A busy schedule is no reason to fall off the wagon and undo all your progress. But sticking to a plan is easier said than done! Convenience food is – well – convenient, especially when you have little time to prep healthy meals. Unfortunately, a bag of chips, starchy treats, and takeaway meals won’t fuel your body the way protein-packed foods would.
With our always-on modern lives, it’s more complicated than ever to stay focused and committed to our health and fitness goals, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be. Let’s get into what you should be doing to maintain your eating habits day in and day out.
Stock up on the right snacks
Protein-packed snacks are convenient while supplying the nutrients and energy needed to ensure optimal performance in your daily life. Protein will have you feeling fuller for longer, curb the desire to snack and help you build lean muscle.
Keep a stash of portable, protein-rich snacks that can be stored in your bag and grabbed when you’re on the go. Protein bars, protein chips and shake mixes pack an impressive punch and are great options as they’re easy ways to consume a significant amount of protein.
Look out for protein bars that contain vitamins and minerals. That way you’ll be looking after your micro-nutrient needs while fuelling up on protein. Fibre content is something else to keep in mind. It also keeps you fuller for longer and keeps your digestive system functioning as it should, so eating enough of it is essential to help you stick to an eating plan. Protein bars that are also high in fibre will help you stay on track.
Plan and prep ahead of time
Every weekday seems busier than the last, so you’ll need to plan to stay on track. Find a moment of calm in your day and plan which foods you’ll eat that week. Shop and prepare the food, and then store it in marked containers. This way, you’ll be less tempted to indulge in things you’re not supposed to be eating while better controlling your portions. Plus, it will make dinner time much less stressful, knowing you simply need to reheat the delicious, portion-controlled meal you prepared earlier.
But planning doesn’t only apply to the foods you eat. It also means predicting how your day might turn out. Let’s face it: knowing you need to drive all the way home from work to fetch your gym clothes is likely to discourage you from going – and the worst part is it’s been this way since you signed up! Be prepared and pack a bag with all your gym essentials, including your workout gear and a towel, water bottle, hairband, yoga mat, and leave it in your car. Don’t forget a protein bar! Keep a few in your bag so you can enjoy one the way to gym to fuel your workout or to fuel your body post workout. This visual reminder will help you be more conscious of your goals, encouraging you to work out more often.
Pick healthier alternatives when dining out
Eating according to a meal plan can feel impossible – especially on celebration days. Imagine receiving an invite to your best friend’s birthday, knowing most things on the menu will be off-limits. There might be many treats to tempt you, but you can work around this. Friends are friends for a reason and will understand if you speak to them about your health goals. They might even surprise you by serving a tasty health platter inspired by your needs! Alternatively, take your own make-ahead meal with loads of veg and protein with you. Either way, make sure you eat a protein-rich snack before you arrive. You’re more likely to reach for something unhealthy when you’re ravenous, so having something small like a protein bar beforehand will help you resist temptation. Or simply take your own protein snacks with you to share with everyone.
When attending a function at a restaurant, be sure to look at the menu ahead of time and find something that aligns with your eating plan. Just mind the salad dressing, as it can be more calorific than a slice of cake! Stick to water, great conversation, and chilled vibes.
Eating on the run isn’t ideal, but it’s often unavoidable. We are constantly moving and working around whatever life throws at us, but planning is all you need to ensure stable, sustainable health and wellness. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re faced with another rough week, and don’t let convenience food stop you from reaching your goals.