Irish dance diet while on business
(and winning second place in a short story contest)
Photo: Christy Dorrity

My husband and I went out of town to a writing conference over the weekend, and it wasn't easy to eat healthy and stay focused. I planned my own meals for in between sessions, ate smart, small portions at restaurants, and made the most of the hotel's exercise room.

I tried my best while we were away from home, but I was still nervous to get on the scale. I was pleased to see that I had more than maintained--I had actually lost weight.

Month: 3
Weight: 146.5
Weight lost: 8.5 pounds
Muscle gained: 4.5 pounds
Total fat loss: 13 pounds

Tips for eating healthy on the run:

1. Bring your own snacks.

When you know that you won't be able to control what is offered for meals while you are away, pack some healthy alternatives.  Some of my favorites are peanut butter and wheat bread, Zone perfect bars and veggies, and jerky or turkey bites with a fruit. If you have a banquet or gala, try eating less of the calorie high dinners, then go back to your room and have a healthy snack if you are still hungry.

2. Don't forget to exercise

It may be different than what you do on a daily basis. You can park your car and walk, take the stairs in the hotel, and take in the sights of a new city on an early morning run. Take advantage of the pool or exercise room in your hotel. You may find that the energy and alertness you feel from the exercise is an added bonus while you are on business.

3. Mentally track what you eat

Even if you don't have time to keep track of your eating, keep a mental tally of the high calorie foods.  If you've had a bit much, take it easy the next day.

4. Don't step on the scale just yet

When you get home, don't step on the scale right away. Chances are you will be up quite a bit from traveling, retaining water, and extra food in your system. Get right back on your diet, and wait a day or two before you step on the scale. You may find that you didn't gain any weight at all.

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