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Staying on track when traveling for work?



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KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
Fitness Minutes: (23,799)
Posts: 1,053
6/3/13 10:21 P

Great ideas and feedback everyone. Thanks. This is why I posted in here. I gave a little nightly blog if you want to stop over by my page and see how today went. It actually went about as good as could be hoped. Grabbed a salad for lunch in the airport and crab legs for dinner. Few problems with appetizers and drinks, but nothing I don't think I can handle.

This first trip is only 3 days and then I'm going somewhere else next week. If I'm in a place for a little longer, I definitely love the idea of buying some greek yogurt (even if I have to pay for it myself lol) and keeping it in the fridge here.I brought some almonds and beef jerky from home to keep with me just in case at work during the day.

Again, thanks for the ideas and I'd love it if you checked out my blogs from this trip. I'm thinking of throwing one up each night to both keep me accountable and also relaxed becasuse I really shouldn't fret one sugary mai tai or feeling obligated to eat a mozzarella stick.



ICEDEMETER
Posts: 678
6/3/13 12:18 P

Will you be driving or flying? Has your manager been doing the constant travel thing for a relatively long time, or is he fairly new to it, too?

I spent 6 years of being on the road for up to 6 weeks at a time, and there are definitely tricks needed to survive this kind of life!

If you're driving, then I strongly recommend investing in one of those travel coolers that can be plugged in to 12V in the vehicle and in to 120V in the hotel room. You can stock it with your favorite breakfast and snack foods on the weekend and have it ready and available for you wherever you stop. I also recommend that you stock a small container with some cutlery, a good knife, a small cutting board, and some of the plastic re-useable containers to use as dishes while on the road. A dishcloth and small container of dish soap goes in here, too. My cooler was the type with wheels and a handle, and I stocked it with yogurt, veggies, fruit, and enough cooked meats to last for 3 days. My container of dishes was strapped to the side of it. I would hit a grocery store to re-stock, and always had left-over meats from restaurant meals to keep the protein up. Since you like to be quite high on protein, you might find that you'll want to order an extra steak or chicken breast or whatever "on the side" during restaurant meals and bring it back with you. Ordering an appetizer plate of blackened steak would work quite nicely for that. as would ordering the 20oz prime rib instead of the 12oz you're really going to eat.

If you're flying, then try to set up the standard right from the start that you always get hotel rooms with a fridge, and work out with your manager how to get to a nearby store to stock it. You'll still need the container with dishes, so make sure it's small enough to fit comfortably in to your luggage.

Lunches were always with clients, and most often in meetings hosted by my company (I feel you on hating those catered sandwiches). I started recommending different things to be catered, and found that there were usually good Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai places that had some really healthy and tasty menus at prices better than the sandwich joints. The general consensus of my clients was that they loved my meetings because they knew they'd always have good food that was different than what anyone else bought! It took a little extra work at the beginning to track down suppliers in each city I was in, but proved to be well worth it over the years. I will admit that there is one place where I often did use a sandwich place, though --- this caterer agreed to have "assemble yourself" sandwiches, and supplied an array of freshly-baked breads, real sliced meats, a large variety of veggies, huge salads with side dressings, and a large fruit plate. Again, this made it really easy to have a tasty and healthy lunch. Side benefit was that the meals I provided didn't cause the usual "carb crash" after lunch, so I actually had people still perky and paying attention in the afternoons!

Continuous dinners in restaurants can be a challenge, especially when you're not the one choosing. If your manager is newer to the travelling, then he may still be in the mode of going out to different high-end restaurants and wanting to indulge in large, fancy meals that he wouldn't normally get at home. If he's been at it for a while, then he might be tired of that drill (it's amazing how quickly restaurant food starts losing its appeal), and open to some suggestions for lighter fare. My dinners were most often with clients (if not, then I'd eat out of my cooler!), but most of them had spent enough time in restaurants that it was no longer a treat. What we often ended up doing was ordering a bunch of appetizers instead of entrées, and a soup or salad each, which allowed each of us to have a good assortment of foods to choose from. It's easy to have a tasty, healthy meal from an assortment including a veggie tray, a fruit and cheese tray, a plate of shrimp, a plate of blackened steak, a plate of chicken wings, a nacho plate, and usually a plate or two of whatever is the local specialty. I found that often Japanese, "fusion", Indian, and Mediterranean restaurants were ones that had great selections and weren't places that my clients generally went to, so were considered more of a "treat" for them instead of the places they'd been to more often.

