How to eat well on a plane


We've often heard executives say their trips get off to a bad start simply because airline food is so poor. Our response is the same as it would be for any area of healthy eating. The more you leave things to chance and make decisions at the last minute based on how others are catering for you, the greater the likelihood of you having to settle for something that isn't right for you and your energy levels.


So don't leave anything to chance.


Plan ahead in the following areas and you can step off the plane feeling refreshed and energised:

1) Check the airline's catering options at the time of booking your ticket and make specific requests if necessary. Remember you don't have to be a vegetarian to eat the vegetarian option. You'll probably be surprised at the range of options available from most airlines for those who do a quick bit of research before take off. Explore the full menu, not just the sections you'd usually gravitate towards. If you really don't see anything you fancy, contact them to make some specific requests that suit your needs.

2) Decide in advance what you'll do with each section of your journey. What will you do at the airport and what will you do with each hour on the plane? This includes how much time you'll spend working, dealing with emails, making calls, reading for research, leisure reading, listening to music, eating, drinking and sleeping. Then plan your food routine accordingly.

If you want to minimise the disruption of your travel, aim to follow a food schedule that's similar to your regular routine. If you don't plan ahead, you may not be as efficient with your time which can lead to stress which can in turn lead to poor food and drink choices. Also, without prior planning, you run the risk of mindless eating where you are grazing while attending to other tasks. This can lead to overeating and too much alcohol.


3) Pay attention to the quantity of food you are consuming. People often eat to relieve the tedium of travel or eat more simply because of the proximity of so much food. There's no need to eat in the lounge and then eat everything that's on offer on the plane. Be selective and choose fresh options that your body can process easily while you are stuck on the plane in a less than ideal position for comfortable digestion.

4) Decide on an alcohol strategy. A little alcohol may help you relax and sleep but, given that the effects of alcohol are magnified on a plane, it's likely to be just a small quantity that will do you good. Too much and you'll feel dehydrated, sluggish and make poor food choices. Regardless of how much alcohol you drink, pay special attention to staying hydrated. Always drink more water than alcohol or coffee.


Follow these guidelines and you'll get your trip off to a great healthy start which will set the tone of the days to follow.

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