I gazed at the line at a hotel buffet in Perth, Australia and observed that almost every person in the line was overweight. Some were clearly just a little bit over their weight and others were in a concerning level. We know that being overweight increases the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
I know that frequent travel increases the chance that weight will build up. Much time being sedentary, poor food choices at many airports and the temptation to enjoy exotic foods all contribute to weight gain risks.
My solution comes from my motivation, my management of food intake and moving my body.
- I know my goals. When I am goal focussed then I am more likely to be disciplined about weight and eating. When I am not…
- Be accountable -one of my work colleagues and I check in on our exercise, weight and food consumption
- I use Myfitnesspal, an app which forces me to track every meal’s fat and sugar content- I am often surprised what is lurking in things. I know WeightWatchers have an app. too
Management of food intake
- No sodas/ Pop/ Soft drinks. None. Nada. “Water is God’s wine for the tigers and lions“, my Grandfather used to say! The average American teen consumes 10 to 15 teaspoons of sugar a day from this source. The World Health organisation says six teaspoons of sugar a day is the maximum recommended (not including fruits)
- However, I let myself have treats – giving up everything is no fun. It just means that eating a serve of hot potato chips means I don’t have an ice cream as well
- Substitute breakfast items. Just because the Breakfast buffet contains 1000 items, you do not have to sample them all. Fruit instead of cereal. Oatmeal instead of a sugar cereal. Half an English muffin instead of a Danish pastry. Check the sugar content of your Museli! Unless you are hiking, don’t opt for the cooked breakfast!
- I order less food at a restaurant than I think I need. If by chance , I am hungry, then I eat a banana on the way home! I have got more practised at splitting mains. I avoid sauces, gravies and salad dressings.
- Watch finger food at business functions. Those canapes can have a huge number of calories. Think of each canape as being one tenth of a main meal.
- I schedule 30 to 60 minutes exercise every day whether walking, swimming, running, gym. Running and walking allows me to see other parts of a city. My boss and I even schedule walking business meetings
- I aim for 10,000 steps a day so I walk as much as I can- eg I often get off the subway a stop earlier, at many airports I walk to the terminal instead of taking the shuttle train. I walk instead of sitting in the lounge. I reckon I have walked 30 miles at Atlanta airport alone! Between every movie on a long plane flight, I walk to the end of the plane and back -twice -that is at least 250 metres (800 feet) on an Airbus 380! I even use the furthest lavatories on planes! On my last Sydney to Bangkok flight, I walked a mile on the plane (not when the meal carts are out please).
Any other thoughts and tips?