by Matt Weik
There are many people out there today who travel for work each week. Then there are the hermits who only leave the house when they need groceries. Whichever category you fall into, the tips below will ensure you don’t fall off the wagon with your diet when you decide to leave the comforts of your home. With a little planning and know-how, you can easily make sure you don’t blow your macros through the roof and kill your progress.
1.) Plan ahead by prepping your meals
Do you have a cooler large enough to store several meals? Or to make things even easier and organized, grab a 6 Pack Bag which you can store up to 5 meals depending on the bag you purchase. The nice thing is that these bags come with everything you need. So you’ll get compartments for your silverware, slots to put all your meals with actual containers that seal your food, gel packs that keep your food fresh and cool for 8+ hours, as well as other compartments to store anything else you would need to take with you for your meals—even a place to store your supplements!
So now you have your cooler or bag situation figured out—now what? Meal prep time! Figure out what macros you will need for the day and break them down into the amount of meals you need to eat while you’re out of the house. These meals can be something as simple as chicken with broccoli, steak with sweet potato, or salmon with rice just to give a few examples. Whatever you decide to take, simply prepare all of the food ahead of time and store them in sealable containers until you are ready to leave. When it’s time to go throw them in your cooler or meal prep bag and you’re out the door with healthy meals in hand.
2.) Hit the grocery store if you are out of town for more than a day
This goes along with the section above, but if you are staying in a hotel while traveling, look for a nearby grocery store that would allow you to pick up food for the following day(s). Many hotels either have microwaves in the room or available in the breakfast area near the lobby to allow you to heat things up. Or, if you decide to stay in a hotel that gives you a kitchen right in your room that’s even easier. Either way, find food that you can prepare based off what’s available at your hotel to create your meals.
At the store you can purchase items such as:
• rice in a cup that just needs to be microwaved
• individually packaged cups of oatmeal
• already cooked chicken breast or frozen in a bag that needs to be warmed
• lunch meat from the deli
• already prepared hard boiled eggs
• fresh vegetables
• frozen vegetables in a microwaveable steam bag
• fresh fruit
• white or sweet potatoes
• frozen salmon to put in the microwave
• rotisserie chicken that you can pull apart and separate for individual meals
• various nuts
The above is just the tip of the iceberg to give you some ideas. Figure out what macros you need and find the foods that help you hit your daily intake requirements.
3.) If you must hit a fast food chain in a pinch, make smart choices
I get it; we live in a world where everyone is in a rush. Sometimes it feels like we barely have time to breathe let alone sit down to enjoy a nice nutritious meal. But don’t let the rushing around hinder your progress in the gym.
Not everything at fast food chains is terrible for you. In fact, you’d be surprised how many different places you can eat without the guilt of destroying a greasy burger. Have no fear, the choices below are here to give you some ideas to save the day and your diet.
• You can actually purchase a plain grilled chicken breast (or 2) and increase your protein intake for the day
• There are several sides that you can choose from that won’t have you tipping the scale such as their fruit cup, Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup, salads (don’t load up on the junk or dressing added to them), and their superfood side
• If you enjoy salads, their Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad, Southwest Chargrilled Salad, and their Chargrilled & Fruit Salad’s are great options so long as you add a dressing that is low in fat such as a vinaigrette
• Best beverage option would be a bottle of water
• Now that you can eat breakfast all day, an Egg McMuffin is a great choice and if you’re in need of breakfast or a quick pick-me-up add a cup ofcoffee to it
• You can also order a plain grilled chicken breast without the bun to up your protein intake
• For sides their fruit or their side salad would be the best option
• If you are hungry for a salad you won’t feel guilty with their Premium Southwest Salad with grilled chicken (go with a vinaigrette dressing)
• For a beverage stick with a bottle of water
• If you want a sandwich but know that burger isn’t your best option then try an Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich but make sure you get it without mayonnaise
• Skip the fries with anything you are getting and opt for the side salad, plain baked potato, or even their chili
• Looking for something to warm you up on a cold day? Grab a plain baked potato and put a side of chili on top of it
• A great option for a salad would be their Asian Cashew Chicken Salad which is loaded with veggies as well as protein and good fats from the cashews
• Add a bottle of water to the options above and you’re golden
• The flavor that comes along with every meal at Chipotle is enough to blow your mind, but make sure what you include in your meal isn’t going to throw off your daily macros
• A great option is their chicken burrito bowl where you can add vegetables, brown rice, black beans, salsa, and a little bit of guacamole—double the meat to further increase your protein intake
• If you’re in the mood for a salad I’d recommend the chicken, pinto bean, and veggie salad or the hot and cheesy steak salad for a good mix of carbohydrates and protein
• Skip the fountain beverage and get yourself a bottle of water
As you can see, you can pretty much request food to be prepared a certain way or order food without the bun to lower carbohydrates and calories. You also have the flexibility to change your side items from French Fries to a healthier option.
The above was a quick breakdown of some healthy options to consider while you are on the run. Take those principles and apply them to other fast food chains that you might encounter in your travels. Eating “fast food” doesn’t have to be a poor decision or a set-back to your diet. All you need to do is figure out what options you have and how you can order things to fit your requirements.
By utilizing all of the sections above, you’ll never have to feel bad about a business trip or traveling again. By planning ahead and making wise food choices, you can go just about anywhere without staring at your food knowing you’re going to regret eating it. How you decide to set up your meals for the day is up to you (meal prep or eating out), but making sure you stay within your macros is an absolute must. There is no reason to go off the deep end and ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for in the gym. You can’t out-train a poor diet. So make sure you have it on point and the results will follow.