Former Emirates cabin crew Shane Seery transformed his body and became a fitness coach after realizing his high-flying lifestyle had left him drained. Now he’s passing on his top tips for eating well on the go for livehealthy.ae readers. Hint: you don’t have to eat the airplane food.
1) Eat intuitively
Don’t eat because you’re bored or because food is presented to you. Eat when you are actually hungry! I know this is easier said than done but I used to see it all the time on flights in particular — people forcing down the in-flight meals even though they didn’t really want it. There’s no rule that says you have to eat it just because it is put in front of you. Just say no. And if you just want something small maybe take one of the crackers and cheese. But don’t consume the whole lot. If you are not hungry when you wake up, you don’t need breakfast. If you can go without breakfast, by all means do. This will give you more calories to play around with later in the day when you are actually hungry.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for a healthier alternative
I went to an Indian restaurant recently and when I ordered just said to the waiter: “I try and maintain a healthy lifestyle and work in a gym, so, can you please just ask the chef — if he doesn’t mind — to use no ghee and as little oil as possible in our food?” The food came out and it was fantastic – the rice in the biryani was flaky and there was no oil, no grease. You could also try to order chapatti instead of naan as it’s a wholewheat base. If you’re ordering a burger, you can always swap the extra calories in the fries for steamed veggies. When requesting steamed veggies, ask for them to be steamed in water and not butter. Healthier again. It’s always worth asking the question.
3) Always think of the bigger picture
No one is perfect and most people will ‘cheat’ on their diet, so to speak at some point. If that happens, don’t wake up the next day crying about it, just get on with your life. You can always make up for it. People always want to look at their weight daily on the scales too but weight loss isn’t linear so you shouldn’t get demotivated by fluctuations. Focus on how you feel in terms of your health. If you focus on your health, you will feel good. Feeling good will ooze confidence, and confidence will automatically make you look good. So always remember, health first and aesthetics will follow.
4) Focus on nutrition
What’s important? What’s not? The current research is heavily weighted to the following hierarchy of nutritional importance:
-Energy balance (caloric intake)
-Macronutrients in food (proteins, fats and carbohydrates)
-Micronutrients in food (vitamins and minerals)
-Nutrient timing (when we should eat)
With the above in mind, the quantity of food you consume should be number one priority, with supplements being the least. Everything else in between follows your energy balance. Like I said, there is no magic formula.
Featured photo Shutterstock
Mark is a Dubai-based writer who has couch-surfed through Ukraine, broken bread with football fans in Basra, and appeared on a boxing reality TV show in the UAE – all in pursuit of a good story. Or at least an average anecdote.