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Traveling and tracking

Posted: Feb 19, 2013

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Traveling and tracking

Doing both can certainly be a challenge as you probably won’t have a food scale or always know the ingredients/recipe of what you are eating.  So what should you do?  Stop tracking all together?  That’s what many do thinking “what’s the point?” if the information is not accurate.  However, there is still value with inaccurate or incomplete records.  Simply writing what you ate and when still results in awareness and thoughtfulness and, perhaps more importantly, will keep you in the habit of recording.  This is especially important if you are new at keeping a food journal as consistency is required in order to develop behaviour. 

Here are some tips on how to keep your food journal while away:

  1. If you normally track using a smart phone app, consider switching to a pen and paper (roaming fees can be very expensive, internet not available in all areas).
  2. Be sure to pack your CalorieKing book.
  3. Refer to restaurant menu nutritional information (either online or hardcopy). Remember to add 20% to posted calories.
  4. Ask how dishes are prepared.
  5. Find items that are similar to what you are eating (e.g. if having a donair, can use numbers posted for a shawarma).
  6. When all else fails, take your best guess at the calories and add 40% to your estimate (multiply by 1.4).

Then, once you return from your trip, simply resume your regular tracking.  

Mark McGill, RD