New Year’s resolution: prevent weight gain when travelling on business

On the move, out of routine, often tired and relying on fast food and hotel menus; over eating can be hard to avoid.  Regular business travel could mean regular weight gain – but it doesn’t have to!

Try these tips travelling in 2016 and keep food intake under control.

BREAKFAST:  gets us mentally and physically active at the start of the day, but we don’t need much.  Railway stations and airport terminals can be a good source of fruit/yoghurt/granola type breakfasts.  Seek out berries, the polyphenols are thought to improve brain function.  A berry smoothie can make a quick nutritious breakfast.iStock_000079884713_Small (1)

Breakfast meetings are efficient for business, but hotel buffets can be dangerous.  Too much choice can mean too much food.  Pick a table as far from the buffet as possible, avoid the smells of hot sausages and pastries and keep to the light, healthy fruit/cereal combination.

WORKING LUNCH AND DINNER:  Meal meetings can blur the work/leisure boundaries.  If they are regular and frequent, then strict rules need to be in place.

Avoid pre-meal excess carbs.  Bread, crisps and snacks served before the meal add too much to the overall calorie load.  Operate with a lower carb mentality.

Avoid anything deep fried, including chips and anything battered or bread crumbed.  We rarely eat this food at home and if we eat it regularly when travelling, we’ll gain weight.

Always aim light.  Try to choose the nutritious options, fish, lots of vegetables and salads.


Short-haul, pick up healthy snacks at the terminal.iStock_000009703489_Small

Long-haul, only eat the meals you need.  When switching time zones, we can lose track of meal times and be tempted to eat extra meals at odd times.  Keep to the general rule of eating very little on a plane.  We sleep better if we aren’t full.

KEEP LIGHT ON ALCOHOL:  it’s tempting to use alcohol to relax but it comes laden with calories.  Try diluting alcoholic drinks, add sparkling water to white wine or drink low alcohol beer.  Keeping the alcohol light we stay hydrated.

MINI BAR – NEVER GO THERE.  Hotel room snacks should be totally out of bounds – better to not even look, chocolate bars, nuts and crisps are low in nutrients and high in calories.

EXERCISE AT EVERY CHANCE the calorie burn is good, but better still is the positive attitude to staying in shape.  Exercise helps us de-stress, improves our cardiovascular health and helps us sleep.  Try to walk to meetings if you don’t have a heavy bag, or timetable meetings to allow time for the hotel gym.

Weight gain doesn’t have to be a side effect of business travel, but knowing we are vulnerable to the situation and having a strategy, is the key to taking control.

Happy, Healthy Travels for 2016!


©  ExtraVitality 2015

Author: Carol Sadler PhD
Carol is a Nutrition Consultant. She counsels in diet and lifestyle change at Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic where clients have been referred by the clinic cardiologists. Prior to this Carol worked in private practice in Dubai for nine years, where she had various media engagements including Emirates Radio 2 Lifestyle Show monthly ‘phone-in’ on nutrition topics; Gulf News Friday Magazine (weekend supplement) monthly nutrition letter answered; City7 TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Lifestyle Show commenting on nutrition topics. Contributions to local magazines, and organizations, eg Rheumatoid Arthritis Group, Grazia Magazine, Living in the Gulf magazine. She continues to write nutrition articles and blogs, recently writing for Reader’s Digest, and HASTE Academy heart health charity and provides talks on diet issues. Carol is a member of The Nutrition Society, a Registered Nutritionist at the Association for Nutrition, Registration No. 912 and a member of SENSE (self employed consultant Nutritionists group for professional development).

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