Staying on point on vacation can be done quite simply by counting your macros. The trick is to track everything, as Fitmark Ambassador Karey Northington found out while on vacation in Hawaii this year.
I stayed on point in Hawaii and I want to tell you how you can stay on point on vacation too ~ Fitmark Ambassador Karey Northington, IFBB Pro, Online Personal Coach, Full-Time Nurse, Business Owner and Mom
Counting macros can be confusing, especially if you’re not sure what your carb to protein to fat ratios should be. But working with a nutrition coach and determining your fitness goals, like Karey, can help you figure it all out. It will make all the difference to the results you achieve.
Counting Macros and Dining Out
But what happens when you’re dining out at a restaurant or on vacation? This is the number one question that Karey receives from clients. Karey and her husband Eric own Northington Fitness and Nutrition that offers a whole range of online and in-person diet and training programs. She told us:
As a coach, the majority of questions I hear from clients is wondering what to do when they go out of town, eat out at restaurants, and are surrounded by temptations.
Tracking Meals and Staying Accountable
Karey found that when she was on vacation and dining out at a restaurant, tracking everything with an online diet and fitness tracker was the easiest way to stay on track. She says:
When you know the basic composition of foods, it takes very little time to slot in meals on MyFitnessPal. If you can check your Facebook status while out at dinner, you can track your meals! It’s not going to ruin your quality of life – trust me! I’ve used all the same excuses!
Karey shares her tips and experiences on her blog and recently wrote about staying on track while on vacation called, How to Count Macros: Hawaii Edition. She compares her trip this year to last year, when she decided to go “hog wild” and “pig out!” Because that’s what you do, right? Here’s what Karey told us:
Change Your Mindset
Many of us, myself included, believe that the only way to possibly have ANY fun at all would be to consume mass amounts of all foods and drink when on vacation. Or at least some of everything available…it seems like all social events take place around eating and drinking…no wonder we all make the connection with fun and food.
I actually had a better time eating in moderation and making good choices on vacation versus going hog wild like I did last year…here’s why:
No Bloat or Eat Belly
The bloating that most people experience is related to an overconsumption of macros and the time it takes to digest the food from an overly large meal. (And I always feel like a slug in a bikini when I have “eat belly” – so, there’s that!)
No High Carb, High Sugar Crash
I wasn’t craving sugar during the trip from having meals that spiked my blood sugar levels. That is when insulin is released after a high carb meal and it ultimately causes a drop in blood sugar. When that happens, it’s common to feel hungry again very soon after eating. For me, I’ll be hungry again in an hour, which makes dieting extremely challenging.
There’s nothing like guilt to ruin a holiday, not to mention that dreaded moment when you return home and step on the scales again for the first time. Karey advises that sticking to your macros takes care of all that guilt and inevitable weight gain:
I didn’t have that guilt of “what am I going to weigh when I get back from Hawaii” feeling during the trip, the next morning after pigging out, or when I got home.
Complimentary drinks are free-flowing at most resorts, so beware and know your limit. It’s no fun waking up with a hangover and feeling lousy the whole day. Karey says:
I hate feeling hung over on trips and sugary frozen drinks in Hawaii are the number one culprits for me to cause a killer hangover and ruin a full 24 hours.
Tracking your meals is easy when you’re at home and you know exactly what ingredients you’re using. But Karey advises doing a little detective work before you make reservations. She says:
Basically all restaurant menus are available online, so it was easy to glance them over beforehand. You can always find a meal that will work with your plan, if you modify a few ingredients.
Stock Up At A Local Grocery Store
Karey traveled with her Fitmark Bags – the Velocity Backpack and the Box LG for meal prep. She told us:
The Box allowed me to bring my goodies from home and to save big on not only grocery shopping, but on time searching for all my go-to items!
Stocking up at a local grocery store to save money, Karey was able to pack her meals and avoid eating out at restaurants too often. With the Box LG, she was always prepared:
We stopped at a grocery store to avoid the expense of 4 meals per day purchased at restaurants. Major grocery store lifesavers: Shirataki noodles, Halm’s kimchi (look that up!), and macadamia nuts to get my fat grams in.
Practice Mindful Eating
Nothing tastes as good as the first few bites of something. If you practice mindfulness when you are eating, you can enjoy small amounts, be satisfied, and avoid all the negatives associated with overeating. Just slow down, enjoy the atmosphere, put your silverware down in between bites, and have a conversation.
Another trick to staying on track is taking a bag that will keep you organized. Karey chose her Velocity Backpack. She said:
The Velocity Backpack stored everything I needed for the beach with a safe spot for my laptop to get work done! Business doesn’t stop when we are on vacation as business owners!
So What Did Karey Eat?
I chose vegetables with my protein sources and skipped out on the starches (except for wine, of course – ha!) I ate pan seared onaga a few times, making sure to add the oil to my diet tracker, as well as the fish. I also enjoyed the shrimp cocktail (often!), and lobster, ceviche (wrapped in lettuce), coconut crusted shrimp, and filet. As you can see, I was hardly suffering!
For dessert, Hawaii is known for their shaved ice. They have about a dozen sugar-free flavors. I literally had a different shaved ice every night (sometimes 2!) Very low carb.
Staying On Track On Vacation
That’s what staying on track and eating in moderation looks like while on vacation! So you can see, it’s easy to stay on track and still enjoy yourself. Eating healthy doesn’t have to ruin your vacation or anybody else’s! Karey says:
Vacation doesn’t have to be a time to gain weight, and overeating isn’t the only way to have fun. When moderation becomes a habit and you change your mindset to focus on all the positives and what you are gaining, not what you are losing or missing out on, you will be amazed at how refreshed, happy and energized you can be!
Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team