Top 7 Tips for Healthy Eating on the Run
“I am too busy to eat right”. Sound familar? I hear this all the time from my clients. Trying to fit in work, family, exercise, dating, spending time with friends, etc., can be a daunting task. When we eat on the run, we end up consuming too many processed foods, too much fat and sodium and not enough fruits, veggies, calcium rich foods or whole grains. While a hectic schedule can make eating healthy more difficult, it can be done with a little know how and planning.
Top 7 Tips for Healthy Eating on the Run
1. Start your day off with a good breakfast. It may be the one meal of the day that you have total control over. The ideal breakfast is one that contains protein and fiber rich carbs. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
Examples of quick healthy breakfasts:
-Whole grain cereal with non fat or 1% milk
-Oatmeal (instant is ok) with fruit
-Cottage cheese and fruit
-Yogurt, fresh fruit and ½ whole grain cereal (better to make your own than buy the premade parfaits)
-PB on whole wheat toast
-Deli: egg whites or egg on whole wheat bread
2. Keep your environment stocked with easy to prepare meals and snacks. Stock your office or home with healthy foods in case you do not have time for a real meal or need an afternoon pick-me-up.
Suggestions: nuts, nut butter, whole grain crackers and bread, whole grain cold cereal and packs of instant oatmeal, dried and fresh fruit, yogurt, string cheese, laughing cow cheese, cottage cheese. You may also be less likely to grab a chocolate from your co-workers desk if you know you have a healthy snack waiting for you (or maybe not….)
3. Plan ahead. Your best bet is to bring lunch from home so you can control the
ingredients. If that is not an option, you will need to make an effort to find places that have healthy take out foods for lunch and dinner. Since the average person tends to frequent the same few restaurants on most days, find those that have healthy options.
Suggestions for lunch:
-Turkey or grilled chicken on whole grain bread
-Salad with lean protein and low fat dressing
– ½ sandwich and small broth based soup
– 2 sushi rolls
4. Increase your of fruits and vegetables. They contain many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Add fruit to cereal, snack on fruit and veggies during the day, add veggies to salads and soups. For more info on the nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies, check out this link:
5. Do not go too long without eating. This will lead to low blood sugar, decreased energy levels, cravings and decreased motivation to watch what you eat. When you are REALLY hungry, what do you crave – the apple sitting on your desk or junk from the vending machine? Most of us crave junk when we get low blood sugar. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Try not to let more than 4 hours go by without a little snack.
6. Keep a large water bottle on your desk. Tell yourself you have to drink at least 48 oz. by the end of the day. Most of us do not drink enough fluid. Having a hectic schedule makes it even harder to remember to drink. Being dehydrated can lead to headaches, low energy levels, “false hunger” (we think we are hungry but we are really dehydrated) and poor energy levels for our workouts.
7. No time to cook dinner….find healthy alternatives
Most city girls (and guys) I know have little time to cook. “Dialing for dinner” becomes routine. Take-out food can be loaded with calories and fat.
Suggestions for healthy take-out dinners (note: these portions are for weight control. If you aren’t trying to watch your weight, you can increase your portions):
–Chinese: steamed chicken, shrimp, tofu or scallops and veggies with sauce on the side and brown rice
-Rotissere chicken, ½ baked potato or piece of pita bread and steamed veggies
-Japanese: 2 rolls and soup or salad or one roll and 5 sashimi and soup or salad
-Middle Eastern: chicken kabobs and salad, piece of pita bread
-Frozen dinner under 350 calories and salad
-Fresh Direct under 500 calorie meals
-Salad with grilled chicken (add your own lowfat dressing)
If you want to get a really good idea of what your eating habits are, I would recommend that you keep a food log for a week or so. Record what you eat and drink as well as the time you eat. This will help to identify cultprits in your eating habits. Maybe you are going too long without eating (that’s why you crave sweets), or you have gone days without a vegetable or fruit (try adding a fruit or baby carrots as a snack). Once you have identified your problem areas, select 1-2 goals you want to work on each week. Soon you will be on the road to a healthier you!
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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.