Tips for eating healthy on business trips

It’s the beginning of January, so of  course time for the annual, “I swear I’m going to eat better on business trips this year!” pep talk. The problem is, two  things that don’t usually go together are Kind barbusiness travel and a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s the long days, late nights, eating out, crammed schedule, or just pure exhaustion, it’s not always easy to make  good choices or be active. However, with a little planning making better food choices is a very real possibility. Here are my tips for eating healthy on business trips.

Bring snacks. This is maybe the most  important thing I can do to  help stave off vending machine binges. If I bring healthy, tasty snacks with me then I won’t be  tempted by the Cheetos or Snickers bars that I swear call out to me from the snack aisle. My favorite healthy snacks are almonds, Kind bars, string cheese, peanut butter crackers, and fruit. Easily transportable and tasty enough to help beat off sugar cravings.

Drink water. I love water. It’s my favorite beverage by far (with wine and coffee tying for second) and when I’m home I usually don’t have a problem drinking enough. On the road it’s a different story. Unfortunately I’m really picky about the way water tastes, so I usually won’t  drink it straight from the tap. That means I have to search out bottled water any time I am thirsty, which isn’t always easy. That doesn’t mean it’s not super important to  hydrate though! One thing that helps is to order water anytime I’m asked–on a plane, in a  restaurant, or in  a meeting. I also carry my awesome water bottle with  the built in Brita filter, which makes  tap water imminently more drinkable.

Plan your meals. If I wait until the last minute to decide what I’m going to  eat, it’s almost  guaranteed that it will  be  some delicious but bad-for-you comfort food accompanied by a lot of wine. If I want to eat well I have to pick my restaurant before  hand; even better to  go online and pick my actual meal. Whenever someone else picks the restaurant, I will usually go for salmon or steak and a veggie. Delicious but much better for me.

Eat breakfast. This is a big one. If I leave my house for  the airport, or  leave the hotel for the office, without eating something I am almost guaranteed to head straight for  the carbs when I arrive. Donuts, coffee cake, pastries…. So good for  my mouth, and so  bad  for  my  health and productivity! Much better to start out with an omelet, Greek yogurt, or granola. It helps to stay at hotels that have good breakfasts, like Embassy Suites or Hilton Garden Inn.

Bonus tip: Use a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit or my beloved Misfit  Shine) to keep track  of  how many steps you take each day. I am often amazed at how  on  travel days I will often  take upwards of 15,000 steps.  On  the flip side, it’s an easy way to help me realize I need to get moving.

Readers, what are your tips for eating healthy on business trips?

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  1. I’ve found that personal accountability is a big thing for me, so I track everything I eat on a day-by-day basis. That makes me a lot more aware about what I’m eating and makes me a lot more careful as a result. MyFitnessPal is my go-to for this, and it’s nice since it has a huge database, allows for manual entry, and also links up with FitBit! Plus – iOS and Android support. 🙂

  2. Grocery stores! I usually try to find one even before I check into my hotel (that, hopefully, has a fridge). Every trip, I buy a case of water, nuts, protein bars, string cheese, and high-protein yogurt. And then try to limit myself to just one meal “out” each day.

    And, like you, my Fitbit keeps me moving.

  3. Great tips – I use those and some in the comments. I’ll add:

    1. Splitting Portions – I try to split every meal into 2, saves money and calories. Such as the “pick 2” option at Panera; I will eat the half sandwich for lunch and save the salad for dinner or vice versa.
    2. Vegetarian for a Day – one day I week I get a veggie only salad or sandwich.
    3. Breakfast as Normal – staying at hotels with free breakfast makes it easy to regress to bad choice that I wouldn’t eat at home (waffles, pastries, etc.) Instead, I try to eat exactly what I would at home – oatmeal with nuts or yogurt, fruit, and boiled egg. Find a hotel that offers what you are most used to.

  4. Never leave for a meeting before you have a proper breakfast. Personally, I enjoy eating eggs (any style) with smoked salmon and mixed greens along with a cup of coffee. By filling up on protein and vitamins, I know I won’t be tempted to splurge later in the day.

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