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Why You Should Be Stricter With Your Diet When You Travel

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If you travel a lot for work, you probably find that it's tough to stick to your diet and exercise routine—or even fit into your pants. Airport delays and packed days can be super-stressful, you’re often faced with uhealthy food choices and lots of meals out, and a new study even found that jet lag can lead to extra pounds. So when it comes to keeping your meals in check on the go, there's no one better to turn to than the pros: the folks who travel for a living—and still find time for good-for-you food. We recently caught up with chef Geoffrey Zakarian—who you may know as a former judge on the Food Network's Chopped, or Iron Chef—at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival and asked him how he stays on track while traveling. Follow this top three rules below!

1. Be extra-strict about your diet. Zakarian says he’s even more disciplined on the road than at home, because there’s so much temptation (we all know how one bite of that dessert someone else ordered can turn into two, then three, then—you get the point). Zakarian tries not to eat after 5 p.m. and sticks to just breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. While that’s not practical for a lot of business travelers (client dinners and evening events aren't always things you can skip out on), having a game plan—and sticking to it—is always a good idea. For example, look over your schedule in the morning to see where and when you may have the most temptation food-wise, then work accordingly to prepare for it.

2. Skip the drinks at work events. “It’s business. When I am meeting people, I want to be sober and clearheaded,” he says. Plus, you’ll save yourself some calories.

3. Find a hotel with a great fitness center. “The minute I get there, I go to the gym,” says Zakarian. He does Pilates every day, but if a hotel doesn’t offer it, he has a backup routine. If the gym is less than awesome (or there isn’t one), get your sweat on with our Ultimate Hotel Room Workout, download the app Gymsurfing which can help you secure day passes to nearby fitness facilities, or try a no-equipment cardio workout that you can do anywhere.

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