How To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle When You’re Too Busy To Care

supermarktThere are times in all of our lives when we are just swamped. If you ever get stressed out at work or overloaded with responsibility when you get home, keeping up with a healthy diet is often a very hard thing to do.

Eating right takes discipline and planning – two things that are in short supply when we are caught up in the hectic rat race of our daily lives. If you don’t think you have the will power to keep up with a healthy lifestyle when the going gets stressful, here are some tips that may help you out.

  • Plan Your Meals Ahead
    I know this takes time and forethought, but if you can actually schedule your meals ahead of time, you will be much less tempted to swing by a fast food restaurant when your hunger kicks in.
    Pack a lunch from home or plan out your dinners at the start of the week. The decision of what to eat will have already been decided so you won’t be forced to make a choice at the end of a crazy workday.

Of course, this can’t be done when you’re in the middle of a double shift and all of your responsibilities are demanding your attention at once, but if you can plan this out before your life hits the fan, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

  • Hide Healthy Snacks at Work
    At my office, I have a can of lightly salted cashews on constant standby. When I’m stressed and tempted to run to the vending machines, grabbing a small handful of cashews is a much better alternative. They are natural and actually good for you since they are a good source of protein and unsaturated fat (the good kind). Other options I’d recommend are dried fruit (like raisins), low butter popcorn, or some fresh veggies. 
  • Drink Water
    Water is a great choice for anytime of the day. If you have to grab a quick meal somewhere, ordering water with your food is a fantastic way to save some calories. It hydrates you, your body actually needs it, and it works to fill your stomach without any artificial flavors or ingredients. Water is also great with the mid-afternoon snack and really can help take away the hunger pains temporarily. 
  • Be Creative With Your Workouts
    If you are too pressed for time to hit the gym, there are several other options available to you. Take a walk at lunch, go for a run in the morning, or play with the kids after work. Anytime you work up a sweat it is probably a good sign that you are burning some calories. Personally, I love getting out of the office occasionally at lunch for a quick jog. It helps clear my mind, breaks the day up, and doesn’t take any time away from important tasks. 
  • Grilled Chicken: The Fast Food Escape Plan
    If you absolutely have to order takeout or go to a drive-thru for a meal, there is always a healthy choice hidden somewhere on the menu. It may not be as tasty but it will save you some calories and fat. Almost all fast food places have some sort of grilled chicken wrap or sandwich. If you order this without mayo, cheese or any extra high-calorie sauce, you will have made a better choice than the greasy burger you usually order. Below are some staples I look for at fast food places when I’m just too busy to get anything else. 

Remember that consistency is important in getting fit. If you only make healthy choices when you feel like it, then you won’t see much progress on the scales or in the mirror. This is about making the right choice even when it’s hard and if you are tired. However, if you can really make the good decisions when your life is chaotic and you are super stressed, you will know that you can make it for the long haul.

Written on 5/19/2009 by Brandon Morgado. Brandon is a self-professed fitness geek and blogs regularly at FitHacks.com when he isn’t running, playing Ultimate Frisbee or wasting his life away on Twitter. Photo Credit: Lord Jim
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