Like many of you, I travel for work. A lot. Which means that I am constantly faced with all kind of challenges: conference meals that are all carbs (and usually come with a dessert); the free booze in the Delta lounge; room service that goes on my corporate card.
Now, most people will spout off about how all you need is willpower to stick to your diet on the road. Well, I’m calling bullshit. Because when I’ve been in speaker sessions and vendor meetings all day and some nice cater-waiter puts a giant bowl of pasta in front of me with a side of garlic bread, I’m 100% eating the pasta and garlic bread. So let’s be honest, shall we? Sticking to a diet and exercise plan is hard when you are traveling for work (vacation is a whole other topic I may cover at a later date), so I instead try to follow this mantra – “Just do the best you can do.” With that being said, here are some of my business traveler tips:
Bring Plane Snacks. Last year I went to London with a friend, and before I left, I sent her a text telling her what plane snacks I had purchased so we didn’t duplicate. Which apparently sent her into hysterics, because she thought it was nuts that I never get on an airplane without a variety of snacks. But here’s the thing, airplanes (and airports) make me hungry. I don’t know why that is, but whatever the reason, I find it better to come prepared with my own pre-measured snack then to buy an over-priced king size Snickers before I board. At least if I bring my own snacks, I can account reasonably accurately for what I ate and not spend a zillion dollars on candy. One exception though: I always eat one packet of those Bischoff cookies they have on Delta. I know they sell them at Walmart, but I only let myself eat them when I fly. Yes, I have no self control.
Empty The Mini-Bar No, really, I don’t have any self-control; this is something that I have long since accepted about myself. So, when I can, I try and remove any possible temptations that may cross my path. And a fridge full of soda and candy definitely falls into that category. So when I make my hotel reservations, I ask that the mini-bar be emptied before I arrive, so I’m not tempted to indulge in a $8 bag of M&Ms on my company’s dime. Sure, I could always get chocolate out of the lobby vending machine, but let’s be honest, I’m not going to put pants back on once I’m in my room.
Try And Do Something That Doesn’t Involve Sitting On Your Ass. I always bring my sneakers and workout clothes in the hope that I may have an hour here or there to work out. Usually, that’s a fruitless hope, but after days sitting in uncomfortable meeting room chairs, I have to move somehow during whatever free moments I may have. So that may involve taking a stroll around the block if I’m able to get outside, walking up and down hotel hallways, or even climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator. In order to not fall super behind in my weight training, I’ll either stay up 15 minutes later or get up 15 minutes earlier and do some hotel-room friend exercises, like crunches, squats or wall sits.
Water, Water, Water. As I’ve said before, I’ve pretty much given up all forms of beverages besides water, aside from the occasional skinny latte or diet soda for a caffeine kick on a long day. But sticking to it can be hard on the road. I never take a refillable water bottle with me on trips because I am 100% guaranteed to leave it somewhere. So I usually buy a bottle of water when I land and refill it in meetings and in the hotel gym. Which is all well and good until I’m faced with the inevitable event of all business trips: the happy hour.
Leave Half Your Food On The Plate. I was raised to clean my plate, so not eating everything is against my instincts. One of my tried-and-true tactics when I go out to eat is to ask for a box to be brought when my food comes, and I immediately put half of my meal in it to take home. But when you’re eating out while staying in a hotel or, even worse, dining on conference food, this isn’t practical. So what I do is subtly divide the food on my plate in half and then I’m done eating that half, place my napkin on my plate so I can’t eat anymore (without looking like a savage, at least).
Even with all that, it’s likely that I come back from my business trips at the same weight as when I left, or a small gain. But as my mantra goes, as long as I did the best that I could, I try and not worry about it too much.
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: -1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: -2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: -0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: -0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 9 Results: -0.5 pounds
Week 10 Results: -0.6 pounds
Week 11 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 12 Results: -0.2 pounds
Week 13 Results: -0.1 pounds
Week 14 Results: No weigh in
Week 15 Results: -2.3 pounds
Remaining weight to lose: 22.1 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit! .
Also, I’ll be chatting weekly about my progress with JR Hickey on our podcast, “Don’t Take It From Us.” New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or Subscribe on iTunes!