Being healthy during business travel is not always an easy task. Between breaks at the coffee shop, fancy dinners out, and room service, there are plenty of opportunities to eat badly. Plus, trips are often so busy it’s hard to find time to breathe for a minute, much less exercise. During the holidays this is only compounded. Here are the ways I stay on track while traveling. (Hint: most of it involves planning!)
- Keep snacks on hand. This is a good tip for travel in general, but even more important when you’re trying to make healthy choices. Let’s face it, your average airport or airline fare doesn’t tend towards good-for-you. So keep snacks on hand! My way of eating is lower-carb, so I like to have almonds, celery and carrots, and string cheese in my bag. Other suggestions are granola or protein bars, fruit, or trail mix.
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Before you go to the restaurant (and ideally before you go on your trip!) take a look at the menu and figure out what you’re going to eat. This helps to combat those I-know-it’s-bad-but-it-sounds-so-good-and-I’m-starving choices. For me, it also gives me something to get in my head and look forward to. Filet mignon with mushroom sauce and roast veggies? Yes please! Another good idea is to plan as much as possible when you will break for meals and snacks.
- Drink water. People talk about how important water is all the time, and it is no joke. Plane travel makes you dehydrated, so everyone flying needs more water anyway. And it helps you feel fuller so you can make better choices when mealtime comes.
- Eat before you go. Don’t leave for the airport or the office without having at least a snack. Being full will help you resist the pastry platter (or holiday cookies, this time of year!) some well-meaning person brought into the office.
- Stop at a grocery store. If you will be in town for a few days, stop at a health food store and grab some good food to keep in your hotel room. Many hotels will provide refrigerators on request, so you can keep things like fruit, turkey, hummus, yogurt, and cheese on hand.
It’s not easy to stay on track, especially over the holidays. But some pre-planning and preparation can help!
Readers, what are your best ways to eat well on business trips?