Thursday, 16 March 2017

12 Ways to stay Healthy in Hotels

Being away from home is not easy. Trying to stay healthy is a huge challenge, among others, when you are not in the comfort of your own home. For many, living out of hotels and constant travel are essential components of their job. A weekend away is an opportunity to splurge a little, however it’s not really a treat if it’s going on for a whole week! Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during long term stays and business trips :

  1. Plan ahead before you leave. Including snacks and all meals! Be specific about your nutritional needs for the week. Gauge your surroundings, look into any restaurants or shops which carry healthy options that you can incorporate into your week. Investigate the leisure facilities, and any opportunities for exercise in the area. If in doubt, short runs or long walks are better than sitting in your hotel room for the evening. The activity will also be good for reducing stress and improving your mood.

  1. Bring some healthy, non perishable snacks. Nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, seeds, health bars (Be careful with these! Some are packed with sugar) or even try and make your own at the weekend.
  2. Ask for a fridge and / or microwave. You would be surprised at what can do! It may not sound ideal to prepare a meal in your hotel room, however you will have a lot more control over your nutritional intake. You don’t have to do this every day, but if done occasionally this could make a significant impact on your health, particularly if you are struggling to find convenient healthy options where you are staying.
  3. Pick 1-2 meals you can make in your hotel room using only fridge, microwave, portable blender, small knife and chopping board. There are many documented successes of cooking with a rice cooker in your room, as people have tested cooking a variety of meals. (Obviously these are dependent on whether or not you have checked in luggage, if you are travelling on a plane)

  1. Bring plastic containers with prepared food. If you are staying in a hotel which doesn’t require flying to, you can make some meals or snacks to last a few days. Leftovers from the weekend’s cooking, homemade snacks, overnight oats are only a few ideas.

  1. Negotiate a healthy dinner with the hotel. Be specific with your orders, and make healthy swaps. Ask and you shall receive!
  2. If necessary, go to the shop on the day you arrive. If you are very busy and arriving back to the hotel late, you may have very few options for food. 
  3. Take advantage of the breakfast buffet. Not everything in the breakfast buffet is healthy, but there's almost always some good options (eggs, meat, veggies, fruit, smoked salmon, etc). Take the opportunity to eat a guaranteed healthy meal so that no matter what happened the rest of the day, you have a head start.
  4. Eat before the airport. Don’t depend on airport food when you are trying to be healthy. Temptation is everywhere! If you are regularly in an airport which has genuinely healthy options, life can be made a little easier.
  5. Investigate your healthy options in the hotel and surrounding areas. A lot of towns and cities have followed the healthy movement and developed healthier menus, some with calorie content displayed.
  6. Keep Moving! Leisure centres, walking or cycling trails, hotel room workouts. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk instead of getting a taxi. The list is endless. Pick some activities which you will enjoy, and you will be more likely to keep doing them. There are lots of Youtube videos, books and apps containing as short as 20 minute workouts, where all that you need is suitable clothing, some water and maybe a chair.  There are literally no excuses! Plan activity at the beginning of your week to keep you motivated.

  1. Be okay with having a more basic meal plan that might get a bit repetitive. You’re traveling so it’s not as easy as when you’re home, obviously. Be okay with that. When you are at home, you can fit in more variety.

*Food you can prepare in your hotel room

v Salads – You can often buy bagged lettuce that is fully prepared. Cherry tomatoes, sprouts, pickled vegetables, baby cucumber, avocado
v Fruit – Fresh and tinned (if tinned, avoid anything in syrup)
v Tinned Fish
v In a microwave – Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Broccoli, Microwavable rice, Soup
v Cooked meats – Chicken or beef (pre-packed or from a deli), Smoked Salmon
v Overnight Oats
v Scrambled eggs (microwaved)
v Rice Cooker Meals
v Spices and flavourings

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