Everyone wants to eat healthy, but due to the demands of modern lifestyle, most of us find it challenging. Family commitments, work, friends, errands, and numerous obligations make eating healthy a secondary priority. Due to a busy schedule, we cannot find enough time to sit down and have a proper meal.

We usually resort to processed food, unhealthy takeaways, fast food, or even skip a meal entirely! These bad eating habits might take their toll on our health, by increasing our weight and thereby increasing our risk of various cardio-vascular diseases like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries.). 

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

So how do we start eating healthy despite our hectic schedule? These are tips and tricks that can help you achieve healthy eating habits without taking too much of your time. 

1. Prepare your meal ahead

Meal planning is cost-effective, practical, and makes healthy eating easier. With a meal plan in place, you are less prone to eat or buy food impulsively. By relieving the stress of having to plan your meals every day, you’ll free up vital mental space and spend that extra energy for more important things. Sunday is a good day to prepare your meal for the week. You can even involve your family in the process and assign each member tasks or meals to prepare. It’s an engaging family activity!

2. Stay hydrated

We cannot deny the fact that we need water in order to survive. By drinking plenty of water every day, you can avoid being dehydrated, a condition that can affect your brain function and energy level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water can help manage body weight because it has no calories. Plus it’s definitely cheaper than coffee and other beverages!

3. Pre-portion your snacks

Snacks help us get through our busy day, but we often lose track of how much we eat. Pre-portioning your snack is important so you will not be tempted to overeat. It is preferable to put  a tiny portion of your snack in a bowl rather than taking the entire bag or box when eating. Remember that snacks should only help you quell your hunger until the next meal. Avoid junk food; go with healthier options such as fruits, low-fat yoghourt, nuts, and seeds. However given the current epidemic of obesity that is facing most countries and populations – a second thought should be given as to whether a snack is needed at all. If we think back to hunter gatherer times, people would go for days without needing snacks, they only ate when there was a fresh kill or when fruits and berries were in season. Without the convenience of fridges and the commercial production of shelf stable food – the ability to snack was reduced, a key element in the smaller height to weight ratio – or lower obesity levels. So if you are going to snack perhaps consider if you really need it at all  and if you do make sure it is pre-portioned and healthy. 

4. Go for green

Leafy green veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. A healthy portion of leafy greens consumed each day will help shield you from various diseases, and the antioxidant properties in green leafy vegetables help to clean up free radicals in your body (and assist in keeping you disease free).  The fibre is broken down slowly  by your digestive system leaving you fuller for longerm and therefore reducing your need for the next meal or need for a snack in between. Fibre in foods  also assists in slowing the release of insulin so that you do not experience a sugar rush and then subsequent crash a few hours late that a high calorie food will produce.  The antioxidants in leafy greens help us to appear younger and can even encourage healthy ageing, whether they are consumed as whole foods or in smoothies. It is widely recommended that we consume 2 -3 cups of vegetables per day so make your greens a daily go to. 

5. Invest in slow Cooker

Crock pot, often known as slow cooker, is the perfect gadget for a busy person. Only a little preparation is needed in the morning. Just set it, forget, and you can come home to a delicious and hearty dinner at the end of the day. Isn’t this the ideal lifestyle? Dishes cooked in slow cookers are incredibly flavorful because the ingredients have literally hours to cook! Cooking in bulk is possible with crock pots so you can spend your precious time with work and family! Slow cookers also allow you to add vegetables that break down to create sauces and flavoursome bases for all types of meats and as these are broken down they are easy to hide from fussy kids. 

6. Store nutritious snacks and clean out the cupboards. 

When you are having a busy day and hunger strikes, our default move is to grab the nearest and the most convenient food item. Having a supply of healthy snack options in your bag, office drawer, or car ensures you nutritious food to bridge the hunger gap between your meals. You can stash granola bars or boxes of muesli in your bag and work drawer however the highly processed nature plus sugars added tend to mean that these so called healthy options are good for us.   Healthy snacks are natural not prepared and usually have low caloric content. Think cucumbers, celery, carrot sticks, capsicum slices and any fruits. These natural options let you eat guilt-free with less risk of you gaining weight. 

