If the thought of vacationing while counting macros is stressing you out, I’m here to tell you to relax and fear not! A few years ago my husband and I took a week long trip to Boston- home of amazing Italian food, delightful Boston Cream Pies, and mountains of seafood.
I’m not going to tell you that I hit my macros on the nose every day. In fact, I went over several days and was way under another. Journaling my food and a general awareness of what I was putting in my body definitely helped me get close and prevented me from going overboard. I didn’t eat everything in sight or gorge myself to the point of sickness. With a few clear goals and some planning, I was able to enjoy some treats without feeling guilty or like I needed a major detox after coming home.
Here are a few guidelines that I used and recommend to help you on your vacation:
Keep to your rituals. If there is something that you always do, vacation doesn’t mean you can’t do it. By definition, a ritual is sometimes “used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety.” I don’t know about you, but vacations are meant to relieve anxiety, so it seems silly to give up those rituals that soothe us on a daily basis. My absolute daily rituals are:
- Morning proteins and greens drink. Keeps my pH alkaline, which is essential to having a healthy immune system and keeps me regular. Ain’t nobody got time to be irregular.
- Exercise. This can range from walking while site-seeing, swimming, a hotel room workout or attending the hotel or local gym!
- Daily mediation/stretching-find time to relax your mind and body!
Get your protein in. I have found that when eating out while traveling, it is easy to get carbs and fats. I have to work hard on getting my protein. Pack protein snacks like supplements, bars, jerky or shakes to help you hit your numbers. Don’t be afraid to ask for “double meat” or ask your server the portion size on the protein. Try to eat protein with each meal/snack. I also recommend taking a fiber supplement on vacation- eating out tends to equal being low on fiber.
Drink Water. Stay hydrated from lots of time in the sun and walking. Water also helps your digestion stay on track and prevent bloating If you go overboard on lower nutritional value foods.
Move your body! I covered this under my rituals but it’s so important to move! Find ways to stay active. I attended a local gym daily for one hour and did the majority of my intra-city travel by walking. I had to plan ahead and make this a priority but I noticed that I stayed full of energy for my whole trip and it helped me feel better about eating some of the treats that I had. Don’t discredit the power of hitting yourself daily steps!! 7500-10,000 steps a day is proven to ignite that metabolism! Site-seeing can easily lend to at least that many!
Have fun! Don’t get so wrapped up in your nutrition that you forget to enjoy yourself. The beauty of macro-counting is its flexibility. It’s a Live-it, Not a Die-it. Use the 80/20 rule- eat whole, healthy foods most of the time, enjoy a few treats. I also like to say, “Pay it forward (by exercising and eating healthy before a splurge) and Pay it back (by getting right back on track)”.
I hope these tips help you out on your travels!!