Vacation. The time of year we all look forward to. It is a time for relaxation and letting all responsibilities go out the window. You have your flight and hotel booked, clothes are packed, now only one question remains..what am I going to eat!? Today I am here to help you get a better understanding of how to make macros work when you are away from home.
Rule #1: Plan Ahead
If you are headed somewhere new, do a little research beforehand on places you can go out to eat. Check online and see if any restaurants in the area have their nutrition info listed. Keep in mind you can always opt to have half a dish or share a dish with a friend. This will allow for you to still enjoy yourself without completely blowing your macros.
Also remember that you are on vacation. If you are in a town that is known for having the best doughnuts around..have a doughnut! Just try and plan accordingly so that the doughnut can fit into your macros for the day. It is all about balance and figuring out which foods are going to be worth bending the rules for.
Rule #2: Meal Prep
Protein is the hardest macro to get when on vacation. Protein supplements, protein bars, and jerky (turkey or beef) are some easy ways to help you reach your protein numbers. These items are also going to be the easiest to pack into your suitcase. If you are traveling more locally and will be on the road, it may also be a good idea to bring a cooler with you. You can meal prep and fill the cooler with whatever foods you can think of. Get creative!
Rule #3: Find Healthy Alternatives
If you find yourself in an airport or surrounded by fast food restaurants, try and find some healthy alternatives that you can eat. For example, most fast food restaurants serve some kind of salad. An easy meal idea is to top the salad with some grilled chicken. This will help you get in some protein while avoiding the high fat foods. Convenience stores are also a good place to stop. Most of them sell Greek yogurt, fruit, and sometimes even deli meats. With a little bit of planning and brainpower, you can come up with some good alternatives that can help you stay closer to your macros.
Rule #4: Fill up on Lean Proteins and Veggies
If you know you are going to be going out to dinner and enjoying yourself, spend the day filling up on lean proteins and veggies. This will help keep your fat numbers down so that you can enjoy your meal later on.
Rule #5: Portion Control
Yes you are on vacation but that does not mean to eat everything that is placed in front of you! Do your best trying to guesstimate the foods that are in front of you and remember to eat only what you need. You can certainly enjoy yourself and eat a cookie but just make sure one cookie doesn’t turn into the entire box.
Rule #5: Relax
Vacation is a time to enjoy yourself and relax. This needs to be #1 priority. Try not to obsess too much over hitting your numbers but also try not to completely disregard them. Practice mindful eating and really enjoy every bite of you food you have. Eat slowly and only until you feel full. One meal or a few days where you do not hit your macros spot on isn’t going to be the end of the world. Just know once you get back home you are going to get right back on track.
View your vacation or time away from home as an opportunity to learn some new skills. Ultimately, it is a chance for you to improve on how well you can estimate portions. It is also a chance for you to practice mindful eating and get creative with meal planning. All in all, try not to stress about it too much and really just enjoy yourself. Flexible dieting is meant to be a lifestyle change. As you know, with any lifestyle change there are obstacles. What will set you apart from the rest is learning to adapt and face any obstacles that come your way head on.