8 easy ways to eat healthy when you’re busy AF
One of the biggest excuses that I hear is "I don't have time" to eat healthy. I know that when I started my health and fitness journey in my late 20's I just assumed that I didn't have time to cook my meals, and instead I was just reaching for unhealthy options that would be loaded with sugar and have my energy dragging. I was also spending a LOT of money eating out and on the go.
When I finally bite the bullet and started to eat healthy and meal prep, I found shortcuts that worked well with my schedule of working in corporate america. Here are my 8 tips on how to make it work when you are busy AF.
Plan out your week when it comes to eating.
Every Sunday night I take a look at my schedule for the next 7 days so I know what to anticipate. This includes any work lunches, work happy hours, plans with friends or family, etc. It’s OK to eat the pizza lunch at work, go out to dinner with friends or go to happy hour! But on those days I make sure all the other meals I am in control of are HEALTHY. It’s really easy to let an entire day turn unhealthy because of one meal.
Meal prep at least once a week.
It can be Sunday, Monday, even Friday. Just pick one day a week that you bulk-prep some food for work days that is easy to grab-and-go in the mornings. I tend to meal prep my Lunches, Dinner proteins and snacks. Breakfast is easy for me (a superfood shake with fruit that I drink on my commute) and I love to cook veggies fresh each evening so they don’t get soggy.
Cook double or triple batch meals.
If you are OK with leftovers, use that to your advantage! I don’t mind eating the same 2 lunches 2x a week, and then allowing myself to eat out once. Same with dinners, we will reheat bulk dinner because it’s a lot less time to prep something brand new every evening!
If leftovers aren’t your thing, or you get bored easily eating the same thing a few times a week, I’d suggest you instead use the same base proteins throughout the week and research recipe variations.
Don’t keep junk food in your house.
You can’t be tempted if it’s not in front of you. I don’t buy treats for our pantry because even when I’m craving it, I probably won’t be that motivated to drive to the store to buy it. If you have a spouse or kiddos in the house, try to talk to them about having healthier options in the house – and only going out for treats.
Have healthy snacks at work.
I don’t know about you, but my workout has a ton of junk food all over the place. Brownies, pizza, vending machines…the world is my oyster, ha. I do my best not to stack at work by packing my snacks daily, or have dry-snacks in my desk drawers (like BeachBars, rice cakes with peanut butter or pre-made nuts mixes).
Don’t skip breakfast.
Your mom told you this for years, there are studies about it all over the place – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I can say from my experience that when I eat a healthy breakfast, I feel better throughout the day. I’m not as ravenous by lunch…it just sets the tone right.
Allow yourself to have treats – just don’t overdo it.
I am a firm believer in living a BALANCED lifestyle. I have tried diets where I have to give everything I love up….and I would get frustrated and binge after a week or so. I’ve also tried really “flex” diets where you could make pizza or ice cream fit within your calorie points and I didn’t lose weight (I wonder why). I now follow an 80/20 rule when it comes to being healthy and having treats. It’s treat meals instead of treat days. And I have to earn it --- it’s not automatic every weekend.
Not coffee. Not tea. Not sodas. No le cruix – straight up WATER. It’s a basic necessity that a lot of us skip out on or say we are too busy to keep up with. My rule of thumb is to drink half my body weight in ounces of water daily. Some tips to make it easier – set water timers on your phone, add fresh fruit, try to chug a glass right when you wake up or have a meal.
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