Travel and weight gain have been synonymous forever but it really doesn’t have to be that way. After a little re-education, I was able to stop treating every trip like a food fest. This was a far cry from the Jayne that could pile on seven pounds in as many days while traveling. I see it in my clients too. One lady recently took a ten-day trip to Abu Dhabi and lost two pounds, whereas a five to ten pound gain was the norm for her on such a trip prior to working with me.
One of the easiest ways to drop a few pounds while traveling is by changing a couple of habits that might have had you piling up extra calories without realizing it. How many of you have developed your own airport rituals? By this, I mean you check in, you go through security, you’ve got however long to wait for your flight so you go into ritual mode. I have a client, Sally, who always used to grab a huge latte and a Godiva chocolate bar once she was in the departure lounge. She would do it without even thinking about it, the habit was so engrained. Another, Felicity, used to zone out in British Airway’s first class lounge and grab an orange juice and several packets of cookies in case she got hungry later. Yet there was no chance of her skipping a meal. Jim went to the same bar at Heathrow Terminal 4 every time he was there, had two pints of beer, a pork pie and then dashed for his plane. It’s like we go on automatic pilot even though we’re not flying the plane.
In all these cases, the clients are frequent travelers who find themselves in airports at least a couple of times a week. Over the months of traveling the calories afforded by these little rituals really add up. Plus, as you’ve learned from my previous posts, these aren’t the best foods to be fuelling you before a flight.
In all of these cases, I had to show the clients how to create new rituals. Lattes were replaced by herbal tea. Orange juice and beer by water. Chocolate, cookies and pork pies by fruit. It was not an overnight process. I had them reduce gradually. The size of latte got smaller and smaller before tea was introduced. A bottle of water was consumed for each pint of beer.
The key was to make the new routine as mindless as the old one by gradually making the change. The clients didn’t see the change as much because they were still acting out some kind of ritual as they wove their way through the airport.
Most importantly, they shaved off hundreds of empty calories and lost weight.
The next trick to losing weight involves adopting another new pattern and that is eating smaller portions. It seems really obvious but it’s especially applicable if you’re about to sit down for a flight and not have the opportunity to move around much. The last thing you need is a huge meal.
When you’re on the go and rushing from meeting to meeting, you might think you need to eat everything in front of you because you don’t know when you’re going to eat again. Are you the person who will eat on the plane even if you have a meal before you board? Like I used to do… I can pretty much guarantee you that you will not starve if you eat half of your meal and give it time to digest.
Order half portions if they are available. Always start your meal with a salad so that you can digest your main course better. Share the main course if you can, otherwise, leave it. It’s not wasteful on your part. It’s wasteful on the part of the dining establishments that give you the ridiculously big portion in the first place. No one is going to starve because you didn’t eat everything on your plate.
And if you’re dining at the airport pre-flight, with a smaller portion you will feel better, sleep better, have less inflight bloating and suffer fewer effects of jetlag if you are crossing time zones. And, you’ll help your weight loss goal by cutting out tons of empty calories.
There are a lot more factors that contribute to weight gain on the road such as S-T-R-E-S-S, which I’ll touch on in another post. But these two steps are fairly rudimentary and they will make a big difference. Try them and see. I love to hear how it works for you.