Does a busy schedule get in a way of your healthy eating routine? Do you find yourself getting take out or fast food on the go, due to a lack of time? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us! I think many folks can relate to having a crazy schedule filled with family, kids, work, commute, social engagements, school and many other life events…
Though eating healthy doesn’t necessarily come easy, there are some practical ways and strategies you can implement to improve your eating habits, even with a hectic-as-heck schedule! Check them out:
Meal planning is a great way to save you some time and get in a habit of thinking ahead about what you’re going to put in your mouth. You can take out your calendar and think about what you want to eat for dinner Monday – Friday, and write it out! It doesn’t have to be very specific or overcomplicated but making an outline of a simple menu for 5 days out of the week can be very helpful so that you’re not scrambling for ideas on what to eat last minute and end up ordering pizza. Try it out and make it a theme! Here’s some ideas: Monday – Grill day, Tuesday – Taco night, Wednesday – Stir Fry, Thursday – Salad, Friday – Casserole. If you know you have a party or a dinner out coming up, don’t worry about that day and skip ahead. Try it out and plan in advance! You can switch up the themes week to week or stick to a similar pattern that will get you in a habit of making your favorite dishes!
Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk is a great idea especially if you’re planning on having some healthy sides with your meal. For example, if you’re trying to eat more veggies you can bulk steam some cauliflower/broccoli/carrots, keep them in a meal prep container and heat them up with your dinner! Or make a large salad, put it in the fridge and have it as a side with your favorite dish. In addition to the convenience of having a large amount of food already prepared, cooking in bulk can be a huge time saver and make it easy to eat healthy for those with little time to spare.
Choose a Healthy Restaurant/Lunch Spot
If you’re ALWAYS on the go, traveling or just simply did NOT have time to meal prep, it’s a good idea to spend some time browsing the next restaurant you’re going to pick. If you’re getting take out for lunch, look to see if the place has healthy options such as salads, wraps, etc. If you’re going out to dinner, make sure you can order some veggies as a side, and watch your portions. If you didn’t pack breakfast, find a healthy smoothie place that offers protein as an add-in, instead of a buying a sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. You can still enjoy yourself while eating out, but being mindful and scoping the places out in advance will ensure you’re staying on track with your dietary plan and goals.
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Why is this important for busy folks? Because when you have a hectic schedule and sit down to eat, it is easy to engage in a different task and scarf down the food in front of you. How many times have you eaten lunch in front of your computer at a work desk? (Raising my hand right HERE!) The idea here is to chew slowly, actually taste the food you’re eating, and taking some time to digest the food so that your brain knows you’re full. Many times, if you eat too rapidly, your stomach won’t have the time to signal your brain that you’re full, so you end up eating more. A great way to ensure you’re eating slower is to record the amount of time you take to eat your meals and add an additional 10 minutes to each one next time. Remember, slow and steady wins the race 😉
So, there you have it… a few simple ways to get you in a habit of eating healthy with a crazy, busy schedule! Try it out and let us know what worked for you! If you have any questions about nutrition, want to improve your eating and feel FAN-tastic, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to one of our coaches here at the studio. Cheerio!