How to Eat Healthy When You Have No Time

Eat Healthy

If you work a full schedule, it can be difficult to find the time for healthy eating. But good nutrition is essential for keeping you energized and productive at work.

Avoid sugary, salty fast food and instead choose lean protein (e.g., grilled chicken), whole grains, veggies and low-fat dairy. And always read the labels to identify healthy commercially prepared foods.

1. Plan Your Meals

Eating healthy on a busy schedule may seem challenging, but it’s more manageable than you might think. You just need a few simple tricks to make nutritious meals fit into your hectic schedule.

Start by planning out your meals. If you have a weekly menu, you can shop for food in bulk and avoid last-minute food runs. This will also reduce food waste, which is good for your budget and the environment.

Stock your freezer with slow-cooker freezer meals and make a habit of cooking large portions to get multiple meals from one meal prep session. You can freeze individual portions of soups, stews and even whole meals such as chili or chicken tacos.

Plan your snacks ahead of time, too. That way, you won’t be tempted to grab junk food when hunger strikes. Choose satiating combos such as apples with peanut butter or a yogurt parfait with nuts and granola. Make sure to drink plenty of water, too.

2. Cook in Bulk

Cooking in bulk can lower the strain that cooking on weeknights places on you. It can also save money. Look for bargains on staple items like canned tomatoes and beans and frozen vegetables and fruits. Look for pre-packaged, healthy convenience foods like shredded lettuce, cooked rotisserie chicken, marinated tofu, and frozen ready-to-eat meals like make ahead enchiladas.

Identifying and ordering healthier options in restaurants is easier than you might think. It’s all about the basics: skinless, lean meat; whole grains; and plenty of veggies and fruit (adding a side salad is always a good choice). Skip sugary drinks and fried or “loaded” appetizers.

It may take a little more time to meal prep on the weekends, but once you get into a routine it won’t be as much of an inconvenience. You might even find that you’re less likely to reach for the fast food or delivery when you know you have satisfying meals waiting for you at home.

3. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Snacking can be a great way to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight, but it’s important to choose the right foods. Many non-perishable snacks are packed with excessive sodium and unhealthy ingredients. Try to stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy choices like whole pieces of fruit, nuts (including unsalted varieties), yogurt and air-popped popcorn. If you’re a fan of packaged snacks, look for ones with low sugar levels and protein-rich options (think: Buddy Fruits prepackaged fruit blends or KIND bars).

Keeping a well-stocked kitchen can help you whip up healthy snack foods on the weekend, so they’re ready when hunger strikes. For example, you can mix up a healthy batch of blueberry muffins on the weekend that are easy to pack and can be eaten on-the-go — just reheat them in the microwave at work. Another option is to make chia pudding in a glass jar, adding sliced fruit and pumpkin seeds for natural sweetness.

4. Make a Meal in Advance

We all have the best intentions of bookmarking healthy recipes, picking up kale and quinoa at the grocery store and using that new pressure cooker. But then life gets busy. You get slammed with work projects, have to take care of sick kids or spend all day running errands. When you’re stuck, it’s easy to hit the drive-thru or order pizza and feel discouraged from trying to eat healthier again.

If you plan ahead, you can save yourself time on a busy day by making meals in advance and stashing them in the freezer. Keep a repertoire of quick meals on hand that require little or no cooking, such as stir fries, casseroles and sheet-pan dishes. Or stock your freezer with healthful commercially prepared foods such as shredded spinach, pre-washed salad greens, canned beans and rotisserie chicken. Just remember to read food labels to make sure you’re selecting the most nutritious options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a comment
scroll to top