Deciding to eat healthy and making all arrangements to do so are only the first step in changing your lifestyle for the better. After all, even with such good intentions, you still need to put your plans to fruition. Even when you have chosen healthy recipes, bought the right ingredients and necessary cooking equipment, you still may lack the time to truly dedicate to the new dietary regime.
How to eat healthy when you don’t have a lot of time
All this happens for perfectly valid reasons, from being swamped at work to having to spend all day running errands. So, you opt for quick solutions like fast food restaurants and ordering takeout which are full of sodium, sugar and saturated fat. But you may still be able to eat healthy when you just can’t find the time and here are some ideas that will help with that.
Prepare your meals at home
The best way to make sure that you are having a healthy lunch at work is to make it yourself the night before. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated and it may take 15 minutes at most for preparation. For example, hummus, a couple of tortillas and veggies won’t take long to prepare and will be an ideal choice for lunch at work.
Also, you can prepare meals on the weekend for a few days in advance and keep them refrigerated. This will take some time off your Sundays, but you will have one less worry during the working days.
Use your freezer
There are many meals that you can make with frozen fruits and veggies which won’t take much of your time and still be healthy. You can freeze fresh ingredients or pre-cooked meals which you will heat in the microwave or on the stove.
For example, by freezing veggies, you will always have ingredients at hand without having to go to the store. Furthermore, you will shorten the preparation time since you won’t have to peel and cut your vegetables and fruits. Just follow the instructions on how to properly freeze the ingredients and you will have supplies for months.
Check the calories of fast food menus
Not all fast food meals are bad and with some research, you will be able to find out which ones you can freely eat. Many establishments now offer calorie information about their meals online, so you can easily find out which meals to avoid. However, you can also find out more about the ingredients in certain dishes which will keep you away from those unhealthy options as well.
For example, avoid fried food like onion rings, nuggets, and French fries. Opt for grilled chicken breast sandwich instead of a burger since it has less saturated fat. Don’t super size items and replace sugary drinks with water. If you can, always opt for establishments where you can choose your ingredients like sandwich shops, than those with pre-made menus.
Keep your snacks healthy
You may be tempted to buy a bag of chips for a snack. Fight the urge. You don’t want to consume an unnecessary amount of saturated fats and sodium. Instead, opt for snacks which are easy to prepare and consist of healthy ingredients like nuts, veggies, and fruits. It won’t take a lot of time to prepare and will be a perfect food to bridge the hunger time between the main meals.
For example, avocado is a perfect fruit to use as a spread for rice cakes, while celery combined with almond butter is a tasty snack to have at your desk. If you’re more into smaller bites, then opt for grapes and walnuts – a great combination of nutty and sweet flavors. Of course, baby carrots are a classic and the easiest snack to have during a busy day.
Start having smoothies
Smoothies are truly the best solution if you want to save money on restaurants and still eat healthy every day. You can make them at home and have them for breakfast, as snacks or lunch as long as you keep them refrigerated. However, there are many shops that make fresh smoothies at a reasonable price so you can save even more time.
Don’t shy away from green smoothies with kale and spinach since they’ll give you energy, as well as vitamins to nourish you when exhausted. Also, use Greek yogurt for a creamy texture to enrich the mixture and give it even more healthy ingredients like vitamin D and calcium.
Get a little help
If you’re on a special dietary regime, then consider getting a little help with services offering meal prep for weight loss and other health reasons. This way you keep your nutrients under control and make sure even during the busiest days you’re taking care of yourself. Basically, you need to choose from an available meal plan or create your own, and get a fresh delivery straight to your doorstep.
Also, consider using certain apps that help you keep track of your calorie intake and activity during the day. By combining all these options, you will have an ultimate strategy in place that helps you adopt a healthy lifestyle even when you don’t have time for cooking.
Find healthy restaurant offers
There’s a lot of restaurants offering lighter meals with fewer calories and healthy ingredients. See which restaurants have a menu that’s perfect for your eating habits and go there for lunch. Having a bowl of soup and salad is nutritious and tasty at the same time and is perfect for a light meal.
You can also opt for broiled, grilled and baked meat like fish or chicken with vegetables on the side. However, make sure you avoid sauces and gravies. If the portion is too big, pack the rest for dinner or to heat up for lunch tomorrow. A dessert is easily replaced with fresh fruit, sorbet or you can always try some of the healthy sweets without gluten or with stevia.
The first step to eat healthy when you just can’t find the time is to decide to do so. It may seem like changing your dietary habits for the better is a hassle, but with some planning, you can easily do it.
Author: Helen Bradford