One thing that you might consider is to share your health goals with your manager and whatever clients you are out with. You'll find that they either have similar goals, or are usually too embarrassed to admit that they don't, and will quite happily fall in with whatever suggestions you make that are in line with your goals. I had a few clients in different cities where we never actually met in an office --- our meetings were held while walking around the local parks (I'm old-fashioned, so carried a paper notebook and pen --- they made notes on their phones), and ended up at local fusion restaurants that had wonderful, healthy choices.

I found that an array of resistance bands were a great help while on the road --- adding them to the dumbbells allows you to minimize the dumbbells needed while maximizing your workout, and they're really easy to fit in to your luggage.

Good luck, and remember to have fun!



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
6/3/13 11:31 A

I think the easiest meal to save calories on will be your breakfast. You could bring your own oatmeal, and even make it in your room with hot water from the coffee pot, or they do always have hot water down at the free breakfasts. I've also seen some places lately have started having more protein options at the free breakfasts... stuff like yogurt, and hard boiled eggs. Also, not ideal, but you could start bringing your own protein bars with you. Also, this company sells these little individual packs of nut butters, www.justins.com/products.php Would be easy to pack and eat with your oatmeal. I've seen them for sale at Sprouts, and I'm betting they, or something similar, is available at Whole Foods.

My SO travels almost every week, and while he doesn't try to lose weight, he eats pretty healthy anyway. He usually gets fish like salmon and steamed vegetables at dinner. Thankfully he stays in the same place for weeks at a time so he can figure out where the best options are. Not sure if that'll be your situation or not.



JENSTRESS
Posts: 939
6/3/13 9:01 A

Add greek yogurt (if available) to your breakfast or lunch fare. Lots of protein. Also, some veggies have a little protein too, SP has an article I read about which veggies have more.



LEC358
SparkPoints: (8,923)
Fitness Minutes: (6,540)
Posts: 2,004
6/3/13 8:37 A

If the hotel room has a fridge, I use that to store breakfast food like fruit and yogurt. I also find a local grocery store to stock up on veggie snacks (peppers, broccoli, etc). As for the rest of the day, portion control the best I can.



MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
6/2/13 5:39 P

Having to eat on the road can be difficult, but it sounds like you already have the right idea. Also, since you'll be eating out SO MUCH (3 weeks out of the month!), it may actually be even easier, as a lot of people pick the really caloric options because "when else will I get to eat this?" Especially something buffet style like a continental breakfast, where muffins, croissants, pastries are generally the go-to item.

Also be aware at dinner that restaurant serving sizes can be 2 or 3x as big as an actual portion, and sauces and what I call "invisible calories" (those calories that come from butter or oil or things that you don't necessarily see on the finished plate) can sneak in readily. Be sure to ask if veggies are served in butter (they often are, a lot of people won't eat veggies without a bajillion extra calories sadly), and order an appropriate sized steak/chicken dish (it can be tempting to get "upsold" and have a steak that's twice as big as what I should eat).

Also, you should have a range that will lead to weightloss, so you don't necessarily need to stick to 1600 calories everyday (I'm assuming 1600 is your low end, since you're a male). That may make it a bit easier if you have some calories to play with a bit.



KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
Fitness Minutes: (23,799)
Posts: 1,053
6/2/13 1:47 P

Hi everyone, not really sure what I'm exactly looking for here, but maybe some strategies or a mindset to use to stay eating right when traveling for business trips and therefore eating out each and every meal. It seems my new job will have me out of town about 3 weeks out of each month.

Will be staying in hotels and my manager has the corporate card so he'll be determining where we'll eat each night, which I'm sure will be a nice place each time Good free food, but I don't want to gain weight. In fact, I'm kind of in the tricky part of trying to lose the last 5 pounds to get back to feeling and looking how I was last summer.

I'm thinking with the continental breakfast, stick to as close to a pure protein morning as I can, since most places and things to eat in the day are super carby (I curse "gourmet sandwhich" places that are the staple of lunch breaks) then dinner you can normally find a chicken or leaner steak option and get a veggie on the side instead of mashed potatoes or fries. Whenever I am eating on the go, I can normally do ok with keeping the calories low enough, but it's a struggle to do that and get the amount of protein I like. Aiming points of 1600 calories and 140g protein. I'm 157 pounds now and like I said, trying to get back to the low 150s.

My bjj training time will take a serious hit, but I also posted a topic in the exercise forum looking for a workout program that uses dumbbells to help me conserve muscle while losing weight again, since most hotel's fitness centers will have cardio machines and those, but sadly no actual free weights and rack.




 
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