How to stay healthy on a busy schedule
Sticking to healthy habits with a hectic lifestyle can be extremely difficult. Cooking a balanced dinner just seems too much effort, heading to the gym after a long day of work is out of the question and eating biscuits in front of the television is just too tempting. However, this isn’t a good recipe to staying fit and healthy, so we have put together some tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Ensure you eat regularly
When living a busy lifestyle, the “I’ll eat later” excuses start to flow and convenient food is the go-to option. Not only does this have negative impact on our health physically, but it also doesn’t keep us healthy mentally. We need food to keep us going throughout the day and to keep our mind active; under-eating or skipping meals can cause an increase in fatigue and can lower our mood. Packing snacks for throughout the day is a good habit to get into. Healthy snacks such as: yogurts, fruit, handful of nuts, slice of fruit loaf or a small pot of rice pudding are all perfect examples of quick and healthy energy boosts.
Choose a day each week, typically a Sunday, where you plan and cook your meals for the week. This way you know exactly what you are eating and are less likely to buy calorific ready meals and convenient food. Lunches are very important to keep an eye on, many of us reach towards vending machines and supermarket meal deals as our ‘go to lunch’ - the average supermarket meal deal comes in at around 700 calories. Planning ahead can help you to factor in packed lunches for the week, whether it’s leftover dinners or a homemade salad or wrap, this will help you to reduce your calorie intake and stick to healthier options.
Small swaps can make a big difference
There are small swaps that we can all make, whilst only seem minor, can actually have a huge impact on our health:
- White to wholemeal: Swapping white rice, pasta and bread to wholemeal is extremely beneficial. White carbohydrates are refined, removing most of the goodness. Wholemeal carbohydrates have more fibre content than white carbohydrates; and because fibre is hard to digest, it tells your body you’re full. This in turn can help you to control your appetite and maintain a healthy weight.
- White potatoes to sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a fairly recent phenomenon; being higher in fibre than white potatoes and having almost 45% less calories than white potatoes, they make a perfect substitute. Easily made into fries, mash or eat as a jacket potato, it’s a perfect contribution to any meal.
- Fizzy drinks to infused water: Fizzy drinks contain an extremely high amount of sugar that adds a lot to our daily calorie count. Not only does it add to our diet but it also has a very negative impact on our dental health. Avoiding sugary and fizzy drinks will make a significant difference to your diet and health; replace with bottles of water and add your favourite fruit to the water to give it an infused, fresh taste.
- Lift to stairs: It’s always very tempting to take the lift or the escalator rather than the stairs, especially when it’s been a long and busy day. However, just by swapping this slight lifestyle change can better your health, with climbing stairs burning more calories per minute than jogging.