Maintain Your Diet While Traveling
Q. I generally travel two weeks out of the month on business, and
I find it hard to stay on track with my diet because I'm eating out
at restaurants all the time. Do you have any tips on healthy eating
while you're away from home?
-- James, Hoffman Estates
A. Being on the road and out of your element can definitely
hinder your attempts at eating healthy. But, with a sensible game
plan, you'll find that you can do a pretty good job of eating
healthy even when you're away from home for weeks at a time. Try the
following tips to stay on track on your next trip.
Do your homework. Once you know where you'll be traveling, go
online and check out healthy restaurants and grocery stores in that
area. Many restaurants have healthy options if you know what to look
for. Ask your waiter how your food is prepared and request
modifications if necessary. Stay away from sauces, breading and
heavy dressings. A lean meat and a side of vegetables with water or
iced tea is obviously a better choice than a combo meal at the fast-
food drive-through. Many grocery stores also have lunch or dinner
options available as long as you choose the right foods.
Be prepared. If you want to eat healthy, you must have food
options available so you don't skip meals. Poor planning and skipped
meals during the day will increase your chances of eating too much
or the wrong kinds of foods at night. Once you get settled into your
hotel, do some grocery shopping and pick up some breakfast and snack
options. Oatmeal, nuts, fruit and protein powders require no
refrigeration and can be taken along in your bag or purse. If you
have a small fridge in your hotel room, you can pick up some Greek
yogurt or sliced deli meat to have around for breakfast or snacking.
You could even pack a cooler and take options like this or a salad
with you during the day if you know you'll only have a small window
for lunch. If you go through your day without a food plan, you're
setting yourself up for failure.
Hydrate. You should always have a bottle of water with you at all
times. Staying properly hydrated will keep you performing at your
best and will make you less likely to reach for a coffee in the
middle of the afternoon or a can of cola as you walk by the vending
machine. A bottle of water and a healthy snack will keep your mind
in control of your food choices rather than allowing you stomach to
Avoid temptations. Many traveling clients find options like
bagels, doughnuts and other pastries available when they walk into
their early morning meetings, or someone may have ordered pizza for
a lunch meeting. If you go into these situations on an empty
stomach, it's hard to resist these unhealthy foods, especially when
everyone else is eating right in front of you. If you stick to your
plan and eat healthy foods every two to three hours, you won't be
affected by these unhealthy temptations.
Don't skip workouts. Studies have shown that people who exercise
consistently also eat healthier. An early-morning workout puts you
in the right frame of mind, which will keep you focused throughout
the day on what's best for your body. If your hotel doesn't have an
exercise room, get outside for a 30-minute walk or jog. A healthy
body craves healthy foods.
So being away from home only means that you have to plan
accordingly. Make the right decisions and you'll see and feel the
For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit our blog at .
* Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a
personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss,
muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at
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