Eat Healthy On-the-Go? Yes, You Can!
One of the many reasons I hear why people cannot lose weight and get in shape is that they travel frequently and can’t eat healthy as a result.
I travel frequently as well, often halfway around the world to race in different events. If anything, I find it easier to eat healthy while on the road. If for no other reason, it’s because I am not in my own home with many more food choices available to me. If you’re staying in a hotel room and get hungry at 10 p.m., you can’t just walk into the kitchen and grab something to eat.
Sure, if you’re staying in a hotel and you get hungry, you can often just call room service. But that takes many more steps than just grabbing food from your kitchen at home. If you are ordering in a hotel you have to find the menu, take the time to figure out what you want, make the call and often wait another 20 to 30 minutes before it even arrives.
And then pay $40 for that small plate of cheese quesadillas, two beers and chocolate ice cream.
Staying healthy while on the road comes down one simple concept:
If we want to get in shape and we want to stay in shape, we have to be honest with ourselves. We have to get rid of the excuses. Saying you cannot eat healthy because you travel is just that, yet another excuse. When it comes to traveling frequently and eating healthy, the two are far from mutually exclusive. Here are the top three simple ways you can keep the calories in check and stay fit while on the road:
- MAKE GOOD CHOICES: It drives me insane when people say they have trouble keeping off the weight because they eat out frequently. Really? Just about every single restaurant serves salads. And chicken. And fish. Not only that, you are pretty much paying the restaurant to prepare your food any way you like it. No butter. Grill the chicken. Vegetables on the side. What you are really saying is you have difficulty making the right choices while eating out, not that it cannot be done. Every airport has innumerable healthy options you can grab while on the go. Even McDonald’s has a healthy southwest grilled chicken salad, for Pete’s sake.
- PLAN AHEAD: I have traveled to New Zealand three times, China, South Korea, Australia and Hawaii numerous times, to name but a few of my longer trips. I never leave home, even for an overnight trip, without packing a few items to take with me. My three main “secret weapons” are protein powder, protein bars and oatmeal. I can mix up a quick shake with just a plastic bottle in my hotel room, I can grab a bar on the plane or in the middle of the night when I wake up hungry, and I can start the day off right with oatmeal, either cooking it in the microwave available in many hotel rooms or even by using the hot water from the coffee maker.
- EXERCISE: Exercise leads to feeling good about ourselves, which leads to healthy eating choices. We often get out of our normal routine while on the road, and the less we exercise the poorer the food choices we are likely to make. Realize that every minute counts, and a quick 10-15 minute bodyweight and core workout in your room will go a long way. Use the gym if your hotel has one or just go outside for a quick run or power walk. You’ll not only burn a few calories and most likely eat better; you’ll also feel energized for the rest of the day.