Tips for Eating Healthy When Attending a Conference
There is no doubt about it. Dining out is big business in America, and it is expected to get even bigger.
According to the National Restaurant Association, consumers located throughout the country will spend an estimated total of $799 billion on eating out in 2017. That forecast represents a 4.3 percent increase over the $766 billion Americans are thought to have spent on dining out in 2016.
When these numbers are adjusted for inflation, consumers will spend 1.7 percent more on eating out in 2017 than they did the previous year. That growth rate is higher than the 1.5 percent spending increase that was seen in 2016 compared to 2015. Between 1970 and 2017, the restaurant industry has recorded a 6.4 percent compound annual growth rate.
The expense software company, Certify, confirms that meals take up the largest amount of the travel budgets many companies have. According to Certify, meals, flights, miscellaneous and hotels are the four biggest line items when it comes to business travel budgets. Certify reports that meals often consume 21 percent of the available funds, flights and miscellaneous absorb 17 percent apiece and hotels consume 13 percent of business travel funds.
When you consider that the average amount that a business traveler spends on food generally increases year over year, it is easy to understand why meals account for such a large percentage of many business travel budgets. The Corporate Travel Index prepared by Business Travel News for 2015 shows that dining accounts for over 31 percent of daily travel expenses. In 2015, the average cost for three meals per day in the United States was $96.89 for business travelers, a figure that increased to $98.62the following year in the top 100 cities included in the 2016 Corporate Travel Index.
How to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Work
While you may not be able to do a lot to control how much you spend on food when you travel (restaurant prices are what they are, after all), you can take steps to ensure you are eating healthy overall while traveling for work. Eating healthy while you are traveling for work will go a long way toward keeping you healthy when you are on the road to attend a conference.
Even if you fully intend to eat healthy food while you are on a business trip, it can be challenging. Although that is the case, eating healthy while traveling for business is far from impossible. Making smart food choices is much easier if you follow some tips for eating healthy when you are attending a conference.
Here are some tips you can use to help you stay on track with healthy eating when you travel to attend a conference or business meeting:
Prepare in Advance: Healthy eating during a business trip starts before you even leave home. Before leaving home, think about the foods that you will and will not allow yourself to eat during your upcoming trip. If you know high-carb meals make you feel sluggish for the rest of the day, or you are sensitive to gluten, include things like pasta on your list of foods to avoid. If you are traveling to a destination where you can enjoy your favorite specialty dessert, put it on your list of things that you will eat as a one-time indulgence during your trip as a reward for a successful presentation or something else.
In addition to deciding what foods you will and will not eat while you are away from home, you should put together healthy, portioned snacks. Eating healthy snacks while traveling will help to prevent you from over doing it at meal times and avoid eating too many processed, sodium-rich alternatives that are readily available in airports, convenience stores, gift shops and concession stands. Here are some healthy snacks you may want to bring with you: nuts, whole grain crackers, hearty raw vegetables like celery or carrots, fruit, power bars, beef jerky and string cheese.
If you are going to carry healthy snacks while traveling, you should ensure that your hotel provides a mini refrigerator for you to keep them fresh. Call your hotel to make sure a mini refrigerator will be available for you to use. Be sure the hotel you choose is located close to a local market or grocery store as well. This will make it easy and convenient for you to restock your supply of healthy snacks during your business trip.
Stick to Your Eating Schedule: Eating healthy while traveling for work purposes requires you to adhere to your normal dining schedule. While it may be tempting to eat a meal when it is served to you on an airplane, resist eating it if it is not your regular meal time. This will prevent you from eating what may be the equivalent of an extra meal if you end up eating at your usual meal time later.
Snack Often: To avoid overeating at meal times and to prevent you from being willing to eat anything that is immediately available due to extreme hunger, make sure you eat light snacks every 2-3 hours. Eating healthy snacks every few hours will help you stay full and energized, and it will help you make better choices when you sit down for a full meal.
Drink Regularly: While you may interpret this tip as permission to enjoy a martini at will, it is not. Airplane air, caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you and, just like this tip, thirst can be misinterpreted. Many people believe they are experiencing hunger pangs when their body is actually craving a refreshing beverage. To prevent this from happening to you, be sure you drink water regularly throughout each day you are on the road.In addition to drinking water often during the day, you should make water a part of every happy hour or work event involving alcohol that you attend. Like the food you eat, the alcohol you drink has calories in it. When it comes to alcohol, the calories you are ingesting are empty, meaning they provide no lasting nutritional value. To avoid putting on excess pounds and to ensure you are in the right mindset to make smart food choices, limit your consumption of alcohol when you travel for business. To help you do this successfully, drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage you drink.
Eat Breakfast:Eating breakfast is one of the keys to eating healthy while traveling for work. Even if your hotel provides breakfast daily, you should consider going with your own breakfast fare to ensure you have a h
If you are going to eat breakfast in your hotel’s dining area or a restaurant, skip the fried and fatty food options. Start your day with healthier options such as oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt and whole grain toast instead. Whatever you decide to eat for breakfast, make sure it has enough lean protein to get your day off to a good start and keep you satisfied.
Order Smartly: Ordering smartly is another important factor when it comes to eating healthy while traveling for business. To prevent overeating when your entrée is served, start your lunch or dinner with a salad or soup that has a broth base. Both of these appetizer options include healthy fiber and water, which will help you to feel full.
