Written by Nick Shaw
We’ve likely all been there before, your diet is going perfect for awhile and then you have a trip planned or a business dinner/meeting. For a lot of people this can be a big mental hurdle to overcome, it seems overwhelming at times to try and plan around that. Luckily, we’ve worked with a ton of clients with these issues (everyone has time constraints and various work commitments) and have developed a solid list of tips/tricks to help you out!
Tip #1 – Know that everything is not going to be 100% spot on. This is important as it can greatly bring down your stress levels when on the road or in an important meeting. You likely won’t get to pull out your food scale and measure out 5oz lean protein, 2 tbsp nut butter and 1 cup of healthy carbs! If you can do that, you likely have the best boss in the entire world.
Tip #2 – Convenience is king! Get real used to the idea of protein bars, shakes, jerky, nuts all being staples of your diet for a little bit. Some go to items we recommend are beef jerky (high protein, low in fats/carbs so it makes an ideal protein snack and a meal replacement on the go), a RTD protein shake (think something like Muscle Milk that has a good bit of protein, low in carbs and a decent amount of healthy fats), Quest bars are great (again low in carbs, high in protein) and I always like to carry some type of nuts with me to get in my fat content. It literally can take 2 minutes to get in a meal if you have a RTD shake and a handful of nuts. That is a pretty good meal on an airplane or in a car that takes little time to consume. Just be sure to pack a few of these ahead of time so you are prepared!
Tip #3 – Ask for what you want! This can go a long ways in a restaurant if you are at a business meeting. Most business luncheons/meetings will LIKELY be held at a respectable eating establishment so if you have a special request it shouldn’t be too hard to come by. If you know you need some protein, veggies and fat then order a steak and get some steamed veggies. If the meats come with sauces that have lots of extra fats/carbs, just ask for it on the side and you can get a relatively lean cut of meat that covers your protein/fat requirements and still get in your veggies! J If you need carbs at that meal, something as easy as a sweet potato (plain of course without the butter and brown sugar) is a great go to. Most places also have salads and if you can add some protein that’s a great option as well.
Tip #4 – Make it more a IIFYM approach. If you know you absolutely cannot avoid eating some desserts or drinks at a business dinner later at night, just reduce your calories a bit earlier in the day to help offset those added calories. Calorie balance is our most important nutritional priority, so just take out some fats/carbs from a lunchtime meal in order to offset the added fats/carbs you have with that dessert as you woo a new client or to offset the calories in an alcoholic beverage.
If you can use these tips, you should be able to salvage a business dinner or a trip altogether without it ruining your diet success. It’s also good to note coming back the same weight after a few day trip is totally a great outcome, that minor plateau can easily be made up for when you get back on track after your travels!