Following a set of discussions with a friend of mine who commutes to London for work every week (i.e. he stays during the week), I thought I’d try to pool some of the ideas and techniques I developed for eating [at least relatively] healthily when I was working away from home alot.
(There may also be more to come on this subject in the future.)
- Firstly, and obviously, think about what you’re eating, generally – does your diet consist primarily of convenience snacks and fatty foods? Can you simply eat healthier things?
- Think about and plan when you are going to eat each day (this may not always be possible, but you should try to stick to a well thought out and consistent regime as much as you can).
- Set yourself a guideline as to which meal is going to be the main meal of the day (classic example: if you expect that one day you will have to skip lunch, plan to make your main meal in the evening, or if you think you will have to work late, perhaps consider making lunch your main source of sustenance for the day and have a simple snack in the evening).
- If it does look like you will need to skip lunch on a particular day, think about taking in a ‘packed lunch’ bought or prepared the day before, that way you won’t actually need to skip the meal entirely – this should help you to resist the urge to ‘binge’ later on, or snack on chocolate or crisps from a vending machine.
- Think about where you will be getting your food from each day – if you have this planned out in advance, you will be far less likely to just grab something horrendous from the first convenient fast food store or chip shop.
- Plan the general outline of your meals (by that I mean roughly what and how much of particular types of food like sandwiches, pieces of fruit, snack bars etc).
- Find places that sell healthier types of ‘convenience’ food – a good example is the chain ‘EAT’ – alot of the food they sell actually isn’t too bad.
- Try to minimise the amount of heavily processed and ‘calorie rich’ food you consume. Generally avoiding fairly obvious items like chocolate, cakes and crisps is ALWAYS a good idea.
- Substitute ‘healthier options’ for those calorie rich items you are now avoiding – fruit is an especially good choice.
- At lunch, don’t have soup AND a sandwich, have one OR the other (this also means don’t have two sandwiches – a sandwich AND a sandwich).
- Packed lunches are your friend as they stop you going out and just buying whatever you fancy at the time, which for those who lack a degree of self-discipline, is a sure way to end up buying and eating too much, even if what you’re having isn’t necessarily unhealthy.
- Go to a supermarket and buy the basic ingredients to prepare your own meals.
- A quick, easy and healthy option for an evening meal you can prepare in a hotel room is pre-flavoured cous cous (just add boiling water), plus some cooked meat or chicken to add in.
- Pot Noodles are BAD.