It can be a real challenge for busy people to eat healthy and nutritious meals. There is, of course, the time issue. It just seems there is not enough time in the day for shopping, preparation, and cooking. This means that busy people often eat ready-made meals, which are high in fat, salt, and sugar content. Then there is the fact that very often, busy people will eat out more often, especially at fast food establishments. This means eating foods that lack the nutrients the body needs.
It is possible, though, for very busy people to eat healthier.
Did you know that eating healthier can actually make a you more productive at work? If for no other reason, this should motivate you to change your eating habits.
What are five ways that very busy people can eat healthier?
Always eat breakfast.
This is usually the most skipped meal in the day, but it is the most important meal. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight problems and diabetes.
What constitutes a great, healthy breakfast? Foods rich in fiber and protein. Fiber and protein rich foods cause you to feel fuller longer, thereby reducing the tendency to snack. Foods like quinoa, fruits, and vegetables are good choices.
Foods with high sugar content and low fiber (doughnuts and pastries) should be avoided.
As a busy person, you will be used to planning in advance to get things done. You would never think about going into an important meeting without planning would you? Eating healthy requires the same planning.
When should this be done? Of course, everyone’s schedule is different, but it should be possible to use some time in the week to plan for meals.
Weekends could be good days to use some time to prepare and plan meals. Remember to also plan your snacks, and make sure you have healthy options. For this, some sort of containers (preferably glass) are a must.
You could shop for groceries online and have them delivered to your home or workplace. Shopping this way can save a lot of time. Of course, any shopping has to take into consideration healthy foods. Choose whole grains, fresh produce, nuts, seeds, and if you eat them—fresh lean meats.
Many markets now sell healthy prepared foods. You can buy these to save cooking time and have a source of healthy food on hand. Just be sure to check the ingredient list on any prepared foods, as many times, the ingredients might include unhealthy fats, sugar(s), and additives, even if the food is marketed as “healthy” or “natural.”
A healthy body requires fluid. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you if your place of work does not have a water cooler. Drink water frequently during the day. Do not overdo the coffee intake, as it is a diuretic, which will dehydrate you. Avoid sugary drinks, like soda, and remember that fruit juices are really just sugar and are low in fiber.
Make better choices at restaurants.
When at restaurants, choose the healthy options. Many menus now have the calorie total for each meal, and this can be a good guide. If there are no calorie guides, then stick to this rule of thumb: meats should be grilled, potatoes should be boiled or baked (without the extra butter and toppings), and vegetables should be steamed. Soups are good for entrees, and for desserts, choose fresh fruit.
Take it easy with the alcohol.
Many people use alcohol to wind down after work, and it is tempting to join colleagues after work. While an occasional glass of wine will not do much harm (and some studies even show that there are health benefits), remember that alcohol is just empty calories. As well as causing dehydration (the leading cause of hangovers), the over-consumption of alcohol can also have a negative impact on health in general.
Even though you likely have a very hectic and busy work schedule, it does not mean that your health has to suffer. These five top tips for a healthier lifestyle are very easy to implement. It just takes a bit of forethought and planning. Taking care of your health will result in a more productive day’s work and a longer life…and that is so worth it!