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Eating healthy while on the go.

Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Room service, cocktail wieners and plane food all conspire to help us pack on the pounds. Eating healthy is made even more difficult when an iceberg salad is the only safe item on the room service menu. Then there’s the problem of maintaining your exercise regimen.

Follow these eight tips to avoid losing ground while on the road.

1. Healthier Hotels

Check to see if the hotel provides online menus for room-service and in-house restaurants. Ask the concierge about restaurants near your hotel.

2. Keep On Moving

Ask about exercise facilities before you book. What equipment is available? When are the facilities open? Is there an extra charge? Make sure the exercise opportunities match your schedule and needs. If there’s no gym or pool, bring a jump rope to exercise in your room or run or walk laps around the hotel. Don’t forget workout clothes when you pack.

3. Stay in the Swim

If the hotel has a pool, bring your suit for swimming or water aerobics to get a whole-body workout.

4. Eat Light In Flight

If meals are available on your flights, request a low-fat or vegetarian meal in advance. Kosher meals also tend to be healthier. It might be possible to bring your own healthier food, but make sure you’ll have room in your carry-on bags and there won’t be a problem with security.

5. Avoid the Cocktail Wiener Trap

Stay away from the appetizer table during cocktail hour. If you’re trying to combine networking and meal time, fill a plate once with low-calorie apps and don’t go back.

6. Power Snack

Snacking on power bars, energy drinks, bottled water, veggie sticks and fruit reduces hunger cravings so you don’t overdo at dinner or during happy hour.

7. Just Say No

Exchange high-calorie alcohol for water or seltzer with a twist. It’s healthier and better for your career. Plus, water keeps you hydrated and helps speed-up jet-lag recover. Avoiding alcohol will also leave you more energy for exercising.

8. Half-Portion Meals

Order off the senior or kiddie menu to reduce your portion. If that’s not possible, ask about a half portion or the possibility of sharing a dish. If you’re stuck at a banquet, slide half your portion onto the bread or salad plate and eat only the food on your dinner plate. Ask the waiter to remove the smaller plate to avoid temptation.

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Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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