Business trips can be a ton of fun until you realize that you actually gained 10 pounds since you started traveling for work. Restaurants on the company credit card can be fun but eating healthy isn’t easy unless you are very careful. It’s easy to go to some amazing restaurants whenever you get hungry especially when work is picking up the tab.
If you are consistently traveling for work, make sure you read these tips to keep your health a priority so that you can stay fit and feel good. If you feel great, you will perform great. In our experience, traveling also brings with it a lot of stress and intense work meetings. So, if you can take care of your health, you’ll decrease the stress and be able to get through those 8-hour meetings.
1. Pack Healthy Snacks
Plan ahead before you leave on your trip. Pack as many travel snacks and healthy foods as you can. Buy them separately at the grocery store and use your corporate card there. (Make sure you check your company policy about rules, etc. first). Ideally, you still let the business pick up the tab and you make healthier choices. This will keep you from grabbing hot dogs or donuts from the gas station and buying food from a vending machine. You can grab snacks like:
2. Get Groceries at Your Hotel
Once you check into your hotel, go straight to a grocery store for refrigerated items. Buy food that will fit in your hotel fridge and cabinets. Buy some whole grain bread, lunch meat, and other items to make sandwiches. If you have a stove at your hotel, get some eggs for breakfast. If not, grab some milk and healthy cereal or yogurt. Pick out some fresh fruit, and anything else that you can make in your hotel room.
Maybe buy all of your breakfast and lunch foods from the grocery store and limit your restaurant meals to dinner only. This will also ensure you have plenty of snacks to eat if you get hungry at night. The ingredients you choose is just as (if not more important than) what you make with them. Make sure you choose clean, fresh ingredients. You can find organic, gluten-free, and natural ingredients from brands like Whole360 and HamptonCreek.
3. Drink a Lot of Water
Make sure you purchase a case of bottled water from the grocery store. Drinking water all day long is your best defense against eating unhealthy foods. If you drink water throughout the day, you will stay full longer. Many people mistake thirst for hunger. You might think you always know the difference, but it’s not that easy. Drinking water can fill you up and fix those minor feelings of hunger. If you tend to make food and realize a couple bites in and you’re not that hungry, that’s a sign that you should be drinking water instead.
Every time you get hungry, drink a bottle of water first. Water tends to make people crave healthy food, too. You might be more likely to eat some fresh veggies than a fast food burger if you down a bottle of water first.
4. Read Nutritional Information
Most restaurants provide nutritional information now. Even if it doesn’t show all of the information, it should show the calories next to the item on the menu. High-calorie foods will also likely have high carbs, high sodium, and high cholesterol, paired with much fewer vitamins and protein than you should be eating. Opt for lower calorie foods so you don’t end up eating your entire daily caloric needs in one meal.
What you eat is just as important as how it is prepared. Chicken is always a good choice when it is prepared in a healthy manner. Avoid breaded and fried chicken. Even oven-baked breaded chicken is full of empty carbs and additional calories. Choose baked chicken breasts with no breading or grilled chicken instead. Stick to items on the menu that are roasted, steamed, baked, broiled, grilled, and poached.
5. Ask for Substitutions
If you find healthy foods at restaurants that come with sides that aren’t so healthy, make sure you ask for substitutions. You should avoid French fries or anything else that is fried or filled with unhealthy additives. Ask to have some steamed vegetables, a side salad, or fresh fruit on the side. Every meal should have fruit or vegetables with it.
Eating healthy on a business trip takes more effort, but it’s not impossible. Your health and happiness are worth the extra effort.
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