How To Eat Healthy While Staying In A Hotel | 2022
Need some advice on how to eat healthy while staying in a hotel?
Traveling has many positive benefits like seeing beautiful places, meeting new people, and creating incredible memories. However, there is no denying that being away from home messes with your routine, including the healthy diet you have worked so hard to create.
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But being on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat fast food or high-calorie restaurant meals every day. Instead, if you know how to eat healthy while staying in a hotel, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle and fuel yourself with nutritious food for the long days of exploring.
As a frequent traveler who tries to eat “clean” as much as possible, here are my top tips for eating healthy in a hotel room.
Look For A Room With A Kitchen
One of the easiest ways to eat healthy in a hotel room is to book a room or apartment with a kitchen. Nowadays, it’s not hard to find an affordable room with at least a small kitchenette, including a sink, microwave, stovetop, and small fridge/freezer.
However, cooking in a hotel room without a kitchen is possible, too. A microwave and small fridge with a freezer compartment are sufficient for making a handful of reasonably nutritious dishes. Here are a few ideas:
- Oatmeal with honey and fruits.
- Microwaveable rice with frozen veggies and pre-cooked chicken.
- Breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs (yes, you can cook eggs in a microwave), canned beans and sweetcorn, and salsa.
Most hotel rooms with cooking facilities or microwaves lack utensils. So if there is something you need, such as a can opener or spatula, ask reception if they have a spare one.
If you cannot source one, see if there is a dollar shop nearby where you can pick one up for cheap.
An alternative to having a room with cooking facilities is choosing a hotel with a shared kitchen. Usually, you will find these in hostels or inns aimed at long-stay travelers rather than classy, 5-star hotels.
What’s good about shared kitchens is that many have a “free-to-use” shelf or cupboard with essential ingredients like spices, oils, and condiments. So, you can save on buying a whole bottle of expensive oil that you will only use a small amount of.
Moreover, if you have leftover food items when you leave, you can add them to the “help yourself” shelf, minimizing food waste.
When searching for a hotel, check out the restaurant and room-service menus on their website to see if they have any healthy options. If you cannot find their menu online, give the hotel a call, as they will happily email it to you.
If you count calories or macros, you can also ask if they have nutritional information available for their dishes. Some hotels may also be happy to create you a custom meal plan for a fixed price if you give them plenty of notice.
If they agree, you can simply tell them your dietary needs and how many meals a day you would like. Yes, it is not the cheapest way of eating healthy in a hotel room, but it is the most convenient.
In addition, it will free up your time, allowing you to enjoy your destination without worrying about what you will eat later.
Take Advantage Of The Breakfast Buffet
If your room rate includes free access to the breakfast buffet, you may be tempted to give it a miss, worrying the temptation will be too much. However, with a bit of willpower, you can fill your belly with healthy food to keep you full until the afternoon.
How much nutritious food you’ll find at the buffet will depend on the specific hotel. Still, you’ll find plenty of fresh fruit and a decent salad bar in most cases.
Don’t avoid the bread station, as you’ll usually find whole-wheat bread, and if there is an egg station where they cook eggs to order, you can get your eggs cooked in an oil-free way like boiled or poached. Some people like to take advantage of a hotel breakfast buffet even more by taking some food away to eat later in the day.
If your hotel does not have a policy against this, why not fill a resealable plastic bag with fresh fruit or grab a few bananas? This way, you’ll have healthy food to snack on later in the day.
Use Items From The Hotel Restaurant
Suppose your hotel does not have a shared kitchen with food items for use. In this case, how can you avoid buying ingredients you’ll need for cooking in a hotel room?
The hotel’s restaurant can be great for sourcing small amounts of food items you may need. If you’re getting the breakfast buffet during your stay, look for things you may need for cooking your lunch and dinner.
I’m not suggesting stealing a loaf of bread or filling your bag with yogurt pots. Instead, things like salt and pepper sachets or small packets of honey and butter can be handy, preventing you from having to buy them in a bigger size.
Moreover, if your hotel room lacks cutlery, take a few plastic sets of cutlery and napkins from the restaurant. You can also ask the hotel reception. Some hotels can provide small items when needed.
Research Nearby Grocery Stores
If you want to stay healthy while traveling, part of your trip planning should be to locate the nearest grocery stores to your hotel. Opt to stay somewhere with a good-sized grocery store within a short walking distance.
If you have to get a train, bus, or taxi to the nearest store, you’ll be much more likely to give in to the temptation of a takeaway. But if you are staying somewhere remote with no grocery stores close by, find out how you can travel to the nearest town.
Then, plan a one-off trip there once you arrive, so you can stock up on everything you need to cook some healthy meals.
Pack Healthy Snacks
If you tend to snack more while traveling, plan ahead to avoid falling prey to high-fat, sugary snacks. If you’re only away for a short time, you can easily bring plenty of healthy packaged snacks to last your trip.
Choose nuts, dried fruits, energy balls, and low-sugar granola bars. If you are staying somewhere long term and thus, cannot bring enough snacks for your trip duration, get familiar with where the nearest stores are to top up your healthy snack supply.
Of course, if you’re traveling in a different country where the stores are unfamiliar, this is much more difficult. However, you can still research the nearby stores and check on their “shop online” website to see what healthy snacks they sell.
Whenever you go out, make sure you have a few non-perishable snacks in your day pack to munch on and keep your hunger at bay.
Final Thoughts On Eating Healthy In A Hotel Room
Traveling is when many people slip up on their diets and healthy routines. Just one bad meal can be enough to completely throw you off track.
However, if you know how to eat healthy while staying in a hotel, you can research and prepare beforehand. This way, you will be much more likely to eat well and enjoy your trip without the constant worry of what to eat!
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