Does this person look familiar to you?
Do you find yourself juggling numerous tasks that life throws your way??
It seems as though life is moving at light speed and we are expected to keep up. Along with juggling these responsibilities of everyday life, everywhere you look you are being inundated with magazines, newspapers and articles telling you how important it is to “eat a healthy diet!” While you are closing a deal on your cell phone, emailing your boss AND picking up your dry cleaning - ALL at the same time – eating “healthy” can often be the LAST thing on your mind. The problem is that with busy schedules rising and “fast” foods so readily available, eating healthy is not often convenient. Even going out to a restaurant can be troublesome. Some menus are super long with lots of options (stressful!!) or super short with only a few options (are there ANY healthy options on there??) Often we find ourselves living in “I don’t have enough TIME to eat healthy!” mode. And if you are anything like me, not knowing what your next meal will be or where it will come from often causes a little bit of……well….…stress!
Here are 5 Quick Tips that I have found to help alleviate some of those stresses:
- Prepare Meals in Advance: I have found this to be one of the most successful, if not THE most successful way to eating healthy, losing weight and staying lean. Preparing meals in advance can also help you keep more money in your pocket! I’m not gonna lie though, it is going to take a bit of work on your part, and believe me when I say – it’s worth it.
Here is what I do: Every Sunday evening, I take two (2) hours to prepare all of my meals for the entire week. First, I cook all of my proteins (chicken, ground turkey, fish) and all of my veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans). I combine them together and place them into Tupperware containers to make 5 lunches for the week! Now when I wake up each morning, there is no stress as to what I will eat each day – I already know AND I can quickly grab and go!
Next, I put together all of my snacks (this part is easy – see Tip #3).
Last, but certainly not least, I make the most important meal of the day (drum roll please………..) - Yup, I even make my breakfast meals for the week! I definitely do not have enough TIME in the morning to spend preparing a hearty meal, so I make these in advance as well. For a super easy and portable breakfast option, click here!
With all your meals ready and waiting for you – stress is out the door and healthy, non-processed foods are in your belly!
- Have a Plan When Eating Out: Preparing meals in advance is all fine and dandy, but what about “eating out?” Do you find yourself going out to lunch every day? Or maybe you are frequently entertaining clients? Don’t worry – you are in luck! Many restaurants have caught on and are very conscious to the fact that we are trying to eat healthier, so they are offering great options on their menu.
Things to look for: proteins, veggies, and salads. These sources are going to drive and maintain your energy up to finish the day.
Things to stay away from: sandwiches with lots of bread, French fries, and soda pop. These sources are going to DRAIN your energy because your body has to work harder to digest them.
- Carry Snacks: Some people are hesitant to add snacks to their routine in fear of adding additional, and/or unnecessary, calories. But actually snacks have been proven to help regulate hunger, aid in weight loss and even increase your focus. Have you ever found yourself, right around 3:30pm, feeling like Frankenstein?! You know what I mean – wandering around the office or your house, arms out in front of you and a blank stare on your face?! Somehow you find your Frankenstein-like self standing in front of the vending machine or cupboards, drooling over…….chocolate! Snickers! Hershey’s! Anything to get you that extra kick and through the last part of the day!! Convenient? Yes! Healthy? Not necessarily! That’s why it’s so important to carry snacks and not allow your body to get to that Frankenstein point. Some of my favorite (easy) snacks include: apples and almonds, banana and peanut butter, cottage cheese and mandarin oranges, greek yogurt and blueberries, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs.
Take just a couple extra minutes putting these quick snacks together and Frankenstein will cease to exist!
- Download an App: I know, I know – I’m not a fan of keeping a food journal either! The nice part about downloading a nutrition and/or calorie counting app is that you can quickly see how much you are eating. Many times we tend to under estimate our calorie consumption, leading us to feel sluggish and carry around unwanted weight. Not only can you record what you are eating (if you want), but having an app on your phone makes it quick and easy to see how many calories it is – either when you are out to eat or even at home, too!
My favorite app is FatSecret, but I also really like MyFitnessPal and CalorieKing.
- Buddy Up! Find someone who has similar goals - someone who wants to get and be healthy with you! Having a buddy system allows you to share nutrition articles and new recipes with each other! It’s easier to get motivated when you know someone is holding you accountable! One of the most important benefits of having a buddy is talking about your challenges. We often don’t realize that the obstacles we face when it comes to diet, nutrition and healthy eating are the exact same challenges others face, too! The nice part about being human is that everyone is different; therefore, everyone handles these same obstacles in a different way. When implementing a buddy system, it is a nice relief to know you don’t have to have all the answers and you are there to motivate each other to success.
Too much too fast?! Don’t worry - even if you start implementing ONE of these tips today, you will be on your way to eating and maintaining a healthy diet! No, it is not easy. And it will take a little work. But YES, it will be worth it. And I can guarantee, the people around you will start to see a difference in YOU and start asking YOU for advice!