We are honored today to have a guest on our blog! One of our very own Macro Challengers, Madison, is going to share how she has made macros work with her lifestyle!
She travels a lot for work, and we thought these could come in handy for not only those who travel for work but for anyone who is traveling for the holidays! You’ll want to read ALL of this. PURE GOLD!
Traveling Tips & Tricks
I’m Madison Butterworth, Macro Challenge Alumni and Professional Domestic Traveler. I was asked by our coaches to provide some of my tips/tricks that I have learned for counting macros while traveling.
A little about my background so you know where I’m coming from. I currently serve as an Emergency Preparedness Health Analyst for the Federal Government where I essentially design worst-case scenarios and attempt to improve the nation’s preparedness and response efforts for natural, chemical/biological/nuclear/radiological, and man-made disasters…NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER.
With my job, I travel roughly 50% of the time which is usually a combination of planes, trains, and automobiles (yes, I have some crazy travel stories). Even though I traveled 4/8 weeks of our challenge, I was able to lose 18 lbs and 3” off my waist. Of note: I do not have kids; I usually travel alone or with colleagues; and I normally stay in hotels.
First and foremost, ALWAYS pre-log your food while traveling.
Before I even head out on the road, I plan what my travel days could look like—plug in a few of your favorite snacks and see how a day could shape out. Typically, I try to control my breakfast and lunch as I tend to go out with coworkers or clients for dinner. Keep in mind your day should be flexible in case you encounter any travel delays or plans change.
Snacks are by far your best friend when traveling so take things you like and that you already have programmed into your app.
When I fly, I pack a ton of snacks for my carry on and my checked bag. Just be mindful of the liquids rule if you are flying. One of the best things to do is to find snacks that have a high number of one macro because you’ll always find that you’re missing more of one at the end of the day.
Go high on protein with your meals, as I’ve found this is the trickiest one to fulfill through snacks.
A huge lifesaver has been to pack some sort of Tupperware with a meal. For example, if I travel in the afternoon, I pack lunch—this saves time having to calculate what you can eat and money. If flying, take a wrap or anything that will keep (nothing soggy).
As I’m a planner in my day job, I tend to research my hotels quite extensively. I book hotels with dining options close by, typically near shopping centers or strip malls, and those that have restaurants inside.
All hotels must be able to provide guests with a mini fridge so if your room doesn’t have one, call and request it.
Non-sponsored PSA ahead, I’m a loyal Marriott member and have a high status. All hotel chains have a loyalty program so sign up for all of them. When you can, stay at the same hotel brand because when you reach status, you get access to their lounge which has free breakfast (hard boiled eggs, yogurt, coffee, etc.) = SAVING MONEY.
If you do not have a rental car and you are not staying nearby a grocery store, grab things from the airport before you leave.
I’ve found that Hudson News and similar stores, have some great snacks (little pricey). I typically grab items that I was not able to bring on the plane (perishables) like yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus/veggies, etc.
Sitting out at a restaurant can be a little overwhelming but just remember that you can make modifications to the food.
I tend to ask for sauces/dressings to be removed or on the side and stick to basic proteins and carbs (steak/chicken/fish and potatoes).
As I am usually the only millennial in the group traveling, my boss/coworkers look to me to find restaurants….
PICK WHERE YOU GO.
This allows you to look at the menus ahead of time and pre-plan what you’ll eat. Also, program a glass of wine/beer at social settings typically have some sort of drinking involved. If you don’t drink, you can always use those carbs for gummy bears or chocolate later!
Another life hack, always remember that you can order food from restaurants that are not nearby.
I recommend using apps like UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Caviar, Seamless, goPuff, and Yelp. Fast Foods are usually pre-programmed into the MFP app, which is a lifesaver. I sometimes feel this is easier than going out and feeling overwhelmed with a large menu and trying to account for things not listed on the menu (butter, oils, etc.).
My top place that I eat out at is Chick-fil-A. The grilled 12 piece nuggets and fries are where it’s at especially when you’re low on protein and carbs.
So what do I take?
Here are my go to items that I take when I travel:
packs of tuna or salmon
Nuttzo 2go nut butter
gummy bears (perfect for hitting carbs)
protein powder (weigh powder and put portions into individual baggies then place all baggies inside shaker to save space in bag)
chomps turkey jerky sticks
apples or apple sauce
yogurt (buy at a grocery or Starbucks since they’re usually everywhere)
pre-weigh chia seeds and hemp hearts that I put in my yogurt
dark chocolate bars
If you have the ability to drive somewhere, you are lucky and your life will be much easier.I live and die by traveling with my Yeti cooler (Tundra 50). If you have a family, you can pre-make meals and freeze them ahead of time. My yeti, when filled with ice, will keep things cold for a week if not longer.
MAJOR KEY ALERT! Take a water bottle with you everywhere. TSA will always ask if it’s empty but nowadays there are water bottle stations as soon as you get through security. Also, almost every hotel gym has filtered water so do not buy bottled water or use tap (unless you prefer tap).
I find that exercise is the best thing to help with jet lag and overall travel stressors. I typically workout in the morning before my meetings which includes a combination of cardio and weights. When I’m not traveling, I follow a HIIT regimen and translate that to a travel workout.
If you are looking to do the same, download an app called Seconds.
The app allows you to create a free HIIT timer so you can track your “go” and “rest” intervals.
If the hotel or place you are staying does not have a fitness center…
YouTube has a ton of workout videos and content that you can do with body weight.
You can also use your luggage for some workouts (chest press, squats). Get creative! The best thing to do is just keep moving.
Madison is a valued member of our Macro Challenge team, and she is now a part of our Alumni program.
Our Alumni program is a monthly membership with weekly check-ins you join once you have done The Macro Challenge.
To learn more about The Macro Challenge, join our FREE Mini Macro Challenge.
By joining the challenge, you’ll not only get a taste of what the real thing is like, but you’ll also get our FREE Beginner’s Guide to Macros (a 22-page guide chock full of info to teach you all you need to know about macros).