It often seems that our hectic lives leave us no time to take care of certain important matters.
One such matter is our diet, which we most commonly leave to chance, taking for granted our well-being and risking severe health consequences.
A donut and a cup of coffee might keep us going until lunchtime, and a slice of pizza might be a decent meal – but if you keep relying on fast food or take-out as your preferred food choices, it is going to take its toll on your health.
Just some goodwill, planning, and a bit of discipline.
1. Preparation is the Key
Eating healthy requires mindfulness about what’s on your plate. If you want to minimize the risk of grabbing a bag of chips or a muffin when you’re hungry, the best possible approach is to have your meals planned, at least for the day ahead.
Find a time during your weekend to think of healthy meals you would enjoy consuming during the week, and stock the fridge with the ingredients you need to prepare them. There are many recipes for simple healthy meals that you can quickly prepare during the week, so find the ones that would satisfy your taste buds.
It’s even easier if you pre-cook your proteins and grains and pre-chop vegetables and keep them refrigerated in air-tight containers during the weekend.
You can also freeze smoothie bags with your favorite fruits, and just throw them in the blender when you’re in a rush.
Ensure you’re getting every nutrient to keep your body and your brain healthy, and if you find that your intake of certain nutrients is low, include more of the food that contains them, or talk to your doctor about taking supplements.
Having a healthy meal during a hustling week doesn’t have to be complicated at all with a good plan.
2. A Simple Breakfast Should Be Your Priority
To push through the busy day, your body needs energy in the morning. Even if you’re following an intermittent fasting plan, which are so popular these days, make sure it includes breakfast, and finish eating earlier.
To make things simpler, think of your favorite morning options that are easy to make. Smoothie made with coconut water or probiotic-packed Greek yogurt with some fruit, vegetables, and seeds of your liking, with no sugar added, will ensure you start your day on the right foot and feel energized.
An additional step in the healthy direction would be adding eight ounces of hot lemon water early in the morning to rejuvenate your system, aid digestion, and give your immune system a boost with vitamin C.
3. Always Keep Healthy Snacks Close
Most of us are used to snacking throughout the day. Sometimes we snack because we’re hungry, but more often than not, we snack because we’re stressed, bored or procrastinating, or the food is simply available.
However, even though it has a bad reputation, not every kind of snack will have adverse effects on your health. Snacks can be an important part of your diet – they might give you energy during the day or when you exercise, and they can decrease your hunger and stop you from overeating when diner time comes.
Always have healthy snack choices ready and packed, within your reach. Whole-grain crackers, mix nuts, nut butter, fresh or dried fruit, pre-cut veggies, cheese – it’s important to have them stocked to become the most obvious snack choice.
A useful tip: when you’re snacking, you can easily lose track of how much you eat. Pre-portion your nuts or any other snacks so that you’re not tempted to overeat.
4. Go For Lighter Options When Eating Out
When you don’t have time to prepare your food, or you’re spending the day out, so you have to eat out, try to choose lighter meal options.
A calorie-rich lunch during a busy day or a take-out meal can be very tempting but are related to numerous health risks. Opt for a simple salad whenever you can, and ask for the dressing on the side to control your portion.
Ordering two small appetizers, or an appetizer and a small dish, can also be a great way to add variety to your nutrition while saving some calories.
The way you hydrate your body is also a crucial part of your diet, as water delivers nutrients to your cells and keeps your organs working properly. Experts recommend 16 cups of water daily for an average man, and 11 cups for an average woman.
To ensure you hydrate your body well, make a habit of always carrying a medium-sized water bottle with you, and refill it throughout the day. This way, you will also avoid mistaking your thirst for hunger.
If you’re eating out, stay away from sugary drinks, such as soda or juice. If you want to treat yourself to an alcoholic beverage every once in a while, a glass of wine will do.
It might take a while to adopt these habits, so don’t be hard on yourself if you succumb to the old ways from time to time. Don’t give up on your choice to change to a healthier lifestyle, and your body will be thankful.
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both
thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.