Whether you're on vacation, a business trip, or out of town for a special event like a wedding, it can be nerve-wracking getting out of your routine when you're chugging along on your weight loss journey. Trust me, this is something I struggled with (and how this blog was born!) - when you're making good progress, you don't want to find yourself feeling defeated because the number on the scale went up after your vacation time.
While it's sometimes near impossible to be 100% in control, there are a few steps you can take to help you get pretty close. I've gathered the steps I take - and have helped me lose weight when spending long weekends at Disney or work trips - so that way, you have a guide to help you if you're feeling overwhelmed. Specifically, here are five tips for how you can eat healthy in your hotel room.
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Research the hotel in advance to see what tools you have, and go from there.
Even if it’s a business trip where your boss books the room for you, you’ll still likely know where you’re going before you pack your bags. So if you have the ability, be sure to look up where you’re staying and the in-room amenities before traveling. If you’re the one booking the room, try to see if you can book a place where there’s more you can use. For example, a place like Candlewood Suites has a mini-kitchen in it with more appliances (including a refrigerator) than a standard hotel room, and most places - even the most basic of them all - have a microwave and, sometimes, a mini-fridge. These things should be listed on their website, and if not, available in photographs of the room or something you could call the front desk about. If you know you have a refrigerator in your hotel room, then that makes it all the easier to meal prep.
Stick to basics.
Nonperishables are your friend! You can keep it pretty basic and still stay healthy. Just be on the lookout for high sodium counts with nonperishable food items, but there are plenty of ways you can keep the SmartPoints or calories to a minimum. Look for things like 100 calorie packs of nuts, canned (or pouched) chicken and tuna, fruit (especially apples, clementines, and other fruits that don’t need refrigeration), low-calorie breads with PB2 (and, if you have a refrigerator, sugar-free or reduced-sugar jelly), cold cuts if you have a fridge, and your favorite healthy snacks.
Plan at least your breakfasts in advance.
Whether you’re on vacation or a business trip, chances are there are going to be a few mornings where you have breakfast in the room or on the go. If you can pre-plan with healthy breakfasts or even a protein bar - Built Bars are my favorite at only 3 SmartPoints, and make for a great snack if you have breakfast reservations - then that’s one way to not worry about at least one of your meals. When I went on a business trip to Virginia, I bought a box of protein bars before I left to have for breakfast since I knew that lunch and dinner would be eaten at restaurants every day, and I still managed to lose weight when I stepped on the scale upon my return home!
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Research what restaurants are nearby.
This is helpful to know if you’re on the go so you don’t have to succumb to what you feel is the only option if you’re on the go. This way, you know exactly what your options are and what the healthier ones are. This way, you can confidently say you’re trying your best, which goes a long way when you’re stuck eating out.
Pack some essential tools.
You can base what tools you pack based on what is available in your hotel room (especially after you researched like point 1!). Get some tools that you can have in your hotel room or your purse so that way you can be prepared, even on the go. Some of my favorite tools for this are…
With these tips, you can feel less overwhelmed and nervous about your upcoming trip and feel more in control. People will often ask me, "Jess, why even bother? Calories don't count at Disney!" or, "Why don't you just relax on vacation?" Well, for me - and I know for many others - it just takes one moment of discouragement to throw your groove out of whack, and the last thing you want to do is feel like you are out of control when it comes to that happening.
Just remember that, no matter what happens on your vacation or when you step on your scale, to be kind to yourself. My Weight Watchers leader once said that in every set back, there's a learning opportunity, and you wouldn't slash the remaining three tires on your car if one of them went flat.
Have any questions? No matter how specific, feel free to email me, DM me on social media, or leave them in the comments!
Jessica is a huge Disney, anime, and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.