When you’re juggling a million different things to do in a day including maintaining a workout routine and being aware of eating healthy, one of those tasks ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. More often than not it’s healthy eating that gets thrown into the bottom of the priority list.
Sometimes we even get too busy that we may forget to eat or end up snacking on empty calories available at the office snack bar. For the sake of our long-term health, these habits need to stop and we need to work on how to fit healthy eating habits into our routine no matter how busy we might be.
Healthy Guide to Eating Right When You’re Swamped
Thankfully, registered nutritionist Peggy Kostopoulos shared her tips and tricks to Stylecaster on how to make better lifestyle choices and stay healthy no matter how demanding your schedule is.
1. Cafeteria Food Habits
Cafeterias are usually filled with tons of options that leave you with too many choices to pick from. However, most of these choices are processed foods and not exactly what you need to be filling yourself up with.
Kotsopoulos suggests heading to the vegetable section and loading up half your plate with raw, cooked or steamed veggies as the fiber in the veggies will keep you feeling full during the day.
Fill one-quarter of your plate with protein such as grilled chicken breast, tuna or turkey, and one-eighth with carbs like pasta and whole wheat bread. The last eighth of your plate should have foods that are rich in fats such as olives, avocado, nuts and cheese.
2. When You Want to Eat Out
Just like the cafeteria trick, choose menu items that come with lots of veggies and opt to replace your carbs with whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa. Try to reduce your red meat intake by switching to fish such as salmon and tuna or lean poultry.
Side note, fried foods are extremely high in calories, so instead of heading to the deep fried section of the menu, look for baked, grilled, or poached options to pick from.
Another great tip is to ask for condiments and dressing on the side, so you can control how much you put on your side dish or salad. Remember, asking for substitutions is always OK and if you want to add extra artichokes, go for it!
3. Snacking on the Go
Snacking is a hard habit to quit, so instead of cutting it out completely, there are ways to make your snacking habits healthier. Fruits such as bananas and apples are easy to pack and can be taken with you anywhere.
Portion control is extremely important to take note of, therefore, limit your snacking portion to the fist of your hand. Anything larger and it’s pretty much a meal.
4. Meal Prep
Meal prepping is a great way to eat more homemade meals and bring them to work or wherever you need to be. Some of Kotsopoulous’s go-to hacks include:
- Buy prewashed veggies or wash your veggies and fruits as soon as you buy them from the store and keep them in your fridge immediately.
- Wash and cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces so that they can be cooked easily.
- Shred veggies such as carrots and zucchini to put into wraps or your salads.
- Wash and dice greens to cook them with pasta, soups and stews.
- Don’t be afraid to make extra since you can always freeze your food to eat later.
5. Quick Meals That Aren’t Fast Food
If you’re on the run and don’t have time to meal prep, there are options to cook healthy yet quick meals that aren’t fast food. For example, Kotsopoulous loves to make omelets for breakfast when she’s short on time.
She adds veggies such as onions, mushrooms, tomatoes or anything else she has at the time and maybe a little cheese as well. This meal is rich in protein and eggs are particularly helpful in keeping your brain sharp.
For lunches and dinners, salmon is a quick option that only needs a couple minutes of cooking time. Add some Dijon mustard and maple syrup to make a glaze and bake for 12 minutes. Voilá, a healthy yet delicious meal for you to enjoy!
Expert tips adapted from stylcaster.com.