A lot of my clients travel on business and this can throw their healthy lifestyle and eating plans out of the window (the train window, onto the motorway, the plane . . . no, let’s not go there!) I talk tough with these people. It might be difficult but it is not impossible to travel and still look after yourself
Yes, it is difficult to lose weight and travel… so?
So first of all here’s my sympathy speech. Eating well while travelling is difficult. Airports, motorway stops, train stations are not noted for their healthy food choices. So let’s accept that. The world is not perfect and it does not revolve around your eating plans. Accept that when you are travelling it will be difficult to always keep to your optimum plans and ways of eating. But this doesn’t mean you have to end up stuffing the burger or packet of crisps. A bit of planning and a mindset of ‘no excuses’ can get you through the most difficult times. Here are some tips.
- Flying light – Flying involves loads of hanging around, lots of junk food outlets and airline meals of legendary awfulness. So do this: Once through security buy a salad and some water for the plane. If you want a snack take some dried fruit and nuts.
- Motorway munchies – If you drive a lot on business, then you may have fallen prey to the temptations of the junk food at the motorway service station – possibly the site of the worst food in Britain. You just can’t get reasonable food at most service stations so take steps to avoid it. Buy a cold box for the car and stock it with healthy snacks. If you stop on the motorway take a quick walk around the car park and then eat in your car. Even better, turn off the motorway and take a short walk in the countryside or around a town or village.
- Hotel horrors – If you arrive in time to eat in the hotel restaurant then you are probably okay. Choose protein and vegetables from the hotel restaurant menu. Room service can be more challenging, so if you don’t want to be snacking on midnight pizza try to choose a hotel with a fridge in the room and stock up with healthy snacks, which you bring yourself.
- Strange town slimming – Plan ahead by getting an app for your phone, which lists healthy choice restaurants. Do this and most of the time you will have no excuse not to eat reasonably well. It’s not ideal, but there is no reason to let frequent travel become an excuse.
So you have travelled to your destination and you have settled into your hotel and now you have the Everest of healthy lifestyle to face. You have to go out on a business dinner. Tough right! Yes, it is tough but it is not impossible and I’m still accepting no excuses.
Do you want to be the business fatty?
Ask yourself, what is the business image you want to cultivate? How do you want colleagues, customers and competitors to see you?
Look after yourself and improve your business image: which of these two sounds best?
1) Boozy, greedy, impulsive, slobby
2) Calm, confident, in control
The second obviously. Well think about it. That a good business image is the person who is eating well and healthily at dinner.
Slim healthy and in control
What are you saying to those around you when you make the healthy choice and pass on the wine and dessert?
- You respect yourself and your body by eating healthy food.
- You like to stay clear-headed and in control so you do not drink or only drink in moderation.
Enjoy yourself slim!
Enjoy yourself! You are going to a good restaurant at someone else’s expense. What could be wrong with that? Again planning is all. Before you travel go on the web, get a peek at the menu and make choices in advance. Make healthy choices. And perhaps choose things which you do not have at home fresh fish, seafood, oysters, prepared out of season fresh fruits. Bet you don’t eat enough of those at home, so now is your chance.
Watch the portions
Portion sizes in restaurants are often too big. So decide in advance how much you are going to eat and stick to it.
Order two appetisers, one to start one as your main course, the portions will be smaller. If you schedule your own meetings go for breakfast meetings rather than lunch or dinner. You can eat well and keep to your plan much more easily.
Some situations you just can’t avoid!
If everyone is going for a late night burger or a pizza place then sometimes you are just stuck with it. Here’s the news: this is not the end of the world.
Remember the rule
One bad food, one unhealthy meal will not harm you. You can compensate the next day.
Don’t use it as an excuse to get off track. Instead compensate the next day or the first day you are back at home.
The easiest rule is not to drink.
If you say “I don’t drink” most people will respect that and not question your reasons (religion, health – these areas regarded as delicate ground in a business relationship and people will steer clear of them). And you will remain clear headed and not have to count those empty calories.