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Mastering Business Travel and Tracking: An Interview with #TeamWAG member Hunter Tubbs.

After finding out his wife was pregnant with twin boys, Hunter Tubbs decided it was time to rebuild his relationship with food and shed the 14lbs he’d gained over the last 18 months.

Hunter joined #TeamWAG ready to achieve his goals, but was faced with a common challenge that many of our member’s face – business travel. Hunter was rightfully concerned about how he was going to adjust to a new lifestyle while on the road, but 11 weeks into his journey, he has lost nearly 18lbs and become an incredible example of what is possible with a little planning, and hard work.

We spoke with Hunter about his experience and how he manages staying on track while on the road.

Name Hunter Tubbs
Age 32 years old
Hometown Nashville, TN
Goal Weight Loss, Crossfit Performance, Aesthetic/Body Composition Improvements
Weight lost/gained to date Jan 7: 198.6lbs // March 25: 180.8lbs // -17.8lbs lost in 11 weeks
Sport Former College Baseball Player, Crossfit for 6 years

Q: Why did you decide to join Working Against Gravity?

A: I was at a point in my life where I had too much nutrition knowledge clouding the simple, proven principles of fat loss. One month it was Zone, the next it was Paleo, followed by Carb Backloading, then it was Intermittent Fasting, etc, etc, etc. Trust me, I’ve done it all over the past 10 years. Sure I had success, but mentally I was always fatigued from “dieting.” None of the aforementioned plans were sustainable. I developed an extremely unhealthy relationship with food where I felt very guilty if I wasn’t eating “clean" 100% of the time.

I would succeed for 4-5 days - When I couldn’t handle eating another piece of asparagus or broccoli, that would lead to a “cheat meal” in the form of a huge burger or an entire pizza. I traveled for work so those cheat meals became more frequent and they were almost always accompanied by 8+ beers. My numbers were slipping in the gym, my clothes were super tight, I felt terrible naked, and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. The sad reality was that I had let myself go.

When my wife found out she was expecting twins, I knew it was time to pull myself together! I wanted to be the best version of myself when my boys were born. I committed to no alcohol for 6 months, met with a counselor to discuss my destructive eating and drinking habits, and reached out to WAG to help with my nutrition.

I was paired with Mel Barnshaw and the rest is history! I committed to doing everything she suggested, no questions asked, with complete trust in the process and keeping the end result in mind. Thanks to WAG, my body fat has gone down, my performance in the gym has increased, and I now have a sustainable way of eating that doesn’t involve depriving myself of foods I enjoy.

Q: Rumour has it you spent your first few weeks of WAG travelling, where did you travel to and for how long?

A: I started WAG on January 7th and had 2 weeks to get used to the program before going out of town for 11 days. I traveled across the country to Dana Point, CA where my company was holding its national sales meeting. Once my sales meeting was over, my wife joined me for our “baby moon” so the trip consisted of a nice mix of work and relaxation. In full disclosure, we stayed at a very nice hotel, which made it easier to stay on track with my macros.

Q: What kind of progress were you able to make while traveling?

A: I started the trip at 195.4lbs and ended at 193lbs. During this trip, I was still new to the program and very focused on the number on the scale. It bounced around throughout the 11 days but I was able to come off the trip a few pounds lighter.

Q: Were you surprised at how well you did while travelling?

A: My initial reaction is to say, yes, I was surprised. But to be honest, I wasn’t surprised at all. I was laser focused on my goal and I couldn’t stand the thought of looking back on those incredible 11 days and resenting the trip because I had fallen off the wagon. Abstaining from alcohol and refraining from the pastas and pastries was tough (imagine 200 of your colleagues busting your chops for not partaking in the many indulgences of a corporate sponsored trip!), but standing firm on those first two days laid the foundation for a successful trip and led to a new found appreciation for the integrity I knew I had deep down, even though I thought I had lost it. On the flip side, I was extremely surprised at how well I was able to estimate portions and create simple strategies to ensure I was not over or under eating and hitting my macros.

Q: So, how did you make hitting your macros work while staying in a hotel?

