“It seems like there just isn’t enough hours in the day sometimes” I guarantee all of you have said this to yourselves at one time or another. Being on the go all the time makes eating for success a real challenge. Most people barely have the time to workout, so how are they supposed to find time to meal prep? Well, eating for success is a lot more simple than it seems as long as you know what actions to take.
So first, let me talk about why eating well is important when you’re busy. Above all else it increases longevity. Feeding your body well adds years to your life. It also yields greater energy levels to help you handle that busy schedule you got going. You’re going to have a lot more sustained energy if you feed your body vegetables, lean meats, fruits, nuts, and whole sources of carbohydrates than if you stuff your face full of doughnuts every day. There is a place for “bad” food, but it should be in moderation to help you get the most out of your diet. So now that we’ve covered the “why” let’s talk about the “how”.
The most important thing you need when you have a busy schedule is a plan. I’m sure most of you have you phone calendar or if you’re old school a calendar hanging from your fridge with all your obligations for the month on it. So I want you to look at that calendar, and I want you to block out time to cook. It doesn’t have to be every day. It could even be as little as two 30-45 minute blocks a week, but it needs to go into your schedule. Because if it doesn’t it will be like all the other things that aren’t written down “FORGOTTEN”. Now, when you’re at the level of busy where you only have about an hour to cook per week you want to make the process as simple as possible and only cook what you need to. Luckily, we live in a world where most foods can be bought pre cooked. Vegetables, rice, deli meat, hamburgers, etc. All of these things can be bought pre made in microwaveable bags to help with convenience. So, all that leaves you with is basically cooking meat. Steak, chicken, etc. I would recommend making this process as simple as possible as well. Bake your chicken, then toss it in some kind of low calorie sauce and BOOM you have a delicious food that you’re excited to eat. And when you bake chicken you can cook enough to last you 3 to 4 days. So now that we have covered making a plan, let’s talk about what happens when things don’t go according to plan.
Life never happens quite the way we picture it. This can be a massive hinderance to your fitness efforts if you don’t know what to do when you’re in a bind. So here’s a few things you can do to make sure you’re successful. First, buy sandwich meat. Sandwiches are quick, easy, and can be made in several varieties so you never get bored. Two, if you’re really in a bind most grocery stores have pre cooked rotisserie chicken or healthy frozen options. Is it ideal? No, but its better than letting yourself go hungry until you get angry and start eating everything in sight. If you buy frozen aim for something high in protein, low in calories, and make sure the sodium isn’t crazy high. You can also utilize snacks like greek yogurt, string cheese,, protein bars (Quest and ONE are my favorites), and tunafish (Starkist makes grab and go packets). Now, what if you hate to cook? Or you really don’t have the time? It’s simple. Utilize a meal prepping service. Companies like FRESHLY or even local companies like Box Bistro (right in Berlin) can provide low cost meals that only need to be reheated. This is extremely convenient and can really help the busy fitness enthusiast. So that covers everything at home, but what about if you’re out and about and in a bind?
Eating out can make our break your fitness efforts depending on the choices you make. Fast food can be healthy (or at least semi healthy) or it can be full of excess calories that leave you feeling like garbage. So, when you’re out and about and in a hurry where should you eat? And what should you get? Well, first let’s talk about health friendly chains. My personal favorite is Chipotle, (Moe’s is ok, but chipotle allows for more protein and less overall calories). Personally, I would stick to a salad or bowl. Choose one source of carbohydrates (rice), one source of protein (chicken, beef, sofritas), and one source of fat (guac, cheese, queso, sour cream). DO NOT add more than one fat item. Fat is the highest calorie macronutrient and it can easily wreck your calorie intake. Another favorite of mine is Subway. Depending on your weight and your goals will determine if you get a 6inch or footlong. Follow the same principal as before; 1 source protein (get double meat if need be), one source carbohydrate, and one source fat (cheese, oil, sauce). Again, ONLY ONE SOURCE OF FAT. Also, pile on the veggies and I would also recommend going whole wheat on the bread. These are not the only two fast food chains you can untilize. These days you can find healthy options just about anywhere. Here are a few tips to see success when eating out.
You can also utilize MyFitnessPal to check calorie counts to make sure you’re staying within range for the day.
The most important component to staying healthy while being busy is staying consistent. Not every day will be perfect. But, focus on the wins. Make the best choices you can with what you have. And if you fall off, don’t worry about it. Being healthy and fit isn’t about looking and acting perfect every single day. It’s about forging good habits and focusing on the long term. Stay strong everyone.
My name is Patriel Dunford and as the owner of Infinite Fitness my main goal in life is to spread good advice in the health industry and help people live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.