Everyone knows that your diet and exercise habits are what determine your physical fitness. If you want to lose weight by just exercising without changing an unhealthy diet, you’re probably not going to see maximum results. Getting in shape is roughly 20% exercise and 80% nutrition.
Many people find it difficult to eat healthy because of a busy schedule. They don’t have time to prepare fresh foods for every meal or they find themselves stopping at a lot of fast food restaurants between obligations. Yes, it’s difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. They key to success for any nutrition plan is preparation.
Below are some tips to help you prepare yourself for a new healthy lifestyle.
1. Pick a day in the week when you can have a lot of fresh ingredients prepared to use throughout the week (eggs, quinoa, vegetables, etc). Keep them in clear containers on the middles shelf of your fridge: you want the healthiest foods to be at eye level when you open your fridge, because those are the things you will reach for most often. This will help you avoid those convenient processed foods.
2. Use a slow cooker that you can leave on during the day so you have a hot meal ready for you when you get home.
3. When you do have time to cook, make more than you need and freeze half of it, that way you’ll have frozen meals ready to reheat whenever you need them.
4. Make a big salad on Sunday night and use it for lunches throughout the week so that you aren’t tempted by unhealthy takeout food at work. Add different proteins, nuts or fruit each day to add some variety. Avoid creamy dressings and opt instead for easy options like lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.
5. Keep healthy snacks like nuts or fruit with you at work, so that when hunger strikes you’re not stuck with the unhealthy options the vending machine has to offer.
6. If you eat out a lot, plan ahead before you go. Check out the menu and decide ahead of time what you’re going to get so you can choose the healthiest option or know what modifications you need to ask for to a menu item to make it a healthy option.
If it’s a large portion, ask for a to-go container when the food comes so that you can eat half and use the other half for another meal the next day.
7. Know which “fast food” restaurants around your work, home, and children’s school have healthy options like salads (just be mindful of dressing choice), clear (not creamy) soups, or grilled chicken. While some of these options will still be pretty high in sodium, it’s better than the alternative of a Big Mac with fries.