A: The hotel staff was very accommodating. I spend 1 or 2 nights per week in a hotel and no matter where I go, the hotel staff will always go the extra mile to meet your requests… they want you to come back, right!? I think a refrigerator in the room is a huge success factor simply because it eliminates the excuse of not having food readily available.

I drive for a majority of my work travel so I always have a cooler with me for snacks on the road and in the event the hotel doesn’t have a refrigerator in the room. Invest in a nice cooler and several ice packs. Look at your cooler like your gym bag… everything from tape, wraps, belts, extra socks, shirts, etc is in your gym bag in case you forget something at home or an unexpected workout is announced, right? The same holds true for your cooler - have extra fruit, nuts, bars, rice cakes, and jerky in one of the side pouches in case you are faced with an unexpected situation and need food in a pinch. Lastly, no matter if I’m flying or driving, I travel everywhere with my scale.

Q: Many of your work days are long. How did you manage your foods for the day, on the days you knew you would be in meetings all day?

A: My schedule was laid out for the week so I knew exactly when I would be in meetings or have the ability to eat. I would devise an eating strategy for the upcoming day before I went to bed. I created this habit on my business trip and still do it every day - this allows me to be in control of hitting my macros, not the circumstances of the moment! I packed a few Quest Bars each day because they are easy to track. I also had a few bags of beef jerky for protein. I knew what 136g of a banana, 154g of an apple, and 200g of an orange felt like in my hand and those fruits were always available in the hotel. I also had a bag of almonds and cashews for fat and I know based on practice at home, that a handful is roughly 28g.

Q: What were your go-to foods on the road? How did you navigate the buffets/restaurants etc?

A: For this particular trip, hard boiled eggs (no hidden fat in these versus scrambled eggs containing whole milk) and a measurable, track-able piece of fruit were my breakfast go-to’s. Lunch consisted of lean meat and a salad or veggies. If there was no lean meat, I would load up a big salad with squeezed lemon or vinegar (no oil) dressing and get my protein from my packed beef jerky. We lucked out on nice dinners. There was always some type of lean meat, healthy greens, and a tasty starch served. By dinner, because I kept a very close eye on fats and carbs throughout the day, I could enjoy a serving of rice, pasta, mac and cheese, or a baked potato. These starch sides usually contain more fat than you think so again, having enough reserves in the carb and fat tank is critical. I’d much rather come up short after dinner and polish off my macros with a snack than be running on fumes before dinner is even served!

Another strategy I use when on corporate trips where lunches/dinners are pre-planned, is to push my first meal of the day back to 11am or even lunch. Don’t starve yourself by any means (coffee can help and if necessary, eat a few bites of lean protein and have a half-sized serving of fruit), but as mentioned above, leaving macros in the bank for later in the day always trumps running out of macros too quickly.

Q: What advice do you have for other people delaying a lifestyle change because of too much travel?

A: Just jump in… There will always be an excuse not to do something. For me, it was a work function, too much travel, a college football game, a birthday dinner - the excuses are endless! Days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. Before I knew it, I had gained 14lbs over the course of 18 months. In all honesty, it has become just as easy to eat on the road as it is to eat at home. The common denominator of both circumstances is: I am in complete control either way. I can say yes or no to certain foods or beverages. At home I can weigh and measure everything precisely… I can do that as well on the road because I have a packed cooler and travel with my food scale. If I am eating out with colleagues while traveling, then I simply structure my macro intake around that particular meal and estimate the macros to the best of my ability. If you find yourself at a restaurant where there are no macro friendly options, order a salad and look forward to getting back to your hotel room and eating your favorite snacks.

Before starting my WAG journey, I was really disappointed with myself for gaining a lot of weight and letting my binge eating and drinking get out of control. To be honest, I hated the person I saw in the mirror. Integrity is doing what you say you’re going to do when you’re going to do it. I had lost my integrity… However, through my commitment and follow through with the WAG program, I have gained it back in all areas of my life. I’m simply a better version of myself and WAG definitely played a huge role in helping me regain a healthy relationship not just with food, but with myself as well.