Diet tips for business travelers…

{ Number 13 by The Trial }
Perhaps the biggest challenge for business folks trying to lose weight is traveling. When you’re on the road it’s hard to workout and even harder to find health food options. Plus, when you get to your destination–be it a conference or business meetings–you’re faced with huge amounts of *unhealthy* food.

Conferences are very dangerous since they are filled with all kinds of bad things like pastries, cookies, candy, soda, and cream-based pasta lunches (read: cheap hotel food).

Here are some tips for travelers:

1. Bring a bunch of fiber bars, protein bars, and fruit with you. You’re gonna be faced with bad food options at the airport and at your destination. Given this I try to eat BEFORE I get to the airport and BEFORE I get to a conference. I’ll eat an apple and or protein bar on my way from the hotel to a conference or while driving to the airport. If you walk into the candy shop already hungry you’re chances of making a big mistake go waaaaaaayyyyyy down.

2. Order off the menu/make your own meal. On business trips and while at conferences I often tell the servers I’m on a diet and ask “if there is anyway you could find me a piece of fish and some steamed veggies I’d really appreciate it.” On flights I’ll ask the flight attendant to please leave sauces, desserts, and breads off of my plate before they bring it. You would be surprised how many will help you out. I’ll even ask for a double salad or something like that and they will combine two meals for me into one healthy one–it never hurts to ask. Also, I’ll buy a sandwich and throw the bread away (or half the bread) the second I open it. If the breads sitting in front of me I find I’ll eat it, but if the bread is in a the garbage I will not (go figure).

3. Do laps at the airport. When I get to the airport I’ll go my gate and ask when they plan on ending the boarding process. They will be honest with you I’ve found. I then go for a long walk in the airport with my bags. If I’ve got 20 minutes to kill I can walk from one end of the airport to the other. I’ll go buy a coffee or a magazine at the other end to set a goal for myself. The bonus for this is of course that you’ve done 20 minutes of light exercise prior to getting on the flight where you will not move for a long time.

4. Take the stairs. I’ve become obsessive about not taking escalators and people movers. If I see them I look for the manual option. If you can take 10-15 flights a day you’re gonna burn more calories… very simple, very effective.

5. Do some light exercise in your room. Push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks don’t require you to put on gym clothes and make the big trip to the gym. You can do 5-15 minutes of these in your room when you wake up and go to bed and, again, at least get a mini workout. Sometimes I’ll throw the TV on and do 3-5 sets of 100 jumping jacks while watching TV. You’ll be amazed at how your heart rate goes up when doing jumping jacks.

6. Know your weak foods and avoid them. Pizza and pastries are my weakest points… I avoid this like the plague when traveling. Of course, airports and hotels seem to revolve around these two food types. Ugh.

7. Drink tons of water. I will make a point of drinking a bottle or two of water to every diet coke or coffee I have. There are tons of issues around caffeine and diet and I’d be lying if I said I understood them, but there seems to be no debate that drinking water is a good thing.

I was 185 today after my road trip where I did “slip up” with half a cookie and fried fish and chips. I was 184 to 186 last week, so I returned in the same range I left–that success for me. I did eat four fiber bars in two days, drink plenty of water, and eat health other than that. That’s another tip:

8. Forgive yourself and move on if you make a mistake. The past is the past. If you just broke down and had pizze or a donut forget it and do something positive (i.e. drink water, eat more veggies next meal, go for a long or short walk, do some pushups, etc).

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