When I travel for work my diet and training routine invariably suffers. 5am starts often call for a Maccas at the airport which, in turn, usually means a second coffee and some kind of baked delight is required by the time the nine o’clock meeting rolls around.
Then there’s the mid-morning break, typically fuelled by more coffee and a muffin whilst waiting for lunch to arrive. Lunch sometimes is a salad but, more often than not, best intentions give way to something filling but less healthy. If it’s a one day business trip then temptation aplenty is to be found at the airport and if that doesn’t get you, the offer of free (but terrible) wine on the plane is virtually impossible to resist.
If it’s an overnighter, things have the potential to get much worse. A corporate dinner allowance is both at once beautiful and cruel, allowing a journey across menus hitherto out of bounds on a school-night but with the ever-present temptation of the wine list. And dessert.
Even if you tread lightly, there is scope for a fuzzy head the next day. If you go all-in, it could be carnage. Beware.
The hotel breakfast is the next trap for unsuspecting young players but this can be dealt with fairly comfortably with a few smart choices. Sadly, such smart moves can prove elusive with a hangover.
So what can be done to avoid these pitfalls as we go about our inter-state or international business?
1 – Do nothing
Yep, that’s right. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nyet. Okay, the last one doesn’t mean ‘nothing’. But if your travel is infrequent and you’re pretty disciplined the rest of the time, then why not use it as a time to ease off the training and the healthy eating and enjoy the company’s benevolence?
Added Bonus: the silver lining to being away from the family is the chance for a decent night’s sleep so go easy on the vino.
2 – Practise moderation
This works pretty well and I have used it often during my travels. It involves going easy on yourself if you can’t manage your regular green smoothie for breakfast or if you have a rich meal in the evening, but tempering this with a hotel room workout or run in the morning. You’re really just off-setting the negatives and putting some credit in the bank, all in the spirit of compromise and balance. It’s a win-win.
Added bonus: ask around and you might find other runners up for a spin out. A number of times times I’ve ended up running with a senior executive at my company. This is an hour of “alone time” with a heavy-hitter that I would ordinarily have missed out on.
3 – Keep it real
This can seem daunting but it just requires a bit of forward planning (and shopping). It goes something like this. You prep a green smoothie the night before you travel so you can grab it from the fridge and either take it with you or drink before you leave the house.
You then just throw a few muesli bars or protein balls in your bag, along with a can or two of Sirena tuna, a tin of four bean mix and a sachet of microwave rice.
By taking these very basic steps, you are radically reducing the scope for a bad breakfast, an expensive luncheon and at least one mid-morning slip-up. Suddenly a big evening meal doesn’t look so bad on your rap sheet.
Added bonus: you can use the money you save on expensive food options or a little gift for the Tired Stressed Wife. She. Will. Thank. You.
Over the years I’ve each of these approach but #3 is my go-to for all of my work trips now. Once you start the habit, it’s surprisingly easy to stick to. Good luck.
Want More Nutrition Tips?
Hack your breakfast and start the day with a win that will fill you up all morning. Get my one-pan keto-feast breakfast recipe here.
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