Five ways to stay on track while staying in a hotel

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I think most people would agree that it’s easier to stay consistent with their nutrition plan when they are at home. But how do you stay on track nutritionally while traveling and staying in a hotel with only a mini fridge and microwave? Pre-COVID, I traveled frequently and have become a pro at this. And conveniently, I stayed in a hotel for five days last week for a disc golf tournament, so these tips are fresh in my mind.


1. Ensure your hotel room has a mini-fridge and refrigerator

Before I book a stay at any hotel, I either check the listing or call the hotel to ensure my room will be equipped with a fridge and a microwave. For me, these are musts if I am staying for more than two days. You may be able to get away with a cooler and no heating apparatus, but don’t make things harder on yourself! Oftentimes if the rooms don’t have these items by default, you can request them.


2. Pack your food staples

Depending on your mode of transportation, you may not have much room for food. If you are traveling by car, I would suggest bringing a small cooler as well as a bag or two of dry goods. I use ice packs instead of loose ice in my cooler so my food doesn’t become water logged. If you are traveling by plane, only bring the absolute essentials. For me, this includes:

  • PEScience protein powder
  • Protein shaker bottle
  • Ziplock bag of Peanut butter powder
  • Built Bars
  • Kodiak cakes mix

You will notice that each of these items revolves around protein because I know this is the hardest macro to hit while traveling.

In this video, I show what I brought with me on my latest disc golf trip.


3. Hit the grocery store ASAP when you arrive at your destination

Stock your room with foods that fit into your nutrition plan. I find it is easier to stay on track when I have good food at arm’s reach and don’t eat every meal out. In this video, I show what I picked up at the grocery store the morning after I arrived at my disc golf tournament destination.


4. Choose restaurants with balanced options

If you are traveling to a highly-populated area, you should be able to find restaurants with balanced options. Make sure to plan ahead by checking menus and nutritional info online. Here are some restaurant chain suggestions:

  • Panera Bread (where I am currently sitting writing this blog post)
  • Chipotle, Moe’s, Blue Coast Burrito, Qdoba or Salsarita’s
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Noodles & Company
  • Subway

Wherever you decide to eat, try choosing lean protein like chicken, fish and turkey over fattier meats like beef and pork. Also, ask for salad dressing on the side so you can control the portions, and limit dishes with creamy sauces.


5. Prioritize protein, whole foods and water

Ask anyone who tracks macros – reaching your protein target is always the most challenging. This is why it is important to prioritize protein at every meal. When at home, I don’t typically drink my protein powder mixed with water, but when traveling, I find I need it as a supplement. Filling up on lean protein and whole foods with fiber while keeping adequately hydrated will help you feel full longer and will help you avoid mindless snacking.


This is a guest post from community member Sara Sinclair, owner of Get Gritty Nutrition:

“I have been a competitive athlete since age six and was involved in many team sports throughout my life. Since 2014, I have been a professional disc golfer. Although I was always physically active, I was also always overweight, which held me back from my fitness goals. In 2019, I dove headfirst into the world of macro tracking and not only lost the weight but was able to keep it off, something I was never able to do with all the fad diets I tried. I wanted to teach others how to use the macro-tracking strategy to attain their goals, so I became a NASM-certified nutrition coach in 2020 and launched Get Gritty Nutrition soon after. Now, I help clients strengthen their relationship with food and crush their goals. ”

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