Dealing with Dietary Restrictions on business trips

Written by Reace

February 14, 2024

Dealing With Dietary Restrictions On Business Trips

Business trips can be very enjoyable and rewarding and are a great way to expand your network, learn new skills, and explore new places. However, they can also create challenges for your health and well-being, specifically if you have dietary restrictions or preferences that may not be easily accessible in your destination.

If you are vegan, gluten-free, allergic to nuts, or just want to eat more fruits and vegetables, you may find it very hard to stick to your diet while on a business trip.

In this blog, we will look at effective strategies for dealing with dietary restrictions on business trips:

If you follow these strategies, you can still have an enjoyable trip without compromising your health or happiness.

Communicate Your Dietary Restrictions Effectively

Although it can be tricky it’s very important to effectively communicate your dietary restrictions to your hosts, clients, or colleagues. 

Before you start your journey ensure you let them know what your dietary restrictions are as this will give them enough time to prepare and accommodate your needs. This will also make sure any awkward situations or misunderstandings are avoided. 

It’s also beneficial for everyone to explain why you have dietary restrictions and what they include, whether it’s for health, religion, or personal reasons. Make sure you are friendly, but firm when explaining your dietary restrictions and avoid being judgmental or defensive. Also, express your gratitude for their hospitality and readiness to help.

If you do not speak the language of the destination you are going to, make sure to learn how to explain and communicate your dietary restrictions in the local language. Otherwise, make use of online resources or apps that can help you translate and communicate your needs effectively. Another way to make sure you can communicate your dietary restrictions is by asking someone who speaks the language to record the translated version so you can play it back when you need to. 

For formal events or large gatherings, you can offer to bring your own food or pay the extra cost for food that suits your dietary needs. This will ensure you have something suitable to eat but also show your respect and appreciation for the hosts. When going out you can make suggestions of restaurants that cater for your needs as well as offer food suitable for your colleagues or clients. 


How to Cope with Factors That Can Affect Your Appetite & Metabolism

The process of converting your food into energy for your body is called Metabolism. For certain dietary restrictions, it’s important to keep your metabolism up as it can help maintain a healthy weight. When travelling there are some factors like Jet lag, stress and fatigue that can affect your appetite as well as your metabolism. 

Having a balanced metabolism is important for your immune system and can help you fight infections. Although extreme calorie restriction can impair immune function a moderate calorie restriction can better your metabolism and extend your lifespan while reducing the risk of age-related disease.

Here are some tips to help you cope with factors that can affect your appetite and metabolism:

  • To avoid dehydration make sure you drink lots of water before, during, and after your flight. Dehydration, can worsen jet lag symptoms and make you feel hungry or tired.
  • Before a flight try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as this can dehydrate you and affect your sleep, which can then affect your appetite and metabolism.
  • Expose yourself to natural light where possible. Also try to exercise, eat, and sleep according to the local time of your destination. This will help to reset your circadian rhythm and lessen jet lag.
  • Avoid napping during the day, as this can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night and delay your adaptation to the new time zone.
  • Eat small, balanced meals that include protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

Avoid Common Meal Mistakes

Business travellers tend to make some common meal mistakes that should be avoided. These meal mistakes include skipping breakfast, overeating or consuming too much alcohol. 

Let’s look at some ways to avoid these meal mistakes: 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so make sure you don’t skip it. Breakfast provides you with energy, nutrients, and fullness. Skipping this important meal can lead to hunger, cravings, and overeating later in the day. Choosing a healthy breakfast is also important. A healthy breakfast should be high in protein and fibre such as eggs, oatmeal, or yoghurt with nuts and fruits.

Be conscious of your portion sizes. It’s very easy to overeat when you dine out as you may be served large portions or have access to buffets. Make sure you are aware of this and try not to overeat. 

Limit your alcohol consumption as alcohol adds extra calories, dehydrates you, disrupts your sleep, and impairs your judgment. You can limit this by drinking water or soda water between alcoholic drinks, as well as choosing drinks with fewer calories like wine or light beer or avoiding drinking entirely.


Choose Healthy Foods

Choosing healthy foods can be difficult while travelling so we put together a few tips on how to choose healthy foods and various places while on your journey:

At the Airport

As much as possible avoid packaged and processed foods, foods that have been fried, sugary drinks and oversized portions. Rather look for fresh fruits, yoghurt, soup, or salads as snacks or light meals. 

At Your Hotel

Make sure your breakfasts are high in protein and fibre, such as eggs, oatmeal, or yoghurt with nuts and fruits and avoid pastries, muffins, or cereals that are high in sugar and refined carbs. If you have a mini-fridge or a microwave in your hotel, you could also bring your own healthy snacks or meals.

At Restaurants

At a restaurant look for options that say they have been grilled, steamed, baked or roasted rather than options that say fried or sauteed. You should also request sauces and dressings on the side, and be sure to limit your intake of salt, sugar, and fat.

When dishing up your own food at a buffet make sure to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with whole grains. Also avoid starters, desserts, or alcoholic drinks that can add extra calories.

Dealing With Dietary Restrictions On Business Trips

Keep Up with Exercising

Staying on top of your exercise routine while on a business trip can be difficult but is doable. 

If you do not have access to a gym, walking as much as you can will ensure you get the needed exercise. If possible try to walk to your meetings, around the airport, or while sightseeing.

Booking a hotel that has a gym or a pool can also help you to keep up with your exercising, otherwise, you can even use day passes at local gyms to access equipment and classes.

You can also keep up with your exercise by creating a bodyweight exercise routine that can be done in your hotel room or outside. 


Apps That Can Help You Track Diet & Exercise Goals While on the Road

Many apps can help you track your exercise goals as well as your eating while travelling. 

Look for apps that can track calories, macros, nutrients, water intake and weight. Using running apps can help you track the distance, pace, time and elevation of your exercise routine. Some apps give you access to live and on-demand workouts. These workouts cover cycling, running, strength training, meditation, yoga and many more. ensuring there is something for everyone and allowing you to stay on track with your exercise routine no matter where you are. 

In conclusion, keeping to your dietary restrictions while travelling for business can be difficult but isn’t impossible. If you communicate well, eat healthy food, drink lots of water and stay on track with your exercise routine it’s possible to keep to your restrictions and still enjoy your trip. 



Corporate travel management is an essential aspect of many businesses and can assist with many different aspects of business travel including dietary restrictions on business trips. 

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