When you are deciding what entrée to order, be sure you look for simple dishes that are made with healthy preparation methods. Here are some terms that indicate a meal was cooked healthily:
While you want to actively seek out meals made with the preparation methods mentioned above, you will want to avoid food made with other techniques vigilantly. Some of the preparation methods you should avoid include deep frying, pan frying and sautéing.
If you are going to order a salad as an appetizer or meal, ask for the dressing to be served on the side. If you are going to place an order for a dish that comes with sauce, you should ask for the sauce to be on the side as well. Salad dressings and sauces can pack a surprising number of calories and hidden fats. By asking for them on the side, you can use as little dressing or sauce as you can stand instead of having to ingest more of them than you want to as you eat your food.
Just like you should not be shy about asking for salad dressing or sauces to be served on the side, you also should not hesitate to ask for a substitution when you are ordering food. If your meal comes with fries or mashed potatoes, see if your side item can be replaced with a steamed vegetable or small salad instead.
If you enjoy ending your meal with dessert, there is no reason for you to avoid doing so when you are traveling. Just be sure that you select a healthy option such as fruit instead of pastries made with processed ingredients. While it is important to choose a healthy dessert more often than not, remember that healthy eating while traveling for business does not mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite desserts all of the time. Allow yourself to indulge in a dessert you would not normally order every once in a while.
- Review Nutrition Information: Depending on where you decide to eat, the restaurant you visit may have nutrition information for its food available online or at its location. If this information is available, take a few minutes to review it before you place your order to ensure you will order the healthiest (or at least healthier) option on the menu.
- Watch Portion Sizes: Even healthy options can serve up too many calories when a meal is simply too big to eat in one sitting. Depending on what you choose to order, one typical meal in a restaurant can provide two-thirds of the calories you need to make it through an entire day. If an entrée is large, consider splitting it with a traveling companion. If you are attending a conference alone and have not met any new buddies yet, restrict your intake to half of what is on your plate and bring the rest back to your hotel so you can eat it the next day if you have a mini refrigerator to store your food.
If you are dining alone and fear that you might not have the discipline necessary to eat just half of a mouth-watering entrée, you should consider ordering an appetizer instead. You can supplement the smaller portion size with a healthy side salad to prevent hunger from striking later.
Dining Options at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
As Delaware’s premier luxury casino hotel, we give you plenty of choices when it comes to dining at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Whether you are looking for healthier options or you want to treat yourself to a decadent meal and rich dessert, you will find what you are searching for without having to leave our breathtaking property.
When you visit our award-winning hotel and casino, we make your stay all about you. From the service you will receive to our rooms, casino, amenities and more, our property is designed to make you feel like you are in the lap of luxury at all times. And it shows in every eatery that is part of the experience you will enjoy when you visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.
Here are the restaurants you will enjoy dining at when you visit with us:
Michele’s: You can savor prime steaks, scrumptious seafood, tasty sushi and fantastic desserts when you eat at Michele’s. You will not be disappointed if you try one of the chef’s seasonal specialties to kick off your stay at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.
Frankie’s: Frankie's offers a wide array of choices that range from hot and cold antipasti to hearty pasta, seafood, veal and tiramisu. With such a generous range of options, Frankie’s menu includes something everyone in your group will love.
Doc Magrogan’s: If you have always dreamed of having a meal in early 20th century Boston, you can make your dream a reality at Doc Magrogan’s. The atmosphere at this eatery is as great as the fresh seafood, handcrafted beer and high-quality wine the establishment serves.
The Festival Buffet: Fresh fare is always on the menu regardless of whether you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Festival Buffet. Many of our visitors dine at The Festival Buffet multiple times during their stay because it offers such a generous variety of food choices.
Garden Café: The Garden Café is where you will find the lighter fare that is just as delicious and satisfying as some of the more indulgent options available at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Our guests enjoy great cuts of meat and fresh salads and seafood whenever they visit the Garden Café and you will, too.
gr8 burgers & shakes: This popular eatery serves more than 15 kinds of flame broiled burgers, including ½-pound vegetarian and gluten free burgers, along with extra-long hot dogs, hand cut fries and outstanding milkshakes made with Vanderwende ice cream. If you want to get a free meal and earn a spot on this restaurant’s Monster Burger wall of fame, all you have to do is finish the Monster Burger Meal in one sitting. We wish you luck if you decide to accept this filling challenge!
Sweet Perks and Sweet Perks Too: If you are looking for a quick, tasty meal, snack or beverage, you should head over to Sweet Perks when you visit our luxurious hotel and casino. Sweet Perks offers hot and cold specialty drinks, unforgettable fruit tarts and muffins and fresh salads and paninis for people on the go. Make sure you stop by Sweet Perks whenever you visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. If you cannot make it to Sweet Perks in between conference sessions, visit the eatery’s second location, Sweet Perks Too, instead.
- Winner’s Circle: Everyone who visits Dover Downs Hotel & Casino is a winner in our book, which is why the Winner’s Circle is located on our property. You will enjoy attentive service that is as fantastic as the food is at the Winner’s Circle. No visit to our location is complete without at least one meal in this award-winning restaurant. Make your reservation now!