For some people, eating out three meals a day is a kind of bliss. For road warriors watching their weight, it can be just the opposite.
Convenience usually comes before health when you're on a business trip. But there are ways to eat reasonably well while on the road. Many hotel chains, including Four Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt Hotels and Sheraton, offer heart-healthy choices on their menus, both in restaurants and room service.
But when a balanced meal isn't available or you're scurrying out of your hotel room to get to a meeting on time, eating healthy may seem impossible. For those times, Terry Riley, author of The Complete Travel Diet, recommends the following:
- Pack healthy, easy-to-grab snacks in your carry-on. Low-fat breakfast bars, whole-grain crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, apples and sunflower seeds are good choices.
- Instant oatmeal is a quick, healthy, hearty breakfast (or snack) choice that can be prepared easily in your hotel room with hot water made in the in-room coffee maker.
- If you're ordering room service or you're at a restaurant where there aren't any obviously healthy options, order meats and fish broiled or grilled dry--without butter or oil--and ask for sauces on the side. Salads should always be ordered with dressing on the side as well; vinaigrettes are preferable to creamy dressings. Fresh vegetables without butter are a good choice, as is pasta in a light tomato sauce.
- Order what you like, eat half and give the rest away.
- Be smart at fast-food joints. McDonald's has decent salads; Subway offers a variety of filling, low-fat sandwiches. A tasty alternative to a cheeseburger and fries comes from the prepared-food section of Whole Foods, where there's a huge assortment of sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees. Or try high-protein smoothies from a chain like Jamba Juice.