And I’ve managed to stick to plan on both the exercise and nutrition front. I’m trying to figure out whether I have more trouble sticking to the nutrition plan on the road (eating at restaurants) or at home (snacking).
One of the big challenges while on the road is sticking to my calorie budget. In 2008, California enacted a law that requires restaurants to post food energy (calories) and nutritional information on menus. The caveat is that this information is required only in restaurants with over 20 units. So, unless I’m eating at a restaurant that is part of a chain, this information isn’t readily available.
I suppose it’s entirely possible to eat at chain restaurants 100% (okay – 90%) of the time. Not real exciting in my book. Part of the fun of travelling is searching out local cuisine. Now, Sacramento isn’t exactly the gourmet spot of the world, but there are some restaurants that can cook up an excellent dinner (let me know if you want to know of some).
So, the challenge becomes figuring out what I *should* eat when I look at a menu. And before you say “That’s pretty easy – stick with salads.” let me say “BOOOOORRRRRRRINGGGGG!”
Here are some things I do to stick to the plan while travelling:
- Log log log: Immediately. After each meal. I use the myfitnesspal app on my smartphone. Knowing what I have left in the calorie department for dinner allows me to make an informed menu choice at dinner.
- Plan ahead: Know that we’re going to to burgers in the evening? Don’t pig out at lunch. And if I logged lunch, then I’ll know whether you can have those onion rings with dinner. Especially if I use my logging app and know how many calories in those rings *before* I’m tempted to order them.
- Serving size: Get good at approximating serving size. Know what two tablespoons of ranch dressing on a salad looks like. I’m not into counting the number of fries I’m stuffing into my pie hole.
- Search for healthy alternatives: Side salad instead of fries with the burger or garlic bread with the spaghetti. (Boring with a little “b”).
The most important thing to remember is that calories are approximations. There is no way to know (outside of some pretty detailed and expensive testing) my exact BMR. Nor is there anyway to know exactly the number of calories in the (approximately) 4 ounce braised short rib on my plate. But, if I’m close, then statistically, it will all work itself out in the end. If not, I gain a pound or two (not a disaster), and adjust my daily goal.
The way I look at it is this – I’m away from the comforts of home. I’m not going to kick horse turds down the road over a few calories….
- Goal: 1780
- Food: 1831
- Exercise: 0
- Too few/(too many): (51)