Our modern lifestyle, with all its good sides, also has brought disorder in our eating and sleeping patterns, as well as a decrease in physical activity.
Nowadays, we spend most of our time being static — while commuting to the job, sitting at a desk in the office, or relaxing on the couch. If we add the lack of time for exercise, then we get a perfect way to gain weight and live an unbalanced life. After a long day at the office and surviving rush hour traffic, the last thing on your mind is making a healthy meal. We all do the same: order our favorite food (we deserve it, after getting through the day) and wait for it in front of the TV.
People link healthy living with skipping out on things and, in some way they are right – fast food, alcohol, cigarettes, and sweets all have to go out. It does seem daunting, but it is doable. It all comes down to the way of preparing food, making choices, and changing the way we think.
Having a healthy diet despite your busy schedule is possible. Here’s how to do it.
There is a way to create a healthy and nutritious meal in a few minutes. Wondering how? The answer is – blending. The blended meal can replace breakfast, lunch or dinner or it can be a refreshing snack. This way you can make smoothies, soups or whipped dips.
What can be blended? Absolutely everything – fruits, vegetables and even meat. There are many recipes on the Internet so the ideas are plenty, and you can express your creativity by combining the food you love or experiment with food mixtures that seem interesting.
Smoothies are also quite effective because they stop your sugar cravings if you add some low-fat yogurt or ice cream.
It often happens that lunch breaks at work are spent working instead of actually enjoying a meal. In these moments, we reach for pastries, donuts or pizza delivery. I, for example, know by heart the phone numbers of pizza joints and fast food restaurants and order unhealthy food without thinking. That has to change!
Find which restaurants serve healthy food on the Internet and the next time you wish to order, call them. You will be surprised how many tasty and nutritious meals you will be able to choose! Salads with grilled chicken or seafood, various types of grilled fish, grilled calamari or pasta with goat cheese, lemon and asparagus. You’ve already gotten hungry, haven’t you?
Protein supplements have become a necessity for a busy lifestyle since protein-rich food doesn’t come cheap, and there is less time to prepare it. When you are late for work in the morning, rushing to the door, the last thing you have in mind is to make a quick meal, and this is one scenario where protein shakes and bars come in handy.
In some cases, you may simply find that there is one particular protein shake flavor or protein bar that you find absolutely delicious and just want to include it in your diet. But remember, although these helpful supplements may be a convenient way to make you full, it doesn’t mean that they are a replacement for a proper meal. It is advisable to consume them regularly but only as an addition to a well-balanced diet.
What first comes to your mind when you think of a healthy drink? If it’s water you’re thinking of, you are right. What the body needs – water provides. It re-hydrates our system because we lose fluids through breathing, sweating, and metabolism. Water has one more advantage – it is calorie and sugar-free.
Always have a small bottle of water in your purse, car and at the office desk. This way you will remind yourself to hydrate. If you want to save the money and spare yourself from stopping by in store when you realize you didn’t buy the water the night before, fill bottles at home. Use water filtered pitchers to filter water, and pour it into the bottle you will carry before leaving the house. Water filters reduce lead, zinc, copper, cadmium, mercury, chromium, DDT and chlorine taste. If you like flavored waters, you can add crushed berries, crushed mint, peeled and sliced cucumber or sliced citrus fruits into the container.
Having food prepared in advance is essential to keep healthy eating habits, as well as to lose or maintain weight. When healthy meals are ready and immediately available, we are more likely to eat those meals instead of ordering unhealthy fast food or stopping at the store for a quick snack.
Also, by doing this, we reduce stress and anxiety when trying to figure out what to eat every single day for the rest of our lives. The key to success is in preparation. It’s simple – it is all about in the make-ahead recipes that you can prepare and enjoy eating all week. Furthermore, everything can be done in just one day, so you don’t need to stress about it for the rest of the workweek.
Sometimes people avoid restaurants thinking it will sabotage their healthy diet, but that doesn’t necessarily need to happen if you plan ahead, consider the menu and choose your meal carefully to keep it up with your diet plan. Even if you are eating out at a café or a restaurant, you can make healthy choices to ensure that your meal is well balanced.
If you do not want to end up eating more than you would have done when you are serving your own portions, the first thing to remember is that wherever, whatever and whenever you are eating – you do not need to clear your plate! Try to eat slowly, take your time and stop eating when you are full.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Also, they lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Eating produce can make weight management easier because they are low in calories. Consuming fruit and vegetable regularly contributes to weight loss or maintenance of a healthy body shape.
Do not forget to fulfill your daily dose of fresh produce, and also to always have a fresh snack that will quench your hunger. The trick is to leave fruits and vegetables on tactical places. Leave the apple on the office desk and put a banana in a drawer. Leave an orange in the car; i.e. – in the glove compartment. Put a carrot in your purse, and perhaps have some grapes on the living room table. Of course, the choice and combination of fruits and veggies depend on you and your affinity.
Yogurt can be a great ally in your healthy diet plan, but like any other food it should be eaten moderately since balanced and varied diet is necessary for good health. It is a great dairy product, rich in calcium and protein, but more importantly, it is low in fat and calories.
Finding a type of yogurt that suits your needs is also important, and it is determined on how much you eat on a daily basis because some are more nutritious than others. For example, if you are not into plain low-fat yogurt, which is very nutritious by the way, you can add to it other foods to improve flavor such as fruit for sweeter taste or nuts to add some crunchiness while increasing nutritious protein and healthy unsaturated fats.
All it takes is correct planning and only about five minutes to make – the sandwich is the perfect choice combining whole grains, veggies, and protein into one filing meal. It is basically two pieces of bread that leave room in-between for an indefinite amount of stacked nutrients, and when it is done right, it makes for a healthy and filling option. So if you want something done right – do it yourself.
To make a low-calorie sandwich without sacrificing good taste or satisfaction try to add some avocados or pickles, pile it on the veggies, switch to whole-grain and skip the bread altogether. Try to introduce some meat-free proteins or just think beyond basic meat and cheese and add flavor with low-calorie accompaniments. And after all, remember – diet is not only about losing weight, it’s about eating right!
Healthy living is a long-term commitment, and it requires an effort in the beginning. To succeed, make plans – what and when you’re going to eat. When you have the opportunity, prepare your meals and drinks at home to avoid the risk of returning to old habits.
Make sure to leave produce and snacks in places where you spend most of your time. Explore the Internet for healthy recipes and if you feel like giving up, remember all the benefits that your new lifestyle will bring.
Featured photo credit: newhealthadvisor.com via newhealthadvisor.com
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