How do you maintain your diet on the road?

Health Lifestyle MBB
New answer on May 19, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 17, 2020

Hi all,

I will be starting as as a BA/Associate at MBB soon. Just wondering if you guys have any tips for maintaining a healthy diet on the road? I am practicing intermitten fasting (eating between 12 PM - 8 PM), but not sure it will be realistic to keep up given the potential unpredictability of the job.

Thanks,

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Anrian
Expert
replied on Apr 17, 2020
Ex Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)

Hi There,

Congrats!

Having a special diet should not be a problem. On your first day, you will need to inform your PL/EM/Manager and your team about your diet.

In McKinsey, we have a "team norm" that will govern and accomodate the team's special needs, diet and arrangement. The team norm is always created on the first day of the project, initiated by EM.

I am sure other MBB firms should have similar stuff.

Hope this helps!

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Anonymous replied on Apr 17, 2020

Hi,

Depending on your project location, there could be a big difference in how easy you can get access to the type of food you want. If you client is in the city then usually this is not a problem, just your choice might be limited.

My suggestion would be to always keep some healthy snack in your bag. One thing that is hard to predict is how much time and when you can get a break to lunch or dinner. Some snacks can at least keep you going for a while before you got a chance to get food.

All the best,

Emily

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats on that offer!

There is a popular legend that you gain 7kg/year you work in the firm.

Indeed, you need to be super careful for couple of resons:

  • You work a lot, and if you are in the office at 9pm foreseeing you need another 4-5h that night, pizza is the only thing your body asks for
  • Delicious (and free) food is being offered a lot

However, if you take care of it, it does not affect you. You can always pick healthy chances.

More problematic is the not having time to going to gym.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Vlad
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I don't see any issue with the team since you can always discuss it in advance.

However, some locations do not really have healthy food options. But this is usually mining, etc

Best

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Apr 17, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Agree with the others. This is not really a problem related to the work schedule, but more to the location and logistics. If you have access to healthy food options near the client location, then you will be fine.

That being said - you might find it challenging in terms of self discipline to opt for healthy options instead of just grabbing random snacks in the team room. ;)

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on May 19, 2020

Hey A,

This is really nice question! I can assure you that you will not be able to keep with your form in a BA position. You have basically 2 options - either to gain weight or to lose it. In my times I tended for weight loss it, because I ate irregularly in the first 3 years of my consulting career. And I also tried to do at least some sports - in the morning or late night.

Hope, it helps.

If you need any other tips for starting in consulting, feel free to reach out.


André

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it is hard but you can do it. It will be important to clarify it with your managers in day 1 of engagements during the team norms. When possible the tendency of the firms is to facilitate these lifestyle requests to make sustainable the life in consulting

Best,

Antonello

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Great question!

The truth is it is not easy to do all the time. The easiest to maintain a healthy diet is if you are staffed in a city/urban area with many options. MBB gives a reasonably generous food allowance and ordering healthy should not be an issue in this case.

If you are staffed in an area with limited access to healthy food - I suggest taking as many meals with you from home that you can (using a meal prep service in your city for example which is what i did a couple of times) to your client site and using the hotel microwave or client office microwave to heat these up.

In both cases the reality is working long hours affects your brain chemistry and you often want to eat unhealthy and at odd hours. I hope you manage to not succumb to these cravings!

All the best and congratulations

Udayan

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Thomas
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
150+ interviews | 6+ years experience | Bain, Kearney & Accenture | Exited startup| London Business School

In the first few months of joining it required adjusting. The hours, travel, and availability of free food make it easy to go for the unhealthy options. You will also find that most people around you tend to eat unhealthily. Having said that, once you have adjusted there is one major challenge that remains; self-discipline. Once you have had short nights, your body is in need of fast energy and you will be in the mood for burgers and pizza; somehow you need to resist this.

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Anrian gave the best answer

Anrian

Ex Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)
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