*I travel a lot. Like, over-100-flights-a-year-a-lot. So I have learnt a thing or two about surviving the travel-for-work syndrome. For those of you who travel a lot also, these are the best pieces of advice I can give you……… I hope they help.
Travel is stress. Stress on the body through cabin pressure, changes in routine and time zones. And also mental stress - constantly rushing around, deadlines, squeezing in work and meetings while you’re away.
And stress makes us hungry. Like - really hungry. Stress tends to fool your body into believing you need more calories than you actually do. That’s because we don’t differentiate between psychological stress and physical stress. Your body and brain actually believe that you just ran away from something and are on high alert, so you better get some energy into the system.
Add to this fact that you often skip meals, or eat unsatisfying airport and aeroplane fare, and there will undoubtedly be a time when you are hungry. And maybe you’ve already had your actual meals, so you need a snack. The mini bar is going to be calling you. Or a full-scale chicken club sandwich and chips off the room service menu. In these instances it’s easier (and cheaper both financially and physically) if you have some food at your disposal that doesn’t involve deep-frying, massive amounts of sugar or artery-clogging fat.
Here are my go-to snacks: A high quality protein bar (my favourites are from Bodyscience), and a packet of Chia and Oats (made by Chia Co).
The protein bar has saved me from eating rubbish countless times in hotel rooms, on planes, or between mid-afternoon meetings. The Chia and Oats packet has helped me get through early mornings when the buffet isn’t open before I need to leave for my flight, and late nights when I get in way after dinner and I’m just hungry from travelling but not really hungry if I’m completely honest with myself. Mix the Chia and Oats with hot water and you have an awesome low carb, filling snack.
These things are super-easy to pack, and tasty too. A small stash of food can save you from mindless over-eating when you’re on the road. Your hardwiring tells you that you need copious amounts of food, when sometimes you just need a little snack.
** Tony Wilson is a Workplace Performance Expert. His insights into performance science and it's application in the workplace will make you re-think the way that you approach leadership, culture change, high performance and productivity. Tony has an MBA and a BSc majoring in physiology and delivers workshops and keynote presentations around the globe.