The number one excuse that every person uses of why they don’t work out or eat healthy is because they do not have enough time. I agree that we are busier than we ever have been in society, but being busy should not be an excuse of why we don’t take care of ourselves. I’m not encouraging everyone to be selfish or irresponsible, but I do believe that if you don’t take care of yourself now, you won’t be able to care for your family or work as well as you want to because of physical problems.
Eating fast foods and not eating enough fruits and vegetables can really damage your body and cause you to gain weight, which can lead, to high blood pressure and cholesterol. The following tips are designed to help you eat well, even with a busy schedule.
1.Prepare for the week
If you plan your meals on Saturday or Sunday for the upcoming week, you will be less likely to rush to the closest fast food restaurant or make an unnutritious meal at home just because it is quick and easy. I spend a couple of hours on Sunday and go ahead and cook some meals. I’ll make 2 to 3 casseroles that have a meat and vegetable in each one and that can be left in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I also like to go ahead and either grill or broil 6 to 8 chicken breasts and put each one in a plastic container to have for lunch or dinner each day. I also steam a bag of frozen broccoli, green beans, or peas and divide into containers. There are also protein bars and shakes that are easy to grab if you are in a rush.
2. Eat smaller meals all day
Instead of having 3 large meals and waiting 6 hours in between each meal try having 4 to 6 mini meals a day. If you wait 6 hours before eating dinner, more than likely you will be starving and want the first thing you can get your hands on. Having smaller and more frequent meals, you will be less hungry and not feel the need to stuff yourself with chips, cookies, and ice cream. Also add a protein shake to your diet as a meal replacement, just make sure to look at the sugar and fat content before you buy.
3. Buy frozen foods or other non-perishable foods
Frozen fruits, packaged veggies, etc.. are great examples of healthy frozen foods that can be ready in 5 minutes in the microwave. Although fresh produce is the best, frozen is an acceptable alternative especially with our busy lives. However, be careful of the sodium content. Some are extremely high so check out how much salt is in a serving before you purchase. Cans of hearty bean soup, tuna, and chicken are other great examples and with the tuna and chicken you can prepare a big bowl of tuna or chicken salad that is perfect for lunch.
4. Try healthy take out foods
Most restaurants will prepare take out foods that you can pick up before you go home after work. I recommend ordering a salad or a vegetable plate since most restaurants cook their meals in lots of oil and fat. Grocery stores also have good healthy foods in their deli section, but be careful with some of the fried and soaked in fat vegetables.
5. Keep lots of healthy foods around the house and in the office
If food is sitting right there before you, you more than likely will eat it. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. Keep baby carrots, tomatoes, apples, grapes, and strawberries stocked in your refrigerator and stop buying junk food. Even if your children complain about it, they are better off not having it. Your kids will develop positive and negative habits that they learn growing up from their parents. If you constantly eat at fast food restaurants and have lots of junk food around the house, they will continue the same patterns and could risk becoming overweight and unhealthy.
I hope that you will take some of these suggestions to heart and begin making smart choices for you and your family. “No Time” is no excuse for making bad choices when there are so many healthy food choices out there. Take care of yourself and don’t let your work, school, or family keep you away from making your health a number one priority.
Mary Wannall is the owner of Real Life Fitness and nationally certified fitness coach.
She can be reached at 404-940-8085