Avoid Weight Gain Away from Home: Tips for Travel and Eating Healthy

Whitney Health Guide
  • A better woman would have a better report from The Big Easy. Apparently, I'm not that woman, since I just weighed myself and not only did I not lose a pound this week, but I may have gained one back (I'm not sure if my weight is fluctuating, so I'll weigh again tomorrow). And, honestly, I'm not surprised after the free-for-all food feast I've participated in since landing in New Orleans for a 10-day business trip.

    Before I got here, I researched healthy alternatives to restaurant food and planned on waking up an hour early each day to take a brisk walk. Well, some of that happened, but most of it did not. First off, restaurants in N'awlins seriously don't have healthy alternatives. No, I'm serious. No baked lean meats or sauteed vegetables. Heavy starches (red beans and rice), breaded meats (catfish, chicken, chicken-fried steak) and seriously humongous portions are all that I've found since arriving. I am proud that I haven't succumbed to the bottomless calorie pit that is mixed drinks (and believe me, that's a hard thing to do in the city of Hurricanes), but have chosen water 89 percent of the time. And I've also been putting half of my meal in a take-home box before I even start eating, which I read in a fitness magazine years ago but never tried, which is helpful in theory, but I always look at all the food that'll be wasted since my hotel doesn't have refrigerators or microwaves in the guest rooms and want to sneak an extra forkful or three of food before throwing it away.

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    But the great thing about being in the French Quarter is that I can walk everywhere. It's like being in college or living in New York again, since I spend a good two hours daily walking the neighborhood, not to mention the time I've spent on actual college campuses for research. The natural inclines and stairs that I've confronted on a daily basis here have been great, and I'm thrilled that I've been able to handle them with heavy totes in tow, breathing the oppressively humid air.

    I wish I could say that I was more disappointed in myself, but I'm not. I know that I'm doing better than I would have had I been here this time last year, or any previous year and I'm not worried about my eating habits once I return home since I'll go back to eating at home and avoiding restaurants. I sincerely hope that a few days of po'boys and pralines have not un-done all of the work that I struggled with for over a month to complete, but only time and another jaunt on the scale will tell. In the meantime, laissez les bon temps rouler !

Published On: March 17, 2010