Maintaining healthy eating habits, especially as someone with a tight schedule, has been a timeless toss-up between success and health. When you’re doing well with work, you barely have time to eat. But when you set aside time to make yourself something nutritious, you fall behind on all of your tasks.
Eating well seems easy until you realize how much time you need to set aside to make the meals; by then, wouldn’t it be so much simpler just to grab McDonald’s on the way home? Sometimes it can feel nearly impossible to stay on a good track when you’re running around from 9-5, wishing a balanced meal could just appear. Nonetheless, the pre-packaged protein bars seem so much more tempting than an actual breakfast. Yet, if you are willing to put in the work, there is a way to “have it all”. You can have a successful schedule, and eat your cake, too.
While you may have heard this a million times, buying/making your meals ahead of time is a guaranteed way to stick to a good routine. Because you may have limited free time during the week, stocking up on weekends and prepping Sunday evening will have you feeling relieved for the next 7 days. And it has more benefits than one. besides the fact that you’re creating healthy meals, you’re also saving time.
Whether you’re working at home or at the office, this now eliminates the time spent buying something to-go or making multiple trips to the snack drawer. With meal prepping, you’re saving money. By sticking to a plan, and a budget, you recognize which foods you need and which ones result in wasted calories and dollars. You learn portion control–meaning that you find the amount of food that suits you, without under or overeating. Finally, you gain the power of consistency. Like any routine, you can rely on that meal prep to organize your week, whether you’re strictly following or just using it as an outline. Regardless, making it a habit will only make it easier.
So, once a week, cook a large batch of 1-3 recipes that make you feel both happy and healthy, that are also easy to freeze. This ensures that not only will you be prepared for each meal, but you’ll also have some variety so you don’t get bored. Simply freeze them into your desired portion size and enjoy!
Block Out Time To Eat
When people find themselves in between tasks, they assume the only way to get them done is to take the time out of eating and put it toward more work. And the obvious problem with that is…you’re not eating. While it may seem sensible as an employee, you are a human first, and humans need fuel. Otherwise, skipping meals can lead to much worse problems than not meeting the deadline (like overeating at your next meal). That said, give yourself an appropriate amount of time to nourish your body and feed its cravings. After all, you can still be productive with a short lunch break (and your brain probably needs the rest, too). Allow yourself to properly enjoy your meal without the dinging of new emails or typing in between bites. As a result, you’ll be much more satisfied mentally, and your body will thank you.
Drink, Drink, Drink (Water, That Is)
Yes, this one is obvious. But even the smartest people forget to drink water regularly. This is arguably the most important habit to stay healthy. It is the clear staple to maintaining a balanced relationship with food. Without water, your body struggles to function; not only do you need it to stay hydrated, but it also aids in cognitive function and provides an energy boost. So even when you think it’s easier to skip it altogether, it can actually help you perform better. Drinking water can also help you to realize when you’re full, as well as when your body is actually thirsty over hungry. Hydrating before a meal helps in pacing yourself when you eat and preventing overeating. Keeping a bottle with you at all times helps to remind you, even at your busiest, that water is essential to good health.
Turn Your Plans Into Actions
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be as difficult as everyone makes it seem. On the contrary, following these simple steps help you to stay on top of your busy schedule, pushing you to put your health first. While work can often feel like it has to be the priority, utilizing these steps can ensure that you’re getting the balance that your body needs.
Planning your meals ahead of time opens up your schedule and allows you to bring both variety and nutrition to the table. Similarly, giving yourself the allotted time to fully enjoy your meal and refuel without distraction can lead to better focus and motivation. Finally, remembering to stay hydrated and drink enough water offers key benefits to preventing overeating and excess snacking. So don’t let your schedule get the best of you–it’s time to take back control and create long-lasting habits suitable for both your health and the workplace!