Navigating Nutrition for Business Travel
If you are a frequent business traveler, you undoubtedly face the challenge of healthy eating on the road. Between dining out almost every meal and work stress, it’s easy to get off track. Remember the saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Think about how well that applies to creating meal plan strategies for your next business trip. Take the following steps to ensure a healthy diet while on the road.
Step 1: Plan for the plane ride. If a meal is provided, try to choose grilled chicken or fish with veggies or go vegetarian all the way. Go easy on the starches, sauces and dressings. Skip on the appetizer cup of nuts—it’s more like a whole meal, packing in close to 800 calories! Consider opting out of the dessert. Stay hydrated. Try to relax with a drink of water instead of alcohol. If a meal is not available, pass on the salty and sweet “empty” calorie snacks provided and plan to keep your own stash handy.
Step 2: Pack your own snacks for the trip. Prepare nutrition powerhouses like nuts, dried edamame, granola bars (that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar), cereal (both high fiber dry cereal and packets of oatmeal) and portable fresh fruit like apples and bananas.
Step 3: Call your hotel in advance to find out if your room will have a refrigerator or a kitchenette. You may even be able to request a fridge, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Go online to look up nearby grocery stores so you can stock up on fresh fruit, yogurt, baby carrots, string cheese, cereal and fat-free milk. Check out your hotel café shop. In addition to convenience foods like granola bars, many sell fresh foods, such as fruit and yogurt.
Step 4: If your hotel offers a continental breakfast, build a healthy mix of fresh fruit, yogurt and oatmeal, cereal and fat-free milk or whole wheat toast, egg whites and Canadian bacon. Pass on the greasy bacon, eggs and sausage and the oversized bagels and pastries. Grab some extra pieces of fruit for later in the day.
Step 5: Practice mindful eating while eating out. Avoid reaching the point of no return and gobbling everything in sight. Even if the food is amazing, take your time enjoying it, but in a more moderate portion. Try to avoid the “clean-your-plate” club. Fuel up on smaller meals every 3-4 hours to manage hunger and keep your energy levels strong.
Step 6: Think before you drink. Ease up on the caffeine and alcohol. If you enjoy coffee, try to limit yourself to about two cups a day. Watch the cream and sugar. Reach for plain or sugar free flavored water or decaf green tea in favor of caffeinated, sugar-packed drinks. Set your own limits for alcohol and stick to your plan. Pace yourself—slow down and alternate with a non-caloric beverage.
Step 7: Plan for a splurge. Don’t expect perfection! Balance out a splurge meal with more moderate amounts of healthy foods and drinks throughout your stay.
The bottom line is to be more mindful of what you eat when you travel, especially if you’re away on business on a regular basis.<
Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below to share how you stay healthy on your business trips
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