Business travel certainly comes with perks such as company-paid dinner meetings, frequent flyer miles, and if you’re lucky, time to catch up with a friend or relative living in your destination. Like most good things, however, these perks come with a price. It can often be challenging to find healthy food options while you’re running from one meeting to the next, and the continental breakfast options don’t always help either. Whether your time is spent hopping airports or logging miles on the road, here are a few tips to incorporate healthy eating while traveling for work.
Know What You’re Getting Into
- Most airports post their dining options on their website along with a map of their locations. If you plan on eating a meal at the airport, take a look at their options beforehand. Maybe you’ll even want to arrive a little earlier so you have time to eat in a different terminal.
- GPS systems will map out restaurants for you based on your location. There may not be much if you’re driving through the middle of Nebraska, but at least you can try to choose more wisely.
- If you don’t have the ability to search a GPS, pack snacks in the car for your drive (to avoid the gas station munchies) and ask your hotel what options or amenities are available upon arrival.
Eat Between the Lines
- It’s hard not to indulge at the continental breakfast. First, they’re free and second, they usually have a do-it-yourself waffle machine. But if you look closely, you’ll see the bowl in the corner with apples, bananas, and maybe even some yogurt or sugar-free oatmeal.
- According to Men’s Health magazine, an average breakfast should range between 350-450 calories. This means, that single waffle on your plate with only 2 tablespoons of syrup is your cut off point at 375 calories. Unless of course you only drink half of your cup of orange juice, which would finish you off at 430.
Learn the Lingo
- With a growing interest in healthy eating, restaurants are starting to create a “lighter side” menu making the dining out experience much more realistic for the health-conscious traveler. Choose menu options described as “roasted,” “grilled,” or “baked,” and stay away from the “smothered,” “cheesy,” and “glazed,” which is “code” for added fat or sugar.
- Choose entrees that allow you to substitute the fries for a side salad or seasonal vegetables. Sometimes you may even get to choose how your meat is prepared, like fried or grilled chicken.
Overall, it’s not too hard to eat well if you’re prepared. Allow yourself a sweet treat here and there to avoid over-indulgence, and you should have no problem with things like portion control and fitting into your new suit.