents. YOLO as the young kids say these days!
Hitting your macros is easy when you are home but it becomes a challenge when you are surrounded by a bunch of unknowns that traveling presents.
But what I am going to try and do in this post, is to teach you how to control what you can control and be ready for every situation that traveling could throw at you.
I want to take you step by step from before you leave on your trip to when you are back stepping on that scale looking better than when you left.
In this post I am going to cover:
The Typical Traveling Struggles
The Pre Travel Tool Kit
The Grocery Store
Uber X vs. Uber Black
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid
The Traveling Struggles
When we travel, there are many different problems that arise that try to derail us on our abilities to hit our macros when traveling.
1. Protein is super duper hard to hit. Protein is already hard enough for most people to hit but when traveling, you have to be very proactive to make sure you hit it.
2. Carbs and fat are super duper easy to hit and we have to be proactive when traveling to make sure we don’t go way overboard on these bad boys
3. A non existent dietary fiber intake.
Pro-tip: Literally try and take in as much protein as you can when traveling. At every meal, make sure you are getting a solid amount of protein because it’ll ensure that you are full and will limit the cravings to go nuts on all the goodies that’ll present themselves every which way you look! If this is the only tip you take from this post, I had done my job because this will solve 80% of the struggles that will present themselves while traveling.
The Pre Travel Tool Kit
Before we leave for your trip, we should have an array of foods that will allow help us hit our macros while we are traveling to our desired destination. These foods should be non perishable items that are versatile in their uses. This is what I always pack when I travel to ensure I am not reacting.
1. Protein Powder & Protein Bars
These two are going to be a constant in whatever traveling situation you are in. They are both so versatile and portable so they are a staple in my travel tool kit.
Especially choosing bars like Quest Bars which are high in fiber which will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Quest Bars are clutch when traveling.
Is another versatile option that is easily portable and can be whipped up with just some water to have a quick snack either in the air port or on the road.
3. Sugar free, fat free pudding mix
Protein Icing Topped Caramel Corn Rice Cake
This is another powder than can be added to your pb2 and/or protein powder to make a tasty protein icing to snack on. Just simply take your protein powder, pb2 and pudding mix and put it into a bowl. Then add water and mix until you get the consistency you want. Then boom you have a tasty icing to hit those macros with.
4. Rice Cakes
While in my hotel, only had the ingredients listed above with me so I whipped up the protein icing and added to a few rice cakes.
5. Flatout Wraps or any other wraps you can pack with you
My airport wraps of #gainz
As you can see, I took those wraps with me in the airport and had some deli meat in a small cooler along with cheese and spinach, and made some tasty wraps!
6. Packets of Solid White Tuna or Chicken
If you don’t want to carry a cooler, you can simply get a few of these packets and add them to your wraps as well.
7. Lean Beef Jerky:
Is expensive as hell but is a very convenient travel source of protein.
8. Sriracha and Mustard
The Grocery Store
Most hotels have a fridge you can store things in so the grocery store will give you a few things that you can utilize in order to hit your macros.
Your grocery trip should include things that can literally be taken from their package and put together in order to create the meal. We are going to get lean sources of protein along with low carb and low fat options.
Why is this?
Because on our trip, we will have no problem hitting our carbs and fat but we want to make sure you are proactive with our protein intake. We want to minimize our intake of carbs and fats so when we do have to eat out, we have enough carbs and fats left to budget towards those restaurant meals.
Solid White Tuna Packets
Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Chocolate Protein Icing Covered Strawberries
Low carb/high fiber wraps
Green/leafy bag of mixed veggies to add to wraps or make a quick salad
I tend to shy away from getting really any fat sources for the hotel because most places I’ll go out to eat will be higher in fat so I don’t worry about it.
But you can grab some hard boiled eggs from the grocery store or from the continental breakfast
I feel like this is one of THE MOST critical steps. So much so that I did a video to walk you through each item I’ve been getting this days while traveling. Which happens a lot!
Uber X vs. Uber Black
So does taking an Uber enhance your chances of not getting fat on vacation!? Well not exactly but it provides a great analogy of a strategy I use while traveling.
When traveling, there are a lot of unknowns but what we do know is that as the day goes on, the more extravagant the meals and drinks get.
