We see many people in our clinic who find it difficult to eat well due to their busy lifestyles. Work, kids, friends and family all place demands on them which means eating well ranks a poor last on the list of priorities. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t despair! We’ve put together some practical tips to get you back on track.
1. Plan your weekly meals. Sit down once a week and plan what you are going to eat for the week; breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If you know you have a busy week coming up, then you can cook extra one night to have left overs for the next. It shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to plan out your weekly meals however the time put in to do this will mean money saved on unplanned take out food that is often high in sugar, fat and salt. As Benjamin Franklin once quoted “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
2. Write a shopping list. Once you have your weekly meal plan then you have a good starting point to write a shopping list. This means you can get in and out of the supermarket with exactly what you need and avoid all those impulsive purchases that are so cleverly placed around the supermarket to lead us into temptation! If you still find it too hard to resist those naughty purchases, then you can avoid them by shopping online. And remember, those who shop with a shopping list weigh less than those who don’t.
3. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Keeping some healthy snacks in your draw at work, your glove box or purse will help avoid snacking on unhealthy foods such as cakes, chocolate bars, soft drinks etc. Some healthy snacks that store well are dried fruit, nuts and seeds, muesli bars and some fresh fruit such as bananas and citrus.
4. Commit to eating meals. Many busy people tend to skip meals leading to hunger later in the day and unhealthy, impulsive food choices. Make sure you take time out for yourself to eat well and avoid eating “Al Desko” at work. Skipping meals can quickly become a bad habit leading to binge and impulsive eating.
5. Freeze your food. How many times have you bought take out because there’s nothing else to eat at home? When making everyday food such as spaghetti Bolognese, casseroles, soups etc be sure to make extra portions to freeze. On those days where time gets the better of you, you will have healthy, pre-prepared meals on hand. This saves not only time but your hard-earned dollars.