Working Away, the Nutrition Plan & Online Calorie Counters

Working away is a real pain, the nutrition plan is hard enough to deal with at the best of times, but when you can’t really control what you eat and you are at the mercy of the hotel menu – what do you do?

I’m on a really restrictive plan right now due to my stupid physiology, so I can’t do carbs and I have to keep protein low too so my macronutrients for a day are:

  • Kcals    1300
  • FAT      91 g
  • CHO     19 g
  • PRO     100 g

That’s easy enough to do when you’re at home and you can determine what you’re going to eat, but when you’re away, it’s a damned nightmare. 

Today I had to get up at 04:30, pack my case and get ready to fly to Newcastle, yup, that means that I didn’t get breakfast at home – but I did when I got to the airport, so today my food looked like this


  • 1 sm fried egg
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 sausage
  • 1 tbsp baked beans

I had breakfast at the airport, I should have had breakfast at home really to make sure that it was cooked in butter/olive or coconut oil not vegetable oil, but when you have an early flight, it’s better than nothing – not that breakfast is absolute must, the latest research and thinking is that it isn’t, the most important thing is to ensure that you consume all your calories and the correct macronutrients during your ‘eating window’, this is the basis of Intermittent Fasting – IF.  I may write something about this later.  I would not be able to consume the full amount of kcals and macros whilst working away without breakfast.


  • 127 g chicken
  • 20 g homemade mayonnaise
  • 8 black olives
  • 50 g crispy salad leafs
  • 50 g Tesco creamy coleslaw

I put the coleslaw in because I needed to make up the macros – first time I’ve eaten this in ages.  I packed lunch before I left for the airport this morning and I also packed the same again for tomorrow. 


  • 8 oz sirloin steak
  • 50 g salad leafs

When staying away the rule is you can have fresh red meat, chicken or fish (not in batter) and fresh veg or salad but no dressing or sauces, I think that a steak and salad meets the criterion.

So bearing in mind my required macros, this is where I am now

  • Kcals    1175
  • FAT     76 g
  • CHO     19 g
  • PRO     95 g

Well that’s it calculated in MyNetDiary, but the calculations in ALL these online packages are not always the accurate.  The true Kcals based on the macronutrients is 1235.  That is a whole lot better than 1175, still short by 65 kcals and not really acceptable, but better nonetheless. 

Tomorrow however, even when re-calculating the kcals is still only at 1090, I will need to sort something else out when I get home to ensure that I am not 210 kcals short on the day.

To calculate the kcals correctly the calculations should be

  • CHO (carbohydrate) 1 g = 4 kcals
  • PRO (protein)            1 g = 4 kcals
  • FAT                             1 g = 9 kcals
  • Alcohol                        1 g = 7 kcals (empty kcals – avoid at all costs)

I contacted MyNetDiary support team to find out why the kcals don’t calculate properly and they replied
“We publish nutritions, including total carbs and sugar in the same way as it seen on Food Labels. We do not calculate total carbs.” 

So, there you have it, the food labeling inaccuracies are making their way into the on-line calorie counters!  That inaccuracy means that although I do use MyNetDiary to calculate my kcals, I usually create my own food items to ensure that the kcals are as accurate as they can be.

Because of this inaccuracy, I decided to check out some other sites – see blog on Friday when I will have the results.   In this blog I will also explain how to read the food labels which we all know are full of ambiguities and as my favourite saying goes – ambiguity is a place where opportunity lives; in this instance, the opportunity is to over eat on kcals based on inaccurate information.  Not so good for the diet conscious of us.

So, what do you do when you’re stuck in a hotel room?  Ordinarily I would go to the gym, shower and then go down for dinner.  Unfortunately, I am not supposed to go the gym other than my sessions with Andy, as I had a personal training session with Andy last night (Monday) and I’m working away or home late I am not allowed back in the gym until Saturday.  Also, after a university weekend, followed by a stupid o’clock rise this morning, I am shattered.  So, tonight was a bit of studying, a bit of research (statins and on-line diaries), dinner, then more research and then the blog.  I am really struggling with not going to the gym.  I will persevere not because I’ve promised Martin, but because I don’t want to stop losing weight, I also don’t want any more shouty Martin ‘I told you so’ style of emails haha.

There will be no weight tomorrow morning for himself because I flew here.  I will be home late-ish tomorrow evening, but I have the stuff in my fridge ready for me to come home to, so no shopping whilst I’m hungry.  Shopping whilst hungry is the worst time to shop, I often buy rubbish when I shop hungry and then feel guilty and give it my parents 🙂

I’m in Cornwall on Thursday back home on Friday, it’s a good job my sister house sits for me when I’m working away!! The food in the hotel in Cornwall nearly all comes cooked in some sauce or another, but if the hotel or restaurant cooks their own food and it isn’t brought in, it’s easy to get them to omitt the sauces.

Anyway, it’s 11 pm, I’m shattered so I’m off to bed. 

Good night, sleep well.

Catch up soon …

About Lian Munday

My journey from having a gastric band to actually losing weight in a healthy controlled way with the help and support of Martin MacDonald, Mac-Nutrition, my Nutritionist and Andy Angell, my Personal Trainer. Please join us on our journey.
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