7. Mindful eating

Let’s be honest that we are usually using our phones while having a meal. When you are multitasking and distracted by gadgets while eating, there is a tendency that you end up eating more and it can be disastrous to your health. Put away your phone or any gadget that you have and pay attention to your food. Mindful eating improves your health, helps you avoid overeating, and aids in digestion. 

8. Reduce caffeine intake

Caffeine when consumed moderately is a great supplement to get you through a busy day. It is currently recognised that 1 -2 cups per day provides cardiovascular protection. However, using caffeine for an energy boost later in the day can cause restless sleep flowing over into afternoon slumps the next day. A lack of energy and attention effects work, relationship engagement and can cause you to reach for snacks to boost your energy, unfortunately ending in weight gain rather than a real energy boost.    One of the most ignored facts about caffeine consumption is the increased sugar and calories that are consumed as a side line of this caffeine. In the 1950’s a cup of coffee included a dash of milk for a total energy value of 35 calories however with our popular venti sized full fat cappuccino with a dash of vanilla syrup our average calorie consumption per cup of coffee is 10 times greater than it was. These hidden calories cause an increase in weight and the associated negative side effects of obesity. 

Consider green tea or lemon water as a lower calorie and caffeine  alternative or the many flavoured teas that are currently available when reaching for an afternoon cup of jo. 

9. Grocery delivery service

With our increased work responsibilities and the recent pandemic grocery delivery services are at an all-time high. Take advantage of the service and save time from walking the isles. By choosing pre-chopped fresh vegetables and fruit produce  with a few taps on your phone or PC,  yes you may spend a little more by choosing these ready prepared items but you will be more likely to consume the healthier options if they are available in your fridge. Shopping online – also helps you avoid the last minute shopping trolley  dump when you are time poor, hungry and influenced by the advertising within the grocery store aisles. With a little thought your meal prepping for the week is easier to do.

The power of modern science

Eating healthy can be a challenge for busy people, with little time, little energy and overwhelm when it comes to knowing what to eat and when. With so many options and advice, busy people need time to implement these small steps in order to create positive eating habits. However, despite all the options and advice, society is getting bigger. Obesity is the largest indicator of disease in all modern and developing countries. This  weight gain not only causes physical disease, but emotional stresses too. 

And when diet and exercise don’t provide the physical results desired, modern science offers ways to shed those extra layers of fat that have accumulated because of this busy lifestyle. Some of these include non-invasive procedures, which means no needles and no anesthesia, that are safe and effective ways to remove fat cells permanently. 

The most popular non-invasive procedure is fat freezing treatment or cryolipolysis. This treatment works by reducing the number of subcutaneous fat cells on the body. With fat freezing – an applicator or handle is applied to the area and this tissue is taken to -9 degrees C. The targeted fat cells are then damaged and are then identified by the body’s natural immune and repair system, and  then they are eliminated through the natural processes (they are flushed down the toilet). Clinical trials from 2009 prove that there is on average a 26% fat cell reduction in the areas being treated, however in the past 12 years the technology has improved, and the results are greater.   When considering fat freezing or liposuction, fat freezing is safer as there are no needles or anesthetic, nor does it require a recovery period, allowing clients to return to their busy lives that afternoon. 

In today’s busy lifestyle where we juggle everything, it is easy to get lost in work, errands, family responsibilities, tasks, etc. We sometimes neglect the quality of our diet, which can adversely affect our health in the long run. There are small hacks to help you eat healthy despite your hectic lifestyle. Thanks to the power of technology and modern science, we finally have access to safe and effective ways of losing fat. In the end, we may have too much on our plate, but that’s not an excuse to sacrifice the quality of the food that we consume.