Updated: Jul 18
The most common excuse I hear for not eating healthy or exercising is, “I don’t have time.” I get it, you’re busy, but guess what? So are your fit and healthy co-workers, neighbors, relatives and friends.
And by the way, there’s nothing “more special” or “unique” about them that magically grants them time to exercise and cook a healthy meal. The truth is they make it a priority because they know how much more amazing life is when you feel dynamite.
While lack of time is a convenient (and common) excuse for living an unhealthy lifestyle, you must know in your heart of hearts that you deserve better. Right? I thought so!
Oh, and by the way... you can absolutely eat healthy even when you don’t have much time.
Here are 5 tips to eat healthy, even when you’re on-the-go.
Tip #1: Be Prepared.
When you’re crazy-busy, the best way to guarantee you'll stick to your healthy diet is preparation. It takes the same amount of time to unwrap a banana and a hard-boiled egg as it does to unwrap a sugar-laden breakfast treat from the drive-thru or vending machine.
Of course, the convenience items seem easier because they're always there. This means that your job is the make sure that the banana and hardboiled egg are always there, too. You and I both know that you’re already spending time shopping for and purchasing food. So why not use that time more constructively and make your purchases healthy?
Schedule time on the weekend to do your grocery shopping for the whole week. If you don’t like cooking, buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and turn it into five different meals for the week. Badda-bing, badda boom. Done!
Tip #2: Create Go-To Meals.
Most people habitually eat the same five meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'll use myself as an example.
I start every morning with a mug of warm lemon water made with fresh squeezed lemon and teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. YUM! I enjoy it with one of my five regular breakfasts: protein peanut butter toast, overnight oats, egg scramble with vegetables and sliced avocado, a fruit and veggie smoothie or a fruit ball and 2 pumpkin no-bake energy balls.
What are your healthy go-to meals? Create your own that can be made easily and eaten even when you’re brain dead. When you have these go-to healthy meals in your back pocket, it’s almost like you’re putting your weight loss journey on autopilot. Spending two hours on Sunday to plan your meals for the week will save you time, money and calories.
Tip #3: Make It Mobile.
During the week, resist the temptation to patronize restaurants, vending machines and conference room potlucks by packing your healthy lunch. When you prepare your own food, you are 100% in charge of the ingredients. All the cool kids are doing it.
There are many fashionable and functional soft coolers available these days. I have one that matches my purse in a design I love, so I look forward to carrying it along with me.
If your job keeps you on the road all day, invest in a cooler or hot pot that plugs into your car. Need something even simpler? There’s always the good ol’ Thermos. You’ll be grateful come 3:00 pm when you’ve passed up the salty gas station sandwich or deep fried fast food meal for your own homemade soup or salad. There’s nothing worse than an afternoon slump that could have been avoided!
Tip #4: Know Thy Restaurants.
Even with your best intentions and pre-planning, an unscheduled dining out experience could crash your healthy living party.
Thankfully, most restaurants have healthy choices on their menus. If they don’t have something that fits your plan, don’t be shy: ask them to prepare a special dish. After all, if the ingredients are on the menu, it's likely they'll be happy to accommodate. Remember, you’re the boss!
Need help? Check out the free app called Healthy Out. Type in your zip code and it will list nearby restaurants with menu suggestions. All the nutritional information is at your fingertips to help you make a wise choice.
Tip #5: Don’t Give Up.
The first week of planning will take longer, but once you get into a rhythm, you’ll save time and money. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t eat 100% healthy, watch your portion sizes. And remember: perfection isn't required for healthy living, just hop back on the horse at your next meal.
Bottom Line: If you choose to eat healthy, you can do it with simple preparation. I never leave the house without a snack size bag of unsalted almonds because when I get hungry, I have to eat. Otherwise my energy tanks and I quickly find myself hangry, reaching for anything and everything. Trust me, it’s ugly, so I avoid it at all costs.
Are you a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!