Working away from home and eating healthily

I think its a pretty common complaint for people who work away from home frequently, thats its really hard to eat healthily at times.  Restaurant meals can often be larger and richer than what you’d eat at home.  Not to mention eating out 3 times a day can be a little much to stomach (so to speak).

Although I’m in no way a healthy and fitness guru, I at the same time don’t want to return from an extended trip away and be finding my clothes are all a bit too snug.

It all comes down to planning for an away trip.  I always try to get accommodation with at least a fridge and kettle.  This means at least for breakfast I can have some cereal, perhaps with fruit, yogurt and a cup of tea or two to start the day off without consuming a thousand calories (literally).  If I’m fortunate enough to have a microwave and a toaster then the options suddenly expand exponentially.  One of my favourites is a microwave cooked egg (cooked omelette like in a saucer) on a toasted english muffin with a slice of tasty cheese.  Leftovers from the night before are often on the menu too – nothing like leftover Thai or Indian for breakfast!

For lunch, I typically will go for a walk, to get some exercise and fresh air.  Sometimes grabbing lunch while I’m out, often sushi rolls or something from a foodcourt.  If I have leftovers from the night before, and I might walk back to where I’m staying and eat them in my room or sometimes in the staff room of the client site (if appropriate).

Dinner is usually the the biggest struggle to eat healthily.  I usually avoid sit down dining and will typically will go for another walk and get takeaways on the way back – Thai, Indian, Chinese, usually sometime of ethnic food with includes lots of vegetables.   When I get back to my accommodation I try to resist the urge to eat the entire serving and put some aside for a meal the next day.

I think the key is to really be smart about your what you are eating and to keep up the exercise – either make an effort to go to a gym and work out or take the opportunity like I do to explore the city or town that you are in on foot or even by bike if you can borrow or rent one.

Having said all this, even though I have for the most part tried to make sensible choices while I’ve been working in Dunedin for the last few weeks and walking where possible, I have still added a couple of kilos.  I’m sure once I’m home it and back into my usual routine, they will melt away but trying to minimise the damage to the waistline is half the battle.

You can have your cake but only eat a small piece… 🙂





  1. Great post! As a fitness instructor and trainer, this is what I am always telling people when they have to be away. You don’t need to be completely “good” but just make an effort to be healthy and try to walk and move as much as possible. And love that saying – you can have your cake but only a small piece. Perfectly said 🙂

    • Thanks! 🙂 I put on probably 2.5kg over the 7 weeks I was in Dunedin – combination of eating out and bad weather which curtailed my walking a bit in the evenings. I’ve lost 1.5kg in the last 2 weeks since I’ve been back without depriving myself – just back to sensible eating and regular exercise. Its easy now spring is here to go back to yummy salads and the longer sunshine hours make extra incidental exercise easy too. Walking an extra block with the dogs etc. Only a bit to go until I’m back to what I consider my ideal (and maintainable) weight.

      • That’s great! And even better that it is spring there and days are getting longer (I forgot you are in New Zealand). It’s fall here in New York and days are getting shorter 😦

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