Q: I find it so difficult not to overeat when I travel on business. The hardest part is that my trips often involve late night dinners with full-course meals and tempting desserts. I go back to my hotel room and fall asleep with a too-full stomach and feel ten pounds heavier in the morning.
But not eating at these dinners could be perceived as anti-social and rude. How can I manage my eating and not alienate my business colleagues and clients?
A: Doing business over dinner is a big part of business travel. While you can’t control the time you dine, you can control what you eat and the size of your portions. Try eating something light before heading out to a restaurant – an apple or banana, some wheat crackers, etc. If you’re not starving, you’ll be more disciplined about your choices. Skip the bread basket and opt for water. It will hydrate you, especially if you just got off the plane, and make you feel full. Also, order a salad instead of an appetizer. When selecting an entrée, stay away from sauces or gravies, or at least ask for them on the side. And if you have to choose a dessert, go for fresh fruit. One last tip: walk off what you ate the next day by traveling on foot versus hailing a cab, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing a fast-paced loop around a walking trail, if one is available.