When we take a business trip, we don’t always have the luxury of eating every three or four hours. As a result, we may go a long time between meals, which slows down our metabolism, and worse causes hunger pangs. Whether you’re stuck on a long layover, have a long client meeting or are working late at the client site, eating satisfying meals and snacks on a business trip will help you ward off cravings for unhealthier foods, eliminate hunger pangs, and stay energized throughout the day.
To ensure your meals and snacks are satisfying throughout your business trip, ensure each incorporates the following:
- Always Incorporate Lean Protein: Lean protein has a satiating effect. Eating meals (and snacks) that are made up of 20% – 40% of lean protein makes us feel fuller, longer (this equates to 5 – 10 grams of protein per 100 calories).* The stomach metabolizes protein more slowly than carbohydrates, which means that it stays in your stomach longer, keeping hunger pangs away. Good sources of lean protein include fish, chicken, lean read meat, low-fat dairy and soy.
- Fill up on Fiber: Fiber is found in complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruit and whole grains) and is a bulking agent that helps you stay full. High fiber foods take longer to chew and your body physically doesn’t digest it, meaning it stays in your digestive tract until you have a bowel movement. Fiber also provides healthy benefits for the business trip: it helps you stay regular. A good rule of thumb is to have about 2 grams of fiber per 100 calories.* Good sources of fiber include whole grains, vegetables, beans, legumes and fruit.
- Enjoy Healthy Fats: Healthy fats cause an appetite suppressing reaction in the body that tells the brain that the body is no longer hungry. These fats are converted into a fatty lipid hormone which increases feelings of fullness and diminishes hunger pangs. Further, healthy fats (monounsaturated and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids) provide healthy benefits including boosted metabolism, increased function of the immune system and proper body function…all helpful on the business trip. Make sure, however, that you don’t have too much healthy fats in your diet, as they are still high in calories. Aim to have no more than 30% of your calories in fat (equates to about 3 grams per 100 calories*). Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
On your average business trip, do you typically experience serious hunger pangs? Do you incorporate the above into your meals and snacks?
* Source: “GET REAL” and STOP Dieting! – Brett Blumenthal