We can’t rid ourselves of our responsibilities but we can learn how to live a healthy life on a busy schedule. Start with one of these seven tips and go from there. Before you know it you’ll hack your way to health with no time lost.
1. Makeover microwave meals.
Heat for five minutes and eat — it can definitely be appealing when you’re hungry and have no time to cook. But microwave meals don’t have to be unhealthy. Try a protein mug cake in the morning instead of that pastry, and swap TV dinners for a piece of fish and steam bag veggies.
2. Unplug when you eat.
Eating meals in front of the TV and computer needs to be part of your past. When we eat mindlessly we tend to eat more, not paying attention to how much we’re consuming or how we feel. Try shutting everything down and sitting in silence at mealtime. You may find that you eat less and feel fuller.
3. Cook in bulk.
Prepping meals is a great way to cut down on cooking time and have healthy options readily available during the week. Freezing a few portions also serves as a solution on those days when you haven’t made it to the store and shelves are bare. Try this method with soups and stews, which are easy to store in the fridge or freezer and offer a balance of veggies, protein and fiber.
4. Switch salt for spices.
When something tastes bland, we tend to instinctively grab for the salt. But eating too much sodium is not good for our health, and if you are someone that eats a lot of freezer food you’re likely exceeding your daily allowance. Rather than flavor food with salt, try pepper, parsley or basil. A spicy kick of cayenne or sriracha is great too and these fiery alternatives to salt also rev up your metabolism.
5. Try online grocery shopping.
Getting your food delivered to your doorstep sure takes the hassle out of going to the supermarket — and leaves no excuse for ordering takeout. You can even take this tip one step further and try a delivery service like Plated or Blue Apron, which sends you pre-portioned ingredients for you to cook up the perfect meal (no grocery shopping or measuring required).
6. Pre-meditate your snacks.
In the amount of time it takes to walk to the vending machine you could pack a snack to bring to work with you. Plain yogurt and a piece of fruit or a snack-size serving of hummus with carrots are both easy and healthy alternatives to chips and candy bars.
7. Get more protein.
Empty calories won’t fill you up which is why we tend to eat more of them and still feel unsatisfied after. Curb cravings by eating small servings of protein throughout the day. A handful of nuts provides protein along with healthy fat and fiber, or invest in a shaker cup that lets you mix up a smoothie (no blender needed).