Sister Blog to 5 Healthy Ways to Keep Work Travel from Ruining Your Progress
We couldn’t stop at five tips last week! Controlling your food and hydration intake may be the hardest aspects of staying on track.
Don’t be discouraged by life’s obstacles that push you away from having the healthier lifestyle you see others have. Whether you are a person who travels in the car daily or flies monthly, these tips are made for you!
Incorporate one or two of these work travel tips. You can control small things that you didn’t think twice about previously. When you have a sense of control over our environment, it produces greater confidence from within. Wouldn’t traveling outside of your normal routine be better with some of your normal routine during travel? Yes!
Where do you start staying on track with more confidence? These tips cover food, hydration and hunger. Be more prepared when your next work day takes you away from the comfort of your familiar routine!
Work Travel Tip 6: Control Your Morning…Breakfast
Control what you can control. Imagine three concentric circles. The outer ring is full of stuff you can’t control. The smallest circle highlights the things you can control. The circles in the middle, well, it depends on outside circumstances.
When you are heading towards a goal, it’s nice to know what actions and circumstances will affect your progress. It’s even nicer to know what will frustrate you the least. Focus on the actions and circumstances you have complete control over. Then, with your leftover energy, work on some control and none!
Wise advice and the title of her book called Never Check E-Mail in the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work, by Julie Morgenstern, is a great start to taking control of your morning. You wake up, reach for your phone, indulging yourself by checking the notifications for your email and social media? There is an unwritten expectation to respond to comments, schedule requests and solve issues for our peers. With urgency.
Your attention shifts from a manageable morning to one that begins to be reprioritized. Designate a time in your schedule for when these notifications will get your attention. Make that time shortly after you’ve taken care of yourself and family first. Control your first hour or two of the day the best you can, no interference from that digital screen.
You can get up in the morning to create as much time as you need to complete a routine you know will set you up for your day. You have time for a protein smoothie, you have time for egg whites with feta and spinach, you have time for oatmeal and turkey bacon, yes, we all do. Use refrigerated or frozen foods. Zap them in the microwave on a paper plate. No dishes! Dump a a couple frozen fruits in the blender cup, add protein powder and water. Simplify your morning by eating the same breakfast every morning.
High protein breakfasts with smart carbs chase away junk food cravings. Afternoon brain fog can be minimized by what you do in the first half of your day. Once you are at work, your day may go as scheduled but will likely have additional demands you have to fit in. This makes making time for whole food choices, eating regular meals or snacks, and finding time for movement harder. Control what you can control, start with a protein and produce-rich breakfasts and avoid the notifications on your phone for as long as you can!
Work Travel Tip 7: Be Mindful, Only Eat When Hungry
When you begin to pay better attention to your health, you may get stressed out about social gatherings. Our friends and family don’t always support our choices by making healthier options available, and may even become food pushers. “One day won’t kill you”…”I made it just for you”…”It’s Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary/Promotion/Straight A Grade Card time to celebrate so take the day off!”
At gatherings or at work, the mode of operation should be similar. Eat all the protein and produce you can at home before attending the gathering. Then, when you socialize, stand away from the food table and keep your plate sitting on a table nearby. When we watch television, movies, and socialize in big groups we don’t eat with awareness. What does that mean?
- It means that you may be eating/drinking to mimic those around you and fit in.
- You may not be paying attention to your hunger and satiety signals while you’re distracted by what/who’s in front of you.
- Perhaps you may eat/drink to fill the anxiousness you feel when in large groups of people, but not actually need the food for energy and nutrition.
- When someone else is providing the food and you may not know its caloric intake. This makes it hard to portion for your nutrition targets. It may be laden with taste-bud-activators like fat, sugar and salt! Eating more is likely when you your brain is excited by what it’s consuming.
Take a look at the options and wait to grab a plate until you’ve developed a plan that includes how much to fill your plate based on your hunger. Start with protein options, produce options next, and finally, take small amounts of each thing you may want to have additionally. Put your fork down and drink water between bites. Your brain needs twenty minutes to tell the stomach that it’s had enough so make sure your plate of food is eaten slow enough to be aware of that satiety.
If you have food in the middle of the table at your meeting, your first bite is the first mistake. If you are bored, stressed, or hungry one bite turns into more without even noticing you are reaching for the platter! Take from the platter only during breaks and eat in small portions like you would snack at your desk.
Work Travel Tip 8: Hydration Before/After Your Work Hours
Hydration plays such an important role in our health.
A third of your hydration should come from the food you consume, and the other two-thirds will come from what you drink.
I don’t know if it’s like this in your family, but on road trips the less rest stops the better. We hate public bathrooms because you never know what you’re going to get. The less we stop the less junk we consume at each stop, too. I become a camel, drinking little water on those travel days. To be honest, little water on most travel days seems like the easier way to avoid public restrooms and saves a little money.
When did bottled water get so expensive? Gallon jugs of drinking water when traveling are a wonderful addition to what you may pack in the car or buy in a store and take back to the hotel. I have paid as little as seventy-nine cents up to a dollar forty-nine cents for a gallon jug. It sure beats paying more for the individual bottles at the gas station, rest stop vending machine and hotel snack shop.
On our team’s latest work trip to Chicago, the hotel we stayed at had bottle-fillers next to the ice and vending machines! Free!
Filling my favorite blender bottle and insulated Hidrate bottle ensured I had at least half my daily hydration goal taken care of! Try to consume at least a third of your hydration goal in the first couple hours you are awake and dictating your own schedule. Then, sip on water throughout the day and at lunch managing your body’s thirst cues. Finally, finish off your water after you end your last meeting and finish hydrating a couple hours before bed.
If this strategy doesn’t seem to work for you, find your own strategy by experimenting a little differently on each trip. I’m confident you will perfect the best way to hydrate yourself during work travel!
VAULT HEALTH & FITNESS IS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF PERRYSBURG, OHIO VOTING WON TOLEDO CITY PAPER’S BEST OF TOLEDO FOR BEST GYM, BEST CLASSES, AND BEST BOOTCAMP STUDIO 2020, 2021, AND 2022
Vault offers group strength and conditioning classes, personal training, online training, in-person nutrition coaching and online nutrition coaching. When you are on the road a lot, it’s hard to find a routine that will be consistent and sustainable in many different environments. We have trained coaches to meet you where you are to lead you with a caring hand to your best health. Visit our website to book a free No Sweat Intro. Tell us about your challenges and hear the ways we can build a short-term or long-term plan for you!