Travelling: How To Hit Your Macros
Travelling for work or maybe about to head away on a holiday & not quite sure how to go about hitting your macros on the run? We've got you sorted.
If there's one thing that can screw over even the most dedicated, diligent bodybuilder or physique athlete, it's time away from home.
When we're in our comfort zone, at home, with little more to worry about than work, and keeping a good social life, dieting is pretty easy.
You hit your local stores, eat the vast majority of your meals at home, and, even if you do go out to eat, it tends to be to the same places, where you order similar dishes time and time again, or have an idea of the calories and macros on the menu.
And even though for us flexible dieters, we make eating fit our lifestyle, not the other way round, being pulled away from home for a while can throw a spanner in the works.
Even if you're just travelling for a few days, it can become difficult to track macros, or stick to any sort of routine.
Here's the MyPhysique top tips for eating well & hitting your macros on the road.
1. Bring Your Bars
I typically favour whole foods over supplements.
I just find whole foods more filling, and they tend to have a better nutrient profile, but that said, I do love protein bars.
Quest Bars seem to be the go to choice of most flexible dieters and clean eaters alike at the moment, but Optimum Nutrition, BSN, Muscle Pharm – and a whole host of other brands - have good options too.
The best thing about bars is that no matter what your goals, and no matter what your macros, you'll find one that works for you.
Plus, unlike with protein shakes, when you bust out a bar, members of the general public don't stare at you weirdly like you're some kind of muscle-head freak!
2. Cold Cuts
For lean protein, you can't beat pre-cooked and deli-style meats.
If I'm just travelling by car, I might cook up some of my own before I go, but in all honesty, it's just easier to grab stuff from a store while you're away.
Some folk will worry about the sodium and the nitrates in pre-cooked meat, but in all honesty, in moderation, it'll do you no harm whatsoever.
3. Doing the Dairy
Meat isn't your only source of lean protein. Dairy works fine too.
It always amazes me how many bodybuilders won't eat dairy, as supposedly, it's not "clean" … whatever that means!
But for me, foods like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and milk are a great addition to any diet. They pack protein, calcium, vitamin D, and make a nice change from chicken, turkey and beef.
4. On Shaky Ground
I know I kind of dissed protein shakes earlier, and as much as I want to stay away from the "bro brigade," protein powder is super convenient when you're travelling.
I usually just pack a shaker, along with a small bag of whey, casein, or a protein blend.
Again, I will still pick whole foods if they're on offer, but a shake is ideal if you're pushed for time.
5. Getting Fruity
Fruit is one of my favourite carb sources.
And the best thing is that you can pick up fruit virtually anywhere. Next time you're travelling and need carbs, instead of worrying about finding somewhere that serves rice or sweet potato, or, worse still – eating raw, dry oats from the box – find a store and get a piece or two of fruit instead.
6. Do Your Research
While you can definitely pack all your meals and snacks for your trip if you really want to, I just don't think it's necessary.
In fact, you don't really "need" to take anything.
While I would say that if you're going to be away for any length of time, then the five foods above are worth bearing in mind, I also strongly believe that it's possible to stick to your diet eating every meal on the go.
All it takes is a little research.
Before your trip, take a look online at local restaurants, and at what stores you'll have nearby.
If you're in a hotel – do they have cooking facilities or a microwave so that you can travel light and pick up provisions on arrival, or are you going to need to be a little more prepared?
One final point – with so many of the general public now being health conscious, it's seriously difficult to find a restaurant that DOESN'T serve something at least semi-healthy that will fit anyone's macros.
Finding Flexibility = Finding Freedom
Once again, let's round off by giving a big thumbs up to flexible dieting.
As a flexible dieter, maintaining your diet 365 days a year, no matter where you are in the world is remarkably easy.
Take the time to prepare as best you can, make sacrifices where necessary and aim to enjoy your trip and your diet as much as you possibly can.