Fighting the Road Warrior Flab Battle…and WINNING

2 Nov

Eating healthy is hard.  Eating healthy while maintaining a busy life is even harder, especially if that lifestyle includes travel and busy workdays where meals are often “on the fly” and the majority of the “running” you do is from meeting to meeting or to catch a last-minute flight.  Sound familiar?  As a dietitian with a travel position, I often find it challenging to maintain a dietitian-ESQE lifestyle while on the road.  Here are some tips for preventing TRAVEL FLAB.

1. ALWAYS have healthy snacks along. 

  • Nuts like almonds or walnuts.  Planter’s makes a great South Beach nut mix.
  • Snack bars.  These are great to keep in your suitcase or briefcase.  *Hint*–Watching your weight?  Choose snack bars that are NOT your favorite type or flavor.  This will help to make sure you eat them when you are truly hungry rather than out of boredom.
  • Whole fruit.  Apples, bananas & oranges are great, portable options.  I always throw 1 or 2 in my suitcase before leaving the house.
  • Emergen-C.  No, this isn’t necessarily a “snack”, but it is a necessity when traveling.  Stock your suitcase with a handful of these  vitamin supplements to sip on.  Hotels, airplanes, rental cars, with travel comes LOTS of germs!  Germs paired with long days and late nights can wear you down.  Drinking 1 Emergen-C packet a day will help boost immunity.

Here are a few snacks that I brought with me on this trip…


2. Avoid fast food, gas station & airport FOOD TRAPS. 

  • Plan ahead.  Bringing snacks along with you will help to satisfy you before you cave to the Cinnabon smell in the airport. 
  • Grocery stores are your friend.  Stopping at a grocery store, rather than a restaurant will almost always save you some fat, sodium and calories, not to mention some of that per diem$$.  In fact, today I stopped at the grocery store when I got off the plane and picked up a Greek yogurt, string cheese and an apple.  This snack held me over until lunch, and was likely the key to helping me pass up the “reduced fat” coffee cake at Starbucks!

3. Water, water, water!

  • Carry a water bottle at all times.  I’m always sure to throw an [empty] water bottle in my bag that I fill up once through airport security


  • Would you like a water with that salad/meeting?  It can often be hard to find somewhere to refill a water bottle on the road, so take advantage of GOOD water when it is available.  Order water at a restaurant, accept that bottle of water when a client offers, and choose water over other beverages when stopping at a convenience store.

4. Exercise. 

  • Always pack workout clothes.  You’ll feel guilty unpacking them if they were never worn!  Don’t forget your tennis shoes.
  • Get moving, no matter what.  I get it, you had an early flight, you’re tired, and have 50 emails to catch up on. But, you will feel much better and be more productive if you fit in some activity.  There really is NO excuse when there is a gym just and elevator ride away.  It doesn’t have to be a full workout, but take your book and read on the stationary bike or walk on the treadmill as you watch your favorite sitcom.  Just 30 minutes will help you to relieve stress, sleep better and (whooohooo) burn calories!
  • Take advantage of time traveling.  Traveling back(west) in time zones?  Wake up at your usual time and you just earned an extra 1-3 hours for your morning workout!

And, one final tip for the day….one thing NOT to buy when on the road, gummy vitamins.  I ended up with vitamin syrup after leaving these in my rental car today…



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