You know you need to eat better.
Your doctor may have told you that your blood pressure, cholesterol and/or blood sugar are getting too high.
Your pants are a little too tight, and your jacket is getting snug.
But with all the travel, unlimited per diem, airport eating and business dinners, how do you know where to start for healthy eating on the road?
- Choose one. As in one meal that you will focus on making healthy choices. If you enjoy eating out or don’t want to draw attention to yourself at business meetings, start with one meal a day to plan well. The easiest meal to do this is breakfast.
- Drop the pumps. If you are a coffee lover and get the sugary drinks that are more like dessert (and which used to be my favorite too), ask for one less pump. When I learned that a Grande Mocha Peppermint Latte has six pumps of mocha in it, I started asking for five, then four, then three, until I was getting one for about a year. Now I can drink coffee without the syrup.
- Pack some hangry snacks. We go for the sugar, processed, refined foods when we let ourselves get hangry or when there aren’t any other options available. Pack small, snack-size bags of raw nuts to curb your cravings.
- Stop at the grocery store. On your way from the airport, make a beeline to a grocery store, (they still exist when you travel for business). Even if you are going to be eating out most of your meals, you can at least have some pre-cut veggies and fruit in your room. If you are staying at an Extended Stay Hotel, you have a full-size fridge to store them in.
- Alternate with water. If you are a lover of soft drinks, alternate every sip of soda with a sip of water. Ask your waiter not to refill your glass when you sit down since it’s easy to think that the 20-ounce soda we just finished was all we had, when in reality, they filled it three times, and you just drank 180 grams or about 3/4 cup of sugar! And don’t think diet sodas are better. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to change the flora in your gut, and no studies have shown it helps you lose weight, and may even make your sugar cravings stronger.
Five steps still too much? Pick one. Just one of these tricks next time you go on the road. Try it for 1-4 weeks and then try another one.
You can eat healthy on the road, and you can take baby steps to do it.