Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
*Courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness
Do you always have the best intentions to eat healthy and then see life get in the way? Lack of time is now no longer a viable excuse. Here’s how keep healthy eating in the forefront of your mind even when you’re busy with family, friends, fun plans, and work.
Keep it clean:
Whether you’re cooking at home or out on the town, this is the single tip you should take to every single meal and snack. Replace processed foods with clean (whole and natural) items. When you eat clean, you’re filling up on premium fuel, allowing your body to perform at its top potential. Making this shift in your mind is essential to sustaining a healthy diet for the long haul. Not only are natural options more nutritious, but also you’ll find that their flavors are more satisfying. It will totally change your relationship with healthy food.
Plan your meals:
Heading to the store without a shopping list in hand can lead to some big problems. Not only are you more likely to be unsatisfied with your thrown-together meal options (and call in takeout instead), but it’s also easier to buy junk if a plan isn’t in place. Spend time on your favorite Pinterest boards and check out all of our healthy recipes to come up with a delicious menu for the week that will make you excited to get cooking. Also make note of when you have lunch or dinner plans for the upcoming week so you don’t throw out uneaten food (and money) week after week.
Prep on Sunday:
Once all that food makes its way home, it’s got to be put to use! Take plenty of time to prep your kitchen for the week to make healthy eating and cooking feel like second nature. Leave fresh produce out in plain sight, make and freeze smoothie bags for quick and satisfying breakfasts, and prep salads for the week for the easiest packed lunch ever. Taking the time to prep everything might seem like a pain, but it will make for an easier week.
If you’re constantly pressed for time, you should never only cook enough food for just one meal. Package the leftovers in containers you can easily grab for the next few days’ meals. If your lunch or dinner is already prepared, you won’t be tempted to call in takeout or eat whatever is in sight. Just be sure to package up those extra portions as soon as possible so you don’t eat double and sabotage your healthy goals.
Plan for indulgences:
Whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, occasionally enjoying a sweet treat or special meal out is an essential part of a sustainable healthy-eating plan. When you know you’re going to eat an over-the-top burger at your barbecue or an ice cream cone when you’re at the beach next weekend, make a point to keep your diet extra-clean leading up to your special indulgence. It will make the whole experience that much sweeter.
Depending on your job, upcoming events, or celebrations, eating out might be a necessity — or an experience you’re not willing to give up! Be sure to do ample research on restaurants, and make sure there are options that suit your needs. Don’t be afraid to call, ask questions, or request something special. You should never feel embarrassed or concerned about taking your healthy goals seriously. Chances are you’ll inspire someone at the table to do the same.