So what does Uber X and Uber Black have to do with it?
Well the Uber X is the basic, non luxury taxi service that you can get for a cheaper cost. It’s not as luxurious or fancy but it gets the job done.
Then you have your Uber Black which is a more luxurious option. You are picked up in a black car or limousine and is the option most businesses utilize. It is a higher class service but costs more as well.
So why the heck are we talking about Uber?
Well I want you to think of your eating on vacation the same way. When do we always run into the most trouble during vacation? It is at night. And how can we combat this?
By treating earlier in the day like Uber X so we can treat our night like Uber Black!
How do you this!? Well earlier in the day, you want to make simple choices. Stick to higher protein, lower carb, lower fat ?options. By doing this, you are saving a large chunk of your carbs and fats for later on in the night so you can use them on your extravagant meal(s) and drinks!
Let me show you how I would do this from my continental breakfast, lunch, up until my dinner that night.
So say my goal macros for the day are to hit:
Disclaimer: When traveling, I usually skip breakfast and eat my first meal between 11am-12pm. I tend to listen to my hunger cues more when traveling because my schedule is filled with a bunch of unknowns. So I’ll usually drink some BCAAs throughout the morning and then have my first meal around that 11-12 time frame.
And also, I want to save as much of my macros for the later part of the day so I have more to play with 🙂
And in case you were wondering, skipping breakfast is not bad. I’ve already covered it in a ton of detail so if you have not read it yet, feel free to click here and check it out here.
But if I was going to eat breakfast, I would try to keep it as high protein as I could while minimizing my fat and carb intake. This is where I would utilize my protein powder and pb2 that I packed with me. I would make a protein icing by mixing 2 scoops of protein powder with 1 serving of pb2 in a bowl. Then I would add in some water and mix until I got the consistency of icing. Then I would either take my rice cakes I brought with me or got from the store, and top it on a those or would grab an english muffin from the continental breakfast. Then I would take 2 hard boiled eggs and add those into the breakfast as well.
Then for lunch, I would look for something simple as well. This would be a big salad or burrito bowl with mostly veggies. with a double serving of a lean protein source like chicken. I would use a lighter dressing for the salad to save my fats and probably not have any cheese on there as well. Remember, we are budgeting our macros necessary so we have plenty to work with at night. An example would be this meal I got from a mexican restaurant that was like chipotle.
Then at Dinner, this is where the fun begins. I would have plenty of fat and carbs to play with with a moderate amount protein. This would ensure that I am not having to restrict myself and can enjoy the night. Of course, you don’t want to go nuts but you can enjoy that pizza and beer if you’d like or a massive ice cream cone!
While traveling, I am not as hungry as I normally am because I am so busy with all the work or festivities I will be attending throughout. So this is why I love intermittent fasting while traveling. And in case you were wondering, intermittent fasting will not ruin any of your gainz. I covered it in great detail in another blog post so be sure to check it out.
When traveling for business, most of my work is done in the mornings.
I am constantly on the move and distracted so food is not something I want to have to worry about. This is common with most business professionals.
So I start my day with a huge glass of water and then sip on BCAAs throughout the morning while I am doing any work obligations that I have.
This usually starts at 7am and our first break is around 12:30. And when I am distracted, my hunger goes away. So I listen to my body and I start to get hungry and my brain gets foggy around that lunchtime hour and that is where I will break my fast.
This allows me to not waste any of my macros earlier in the day when I’m not hungry so I can have a nice lunch and more importantly, gives me more leeway at night when I’m out and about in the city.
Finding out how to eat out while traveling is unbelievably important to making sure you don’t blow up while traveling! Here are a few things I do when I go to a restaurant so I make sure I stay on track.
1. If it is a chain restaurant, look up the nutritional information online. Almost any restaurant has their nutritional calculator online. Just a simple google search of “Restaurant ?Nutritional Information,” and many options will come up.
And if you are going to a fast food restaurant, my friend Cait over at The Macro Experiment made a beautiful master list of macro friendly fast food choices. Rather than making my own, I’d rather give credit to her and this amazing resource she created! Make sure to go check it out by clicking here to get because this master list is a game changer!
Burrito Bowl with tons of veggies, black beans, and double chicken.
