7 Realistic Health Tips for Super Busy Schedules
By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Being busy is one of the biggest reasons I find that Guided Reboot participants and clients (and myself even!) have a hard time sticking to their healthy eating and exercise efforts.
Whether we work for someone, take care of our kids, own our own business, have a busy volunteer schedule, or anything similar, we’re running nonstop. If you feel like this topic speaks to you, you’re not alone!
How do you stay on track with something that can be as time consuming as juicing and preparing healthy meals, and do all of the things on your to do list? It’s not impossible, it just takes some extra thought.
7 Tips for Healthy Eating with a Busy Schedule
- Prepare, prepare, prepare.
I can’t say this enough. Prep is by far the most important aspect of healthy eating. Staying on top of your prep work and thinking about the week (or at least day) ahead, helps ten fold. Buy a planner, make yourself a shopping list or a “to do” list for the week when it comes to eating and moving. This will at least get your mind going on the topic.
- Find ways to cut corners.
While the expectation of cooking and preparing your food entirely is a nice one, for many of us it’s just not possible. Not to fret though, this is something that many of us struggle with. Cutting corners doesn’t mean making less-healthy choices, instead it means finding local places you can pickup already-made, healthy options like juices, plant-based food items, smoothies, etc. Search your local listings for places that might be convenient for you to stop in and pick something up. It really makes a difference!
- Pack your nutrients into easy-to consume juices and smoothies.
Juices and smoothies are healthy and can pack a lot of nutritional punch, and also can be either made or purchased. Here’s a few of my favorite, easy juice recipes:
- Carrot Apple Ginger Juice
- Mean Green Juice
- Low Sugar Green Juice
- Eat where you can make good choices.
Even if your schedule includes eating out for almost every meal daily, there is some ability to choose places to go that have healthier options. This way even though you don’t have full control over what you’re eating, you can choose the basis of your meal, which can help it to be even better. So pick places (when you can) that have healthy options that you like including steamed vegetable options, salads, etc.
- Set reminders for yourself.
Even the most organized person can forget to prepare ahead and get what they need in advance. So make this process fool-proof and that alone will help you to succeed. Doing things like setting phone alarms (or regular alarms), putting sticky notes in places that you frequently look, and other easy-to-spot places can help even the busiest of people remember.
- Set appointments for exercise and healthy living activities.
This is one of the hardest things to do with a busy schedule, but one of the most important. If you make an appointment for yourself that you can’t schedule over, it makes it easier to stick to those good habits and stick to your plan for healthy eating. The same thing goes for exercise too.
- Get your friends/coworkers/family involved.
If you can get those around you involved in your healthy eating efforts, it makes it much easier to stick to your efforts. You can invite them to do active activities with you, or you could also invite them over for a healthy dinner that you could make – or ask them to bring various parts of the meal and give them direction on what to bring and/or send them recipes to use when making their meals.