Your healthy eating plan is going well, but is that three day business trip next week threatening to set you back? The changes to our routine when we travel can make it hard to maintain all those good habits we’ve built up. Here are six tips to help you stay on track when you are on the road.
Aim to eat like you usually do
Just because you’re away from home, doesn’t mean you have to sample everything the breakfast buffet has to offer. (You certainly don’t need to wrap an extra muffin in your napkin for later!) You may well have two presentations to give, but honestly that’s not an excuse to stock up on your favourite chocolate bars “for extra energy”. And there’s no obligation to indulge in mid-week boozing. Clients or no clients.
Drink plenty of water
The effects of dehydration can mimic hunger pangs. Meeting venues often provide easy access to water. Keep your glass (or water bottle) topped up and your body hydrated to help avoid unnecessary snacking between meals.
The default for the worst kind of working lunch is a plate of sandwiches and some crisps. It’s a lucky day when a bowl of fruit arrives alongside, a sad one when not. Possibly the most ludicrous fruit offering I’ve seen at a meeting was a delicious looking bowl of blueberries and strawberries provided without any serving implements. I parked the thoughts of bar nuts and opted for an apple instead. If it’s possible (and it might not always be) ask ahead to see if a fish or egg salad is possible (feigning vegetarianism can help avoid the slimy slice of processed ham). If not, pack some healthy snacks (mixed whole nuts are always a great idea anyway) and dodge the post lunch sluggishness
Take the lead
If you know that a dinner will be scheduled, and it’s appropriate for you to suggest the venue, hop on to Trip Advisor and scope out a restaurant that trades on its sustainability credentials. Check out the menu online in advance and offer to make the reservation. If the restaurant is in the right locale, fits the budget and has a good reputation, your colleagues may not even notice your ulterior motives.
Substitutions are permitted
Restaurants will often willingly swap a portion of fries for a house salad or a bowl of steamed veggies; so don’t be embarrassed to ask the waiting staff what’s possible. Where salads come with dressing, ask for it to come undressed, or with the dressing on the side, as there’s a chance it’s highly processed and loaded with refined sugar.
Choose a hotel with a gym if you can
A 30 minute workout before breakfast or at any time during the day can improve your mood, increase your self-esteem, alleviate stress, energise you, improve your self-body perception and ultimately leave you better equipped to make the right food choices for the rest of your day.