Eating Well With a Busy Lifestyle
We all know that we need to eat a healthy and balanced diet to lead a good quality of life. Our diet is the fuel that we provide our body with, and we need to make sure that we’re eating the right types of food in the right quantities to give us the get up and go that we need. Poor diets can also be linked to a whole array of sickness, disease, illness and other problems that can be difficult to resolve in the long run. But a problem that many of us experience is maintaining a healthy diet on a day to day basis. We tend to have packed schedules and busy routines that mean we fail to focus on our food and end up eating all sorts of meals that aren’t actually good for our bodies in any way, shape or form – in fact, these options can often be detrimental to our wellbeing instead. But what can you do to eat healthily when you don’t have much time? Here are some suggestions that can make healthy eating a habit rather than a chore.
Eat the Right Amounts
The first step to consider when trying to eat well around a busy lifestyle is to make sure that you’re eating the right amount of food. When you’re in a rush, you can easily eat too much or too little, as you’re simply not paying attention to portion sizes and the amount of energy in the food you’re reaching for. Each of us has a recommended daily calorie intake and you should do your best to stick to this. It is generally based on age, sex and activity levels, as outlined below.
- Children aged 2 to 8 – 1000 to 1400 calories
- Girls aged 9 to 13 – 1400 to 1600 calories
- Boys aged 9 to 13 – 1600 to 2000 calories
- Active women aged 14 to 30 – 2400 calories
- Sedentary women aged 14 to 30 – 1800 to 2000 calories
- Active men aged 14 to 30 – 2800 to 3200 calories
- Sedentary men aged 14 to 30 – 2000 to 2600 calories
- Active adults over 30 – 2000 to 3000 calories
- Sedentary adults over 30 – 1600 to 2400 calories
Remember, calories are not the enemy, as much as many diet plans may want you to think they are. Instead, they are just a tool and unit of measurement that we can use to track how much energy we’re providing our bodies with each day. Too little and you can burn out and lose excessive weight. Too many and you can face issues such as obesity. If you don’t have time to track your calories yourself, there are plenty of apps that allow you to fill in what you’ve eaten and will figure it out for you.
Cut Out Junk Food
Junk food is the arch nemesis of people with a busy lifestyle. It offers a convenient way of eating that minimises the time taken to fill yourself. You don’t have to worry about buying ingredients, preparing meals, cooking or – often – cleaning up either. Instead, you simply grab your food and go. Whether that’s a takeaway, fast food, ready meals or anything else. But the issue with junk food is that, while convenient, it isn’t generally good for you. These meals tend to be nutritionally devoid, failing to add fruit, vegetables or other essential nutrients to your diet. Instead, they consist of empty calories and, more often than not, excessive levels of saturated fat, salt and sugar. Where possible, avoid junk food. This shouldn’t be forming a major part of your weekly routine.
Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
So, what should you reach for instead of junk food? Let’s start with snacks. Having plenty of healthy snacks to hand can make sure you snack on the right foods instead of poor quality, unhealthy options. Consider health bars, vegetable crisps, carrot sticks or cucumber sticks with dips like hummus or peanut butter. There are so many great options to explore.
What about main meals? Well, making healthy meals doesn’t have to be time consuming. A key way to prepare healthy meals around a busy schedule is meal prepping. Dedicate an evening each week to meal prep, which involves marinating ingredients, chopping vegetables and pre-preparing anything you need to make the healthy meals you have planned. This can all then be stored in the fridge, ready for when you want to eat. This allows you easy access to convenient food that is going to be good for you.
Hopefully, the steps above will help to get the ball rolling on a healthier lifestyle.