Tuesday, I told you how to stay active and stick to your exercise routine while on the road. Just as difficult, is eating properly. Your stress levels are up while traveling, more often than not you are tired, and short on time: 3 big time appetite stimulants. Add that to limited choices, being locked into a meeting room like cattle, and tons of dinners out, and you are in fattening food and over eating hell.
Well, too bad, because traveling isn’t an excuse to toss your diet out the window. (Seems like there is never an excuse, is there? Now you’re starting to get it.)
Here’s how to avoid the over eating and fattening food traps:
Pack your own food. Shove snacks like fruit, yogurt, cut up veggies, low sugar granola bars, Meal Replacement Bars, oatmeal packets(plain, the rest are like eating candy), and nuts into your suitcase, purse, laptop case, or pockets so you always have a healthy snack on hand.
Have safe, go-to eating out options. You might not be able to control where you go eat, but most places will have the same healthy options: a salad with oil based dressing on the side (add grilled chicken or shrimp for extra protein), broiled or grilled fish or chicken with veggies, or broth based soups and a side salad. These are generally going to be the best options for you, and available most places. If you are going out for Chinese, pick steamed veggies and brown rice with some soup, or if Mexican is on the menu, fajitas, or taco salads with chicken and no shell are about the best bets.
Or just stay away from anything fried, smothered, coated, slapped on a bun, stuck on a stick or still bleeding.
Depending on how much pull you have, ask for fresh fruit, veggies or yogurts to be available in the meeting room. Most companies are getting on the healthy eating bandwagon, so they will be willing to offer healthy choices- you just have to stick to them.
Drink plenty of water. You are going to be cranky, tired and stressed, all of which increase your appetite. Just because you’re hungry, especially when its for these reasons, doesn’t mean you have to eat. Most of the time when you think you are hungry, you are dehydrated, so drink water or tea to squash the needless cravings.
Refuse the minibar key at the hotel(never drink alone)
Watch your alcohol (head here for a refresher course)
Remember to get your exercise in
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner- don’t skip meals
Keep a food journal to track exactly what you are eating
Handling food pushers: People suck. If they are eating like crap, digging into the donuts, and you are sitting their eating an apple, they are going to get uncomfortable. Misery loves company, so instead of them opting for a better choice of food, too, they are going to make comments to make themselves feel better. “Are you on a diet?” “Look who’s eating healthy” “where is the rest of your food?” or they simply will offer some to you and not take no for an answer. Screw ’em. You don’t owe them an explanation, but if you feel you have to you can:
1) tell them the truth that you are trying to eat healthier
2) say you aren’t hungry/aren’t feeling well
3) you are allergic
4) if its that stinky guy that clicks his pen constantly, tell him you’re enjoying your healthy snack, and when you are 75 and still kicking, you’ll be remembering him at his memorial with that very donut hanging out of his face (make sure this one isn’t to your boss.)