The Low-Carb Traveler

When you're on your own turf, it's always easier to stick to your routine, whether it's when you get up, when you go to bed, when you exercise and, of course, what, where and when you eat. If you travel for business and/or pleasure, your usual patterns may be disrupted by a time zone changes, a schedule you don't control or countless other factors. Fortunately, your commitment to eating the Atkins way needn't be disrupted if you follow our suggestions for a smooth trip.

On the Way

  • Whether you're driving, flying or taking a train, bring suitable food.
  • Alternatively, check ahead of time to ensure that low-carb choices are available.
  • A good option at an airport is to visit a salad bar and pile up the greens and top them with slices of chicken or another protein source.
  • Bring bottled water, club soda, unsweetened tea, coffee or herb tea if you're driving or “training" it, or request it on the plane.
  • Atkins bars and shakes make great snacks—just don't try to carry a shake on a plane. (You'll have to ditch it to get through security.)
  • For more travel-worthy snacks, see Eating Low Carb on the Road.

Dining In and Out

  • If you order from room service, specify what you don't want—no toast with your eggs and no rolls with your dinner order—as well as what you do want.
  • Have the server remove any “offending" items on the room service cart that do make their way into your room.
  • As soon as you're done, put the tray outside the door so you don't wind up grazing hours later.
  • Resist the impulse to check out the contents of the room's bar refrigerator. Other than bottled water, which you can get less expensively elsewhere, it's a minefield studded with sugary and starchy snacks.
  • If you think you may give in to temptation, decline the key to the fridge or return it to the reception desk.
  • For advice on eating in restaurants, see Eat Out Without Blowing It.
  • For advice on alcohol consumption, see To Your Health—in Moderation.

Culinary Hot Spots

What about when you're visiting a dining mecca? After all, it would be a shame to go to New Orleans, San Francisco or New York and not sample some of the local delicacies.

  • To enjoy the cuisine without overdoing it, have eggs or a low-carb shake for breakfast and a salad with protein for lunch. That should leave a bit of a margin to enjoy the local specialty—in moderation, of course.
  • Explore the range of local foods. The seafood in San Francisco and New Orleans is justly famous. Chose a local specialty that's prepared without breading or starchy sauces.

Keep Moving

  • If you're on vacation and sightseeing or engaging in activities like hiking, swimming, skiing or windsurfing, chances are you're getting plenty of exercise.
  • If you're spending most of your waking hours in a conference room or driving from one appointment to another, you'll probably want to find a way to get in some physical activity.
  • Many hotels have a fitness center; if not, you can always bring your walking shoes and get out and explore the surroundings.

Bottom line: enjoy yourself but stick with your routine as much as possible. There are so many delicious choices on Atkins that there's no need to take a vacation from your low-carb lifesty