This week my sister had her beautiful baby girl.....TWINS! She lives about an hour away from us, so the kids and I packed up our things and were on our merry way! We helped watch her other three kiddos, while she was in the hospital. 5 kids you say? You're brave you say? Well I have two words for you...
Saving moms everywhere, one happy, distracted, completely zoned out toddler at a time.
Now let's cut to the quick...if you're tracking macros and on a plan, it can be really daunting to head out of town for a few days or longer into the unknown. It's pretty obvious that you have a heck of a lot more control over what you eat and when you eat in the comfort of your own home. Planning and adjusting to your day is a lot easier because you know (for the most part) what to expect day in and day out.
But to throw a random trip in the mix? Perhaps a work trip? Or a bomb vacation? Or visiting your sister? Being someone's house guest in general? That calls for a little creativity and a little extra preparedness. Because guess what?! You can still nail your goals! You may have to be more flexible and it might not go exactly as planned, but you can still have a successful trip without feeling like you've backtracked! Let's talk about how!
With summer almost here, it's the season for traveling and togetherness! Like we mentioned, it's tricky to take counting on the road and adapt to different situations whatever they may be. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your macros on the move, while still taking time to ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
What's your game plan?
The first step should be to decide what you want your commitment to be. What's realistic? Taking a break? Focusing on protein and overall calories? Estimating the best you can? Gonna wing it? Deciding BEFORE will commit you.
Be honest with yourself and your situation. If you feel like it's feasable, GO FOR IT. We think you might surprise yourself with what a little pre-game planning can do to set you up for success! In the same breath, maybe this trip is a legit vacation with family. You know ahead of time that the focus is truly memories over macros. If that's the case, we say ENJOY YOURSELF. Here's some of our advice for heading into that unknown territory feeling confident and empowered that YOU GOT THIS.
Plan to log.
Even if it's only breakfast. Maintaining the tracking habit will make it easier to dive back in when you get home! Plus to be honest: isn't it worth it just to keep your streak # of days logged in MFP?
Go to the store.
Being a guest in someone's house allows you more wiggle room room than a hotel or a camel. You don't need to take over the fridge but grab some essentials to get you through! Think protein bars, shakes, frozen dinners, etc...
Sometimes having a handy dandy bag of pre-portioned snacks to grab and go on a whim is helpful! For example, when I went to my sister's house this weekend, I grabbed a grocery bag and filled it with some grab and go snacks for myself and the family. Here are some of the things that went in that bag:
Ziploc bags for fruits
Oh Yeah One bars (glazed doughnut & blueberry cobbler are favs)
G2G bars (Use code BUTTERS20 for 20% off)
Premier Protein shakes (from Costco)
Keep hunger desperation at bay.
Don't know what the heck the plan is when traveling or staying at someone's house? Keep hunger from reaching an all-time high with some snacks like a protein bar, apple, or shake. Keeping us from getting "hangry" helps us make more educated decisions.
Plan meals with your hosts & cook with them!
Try: "I've made this wowza ______ (salad/chicken, etc...), and I'd love to make it for you!" When we visit in-laws, we usually cook for them! Take initiative and make what comes out of the kitchen great for all.
At a gathering? Deciding when to splurge?
Divide foods into 3 groups. Foods that:
You want (drool-worthy)
Eat more "healthy" and enjoy the "wants" in moderation. Remember that creating food & feeding people is true love to many of us. So if momma is spending time in the kitchen recreating childhood faves, be kind! They don't want to mess with your goals, even if it seems that way. So have a small or big taste of that banana pudding and savor the love!
One visit won't make or break your goals unless you let it. Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to try again. "Memories over macros" right? IT'S TRUE. You won't look back and remember what you ate (well unless it's a food trip then by golly go balls to the walls will ya?). So cheers to making memories with those you love!
Manage Your Mind.
What you have to remember is that when you're out of your element and life throws you these curve-balls in the middle of you trying to slay your goals, is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Your mindset going into any trip or vacation whether it's spur of the moment, a planned vacation, or for work is going to be the thing to beat. We often throw caution to the wind in these circumstance because we think it's out of our control to be in control. How ironic is that?
We totally identify with the "give an inch take a mile" mindset. The all or nothing trap! You're either all in or you're all out. It's black or white. There seems to be no in between!
Which is when it's CRUCIAL to remember that you're looking for CONSISTENCY over PERFECTION. One night out will not hinder your overall progress. One week will not hinder your progress. Time with friends and family is precious and valuable! If you go into the experience with high anxiety because you don't know the macros, you're missing the mark! You want a lifestyle that is SUSTAINABLE. If you feel paralyzed in a situation where there's not nutritional information OR when friends or family ask you out to eat spur of the moment and you're unsure of how it's going to "fit", then our suggestion would be to remind yourself that YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE OUTCOME.
Think about each day of your trip ahead of time and do some low key planning. Come up with a few snack/meal options you feel excited about and comfortable with and walk into each day EMPOWERED. Tell yourself that YOU are in control of the day.
My advice would also be to not make food the focus of the experience. Focus on your friends and family and enjoy the company! And when you DO go out and know that you're going to be enjoying a good meal and the foodie inside you is ready to soak it all in, then MAKE food the focus of the experience! Enjoy it! Sit and take pleasure in each bite. Savor the food experience! But be in tune with hunger cues. Listen to your body and its signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of eating and ask yourself how the food tastes and what your current level of hunger is. Be conscious of your eating experience! Don't feel obligated to clean your plate and don't feel obligated to NOT clean your plate. Be in control of the outcome and know that if you walk into the situation fearing that you'll go over your macros, your level of anxiety about the food might increase unnecessarily! Enjoy yourself and enjoy your company! BOTTOM LINE.