On the Go after Weight Loss Surgery: Tips for the Hotel
By Ashley Carpenter, RD
In theory, a few days in a hotel can be a relaxing and rewarding way to stay connected to your lifestyle of healthy eating. In practice, a few days away from your routine can spell 1-800-temptation--not the kind of getaway you had in mind. So here are few things you need to check out before you check in to a hotel.
- Pack your favorite meal replacement bars to have on hand if the healthy dining out options are limited.
- Call the hotel ahead of time and ask for a refrigerator in your room, or ask that the snacks be cleared from the mini-bar.
- If you are able to, visit the nearest grocery store when you arrive at your destination. Check online for grocery stores near your hotel or ask the hotel staff. Suggestions of healthful options include:
- whole grain cereal and instant oatmeal (if you don’t have a microwave in your room, you can make hot water with the in-room coffee maker)
- deli meats and cheeses
- low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese
- fresh fruit
- bottled water
- If you don’t have a fridge, make sure the fruit is non-perishable and try getting milk or soymilk in single-serving juice boxes that don’t need to be refrigerated.
- Having breakfast in your room is a good way to save calories and start your day right.
- If you decide to go to the hotel continental breakfast bar: choose whole grain cereal with skim or low-fat milk, fresh fruit, peanut butter packets, low-fat yogurt or hard-boiled eggs. Avoid muffins, sweet-rolls, pre-sweetened cereal, and juice.
- When you visit a restaurant, study the menu and make the best choices possible. If you can, get a copy of the menu and plan what you are going to have in advance. This will save you from making poor choices on the spur of the moment. Most restaurants, especially fast food, have a website. Read the menu online before you go. If you still don’t see anything on the menu, ask your waiter if you can order your food a la carte: for example, shrimp cocktail and steamed vegetables.
Remember, when you check into a hotel, the stay is a journey unto itself. Just be sure you know your limits. This is why you should take the time to plan your meals before you leave home. And stay away from those chocolates on your pillow.