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Food Diary of a Workaholic


Danny, a 37 year old business consultant, spends one month in 3 different countries.  “I don’t have a stable schedule, I travel weekly and most of my meals are either business dinners or in the airport or airplane,” he says. “Additionally, my meetings usually run long where I don’t have time to eat and I stay late at the office so there is no time for a workout.” Danny has been gaining weight over the past few years, but says he has no time to change his lifestyle.

As a travelling businessman or woman, your week involves living in airport lounges, jumping from one plane to another, endless meetings, and restaurant business dinners. This hectic lifestyle has probably been taking a toll on your health.

Just like Danny you may be thinking you have no control over your eating and lifestyle habits. You may find it tough to stick to a diet or exercise plan. Where do you fit in a workout routine? How can you possibly choose healthy foods when at a conference? It’s all about adjusting your health to your lifestyle. It’s a matter of finding the options to fit into your unique daily schedule, which is different from everyone else’s.  Below are 5 options to put you on a healthy track while travelling:  

Use your hotel’s fitness center

If there is a gym at the hotel you are staying at, try fitting in at least 30 minute power walk on the treadmill. This could be done in the morning before your day starts giving you energy throughout the day. Or just use the gym during any free time when you are back at the hotel. Take advantages of your hotel's facilities, If you feel like you live in one. 

Pack snacks

Toothbrush? Check. Suit? Check. Just like packing your necessities into your suitcase, pack some healthy snacks as well. These snacks may include: granola bars, raw nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain toast. These are great items to keep with you when at the office and your meeting runs long or when sitting in the airport lounge to avoid the temptation of the buffets. Carry fruits with you to avoid mindless snacking throughout the day.

 Make it an appointment

Schedule your meal and snack times like you schedule your appointments. Planning ahead allows you to avoid skipping your meal. Don’t skip breakfast, schedule a wake-up call to remind you to go for breakfast, that way you will be less likely to binge eat at lunch. Give yourself a 10 minute break between afternoon appointments to eat your snack.

Menu options

When eating out at business lunches or dinners, the menu is usually filled with both healthy and unhealthy options. It’s a matter of making the right choice. Try to make green salads your appetizer. As a main meal look for food items that start with Grilled, Baked, Steamed, Boiled. Choose lean meats and fish such as grilled chicken breast or salmon fillet with healthy side orders such as baked potato or steamed vegetables. Take control of your meal like your control your business and make requests, ask for the sauce on the side or to make it a half portion.

Up in the air

Remember, calories count even when you’re in the sky. Avoid sodas; sugar filled juices, and alcoholic beverages, that way you cut out some calories. Hydrate with water instead which can keep you full for a while. Instead of the airplane meal, eat your healthy packed snacks. Avoid the bread, butter, crackers the airline provides with the meal and try to choose the healthy option just like eating out (if available). 

Author: Massar Dabbous

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