2. Well what if is a mom and pop restaurant!? How the heck do I track that?
All you gotta do is figure out the genre of food that the place serves and then find a chain restaurant that is very similar. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. So if you are going to a mexican restaurant, look at what you are having and go to the chipotle nutritional calculator online and put together a meal that is similar to what you got. Super duper simple.
This meal pictured was from a local mexican place and I used the chipotle calculator to track it. Super easy.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for things cooked a certain way!
If you look up the nutritional information online for most food choices, you will see that the fat content is abnormally high. One way to significant combat this is by asking for your food to be cooked without oil.
For example, if you were to order broccoli from a place I go to called The Loop, the online nutritional information tells me that there are 4.5g fat for a side serving of broccoli. Well that tells me that they use a bunch of oil cooking it so I just ask for it to be cooked without oil and now erase the 4.5g of fat I would’ve had if I wouldn’t of asked.
The same can be done with adding and substituting things into your meal.
For example, instead of that side of cole slaw or rice that comes with your meal, asking for a double serving of veggies with no oil.
Eating Intuitively: Our end goal
While traveling, I think our end goal is to be able to eat intuitively and not stress about food while traveling.
Most people when they are traveling don’t want to have to worry about tracking their food. When you are traveling, there is usually a lot going on so worrying about food is another just another thing most people don’t want to add to their plate. (that was punny!)
So this is where eating intuitively comes into play! Just using your flexible dieting experience to eyeball and be aware of what you need to be taking in for the day.
I’ll use myself as an example for my last business trip to Phoenix. I was there from Thursday till Sunday morning. This is what a typical day of eating looked like for me during my mini cut where my macros were:
200g carbs, 50g fat, 200g protein
Wake up around 6:00 am, chug a tall glass of water and get ready for the day. Do some mobility in the hotel room and then shower.
Around 7am I take a neurological activator (brain food) supplement with 5g of BCAAs and put them in a shake cup full of water.
Then I was off to meetings till around 9:30am.
At that point, I went to starbucks and got a Venti Medium Roast coffee with a splash of fat free milk, ground cinnamon, and a little bit of splenda. If you noticed, I have yet to have any food yet. I’m honestly not hungry yet and am listening to my hunger cues.
By 12, I am pretty hungry so I went to a local sub shop to get some lunch.
I ordered a footlong chicken sub on Multi Grain Bread. On this sub I got double meat to ensure I got a big chunk of protein in. I also got pepper jack cheese and fit as much veggies as I could on it.
Around 4:30, I had a Smores Quest Bar to help hit my fiber and and get some more protein in.
So at this point I can guestimmate that I’ve taken in around 100g protein, 100g carbs, and about 25-30g fat.
I knew that I had a solid amount of macros left to play with and should be able to fit a 10in pizza in. This place allowed for you to put as much topping as you wanted on it.
So I knew I need 100g protein so I went for a ton of meat on that bad boy. I went with a lot of chicken and a medium amount of steak and feta. I went with just enough cheese to cover the pizza and then loaded it with a ton of veggies. Went with as much red and green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and jalepenos that we could fit on it. The end product wasn’t pretty but it was epic!
So how did I fit pizza into my macros? I understood where I was at during the day and waited earlier in the day to eat until I was hungry. So later, when everyone wanted to go grab pizza, I wasn’t out of macros so I couldn’t be that weirdo that said pizza didn’t fit into my macros.That night, we choose to go to a personal pan pizza place.
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid
At the end of the day, keeping it simple as much as possible while traveling is the sure fire way to minimize the damage you can do while traveling!
1. Stick to whole food choices as much as you possibly can. Keep it as minimally processed and colorful as you can.
2. Eat as much lean protein at every meal as you can.
3. Limit the extravagant sauces or dressing that come on most sandwiches or salads.
4. Listen to your hunger cues. Eat when you are hungry.
5. Don’t over think it and restrict yourself! If you know you are having an extravagant meal at some point in the day, then keep it high protein and light in carbs/fats in your other meals.
If you practice these strategies, then all will be great and dandy! You can do this!
Utilize these strategies during your next trip! Traveling rewards those who are proactive rather than reactive so make the most of these tools and keep the gainz a comin!
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