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How to Eat Healthy When You Are Super Busy

An African American couple preparing food together.

Everyone wants to eat healthily, but who has the time? The pace of life keeps getting faster and faster, and stress piles up until you feel like you’re going to break. If you haven’t learned how to eat healthy, it’s tempting to cheat and get a coffee and danish instead of partaking in a more nutritional breakfast. Planning ahead doesn’t just reduce stress, it ensures you always have something appropriate and delicious on hand when it’s time to eat.

Healthy living doesn’t just make me feel good. Eight of the ten leading causes of death are directly or indirectly impacted by diet, and heart disease kills more Americans than anything else. Learning how to eat healthy is the easiest way to avoid becoming one of these statistics.

Healthy Eating: How To Eat & Drink Healthy When You Are Busy – eHOw

Eating right can be fun and easy. Keep reading to discover some of my favorite ways to get the most out of food.

Eating is Emotional

When you want to change how you eat, it’s important to realize how eating affects your mood. Most of the eating Americans do is for emotional fulfillment instead of nutrition. When our mood is low, it’s easy to turn to food. The happier and more content you are, the easier it is to make healthy changes to your diet. Adding activities that boost your mood will make it easier while learning how to get healthy.

Behavioral scientists will tell you multitasking decreases performance. It’s tempting to eat at your desk while you work, but this kind of multitasking can lead to problems. If you take the time to focus on your food while you eat, you will get better results and are less likely to overeat. You will enjoy your food more completely and be more productive when you get back to work.

A young Afro American doing meditative eating, with food and drinks on the table. She is motivating herself on how to eat healthy.
Meditative Eating Is Said To Help People Improve Their Enjoyment And Self-Control While Eating (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Most people don’t think of mental health when planning their diet, but food really does have an impact on how you feel. Regular meditation also boosts my mood and makes it less likely for me to engage in emotional eating. I take Onnit New Mood and use my Meditation by Muse headband to create the perfect atmosphere for meditation. There are a lot of good meditation apps that can help you dial in to your perfect meditation routine. There is even a specialized practice called meditative eating that has been shown to help people improve their enjoyment and self-control while eating.

In addition to meditation, my gratitude journal helps me maintain a positive outlook on life. Practicing gratitude creates a sense of happiness and empowerment that enhances my willpower and optimism.

Eating is central to your mental health, so when life gets hectic, take the time out to ensure your mental state is healthy. Controlling your eating habits will be much easier when you are optimistic and strong in body and mind.

Organize Your Life for Health

When you keep a schedule or follow a calendar, you will get more done and your life will be less hectic. This will free up time and help you be more productive and successful. Small changes are easier to add than big ones, and the small things can add up fast!

A young woman writing on a small paper in front of her computer, organizing her schedule.
Follow a Calendar To Free More Time And Help You Be More Productive (Image Source: Shutterstock)

I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. Not only is hydration important, sometimes when I feel hungry, I’m really just thirsty. A quick drink of water often sets my stomach straight.

Indulging in quick workouts throughout the week can also help keep your energy and mood up. If you can bike to work, then you can use your commuting time as exercise. Even if it takes a little longer, you are getting two uses out of your time. It’s almost like getting paid twice!

Going out to eat at restaurants and fast food is a major source of unhealthy calories. Cooking at home with your loved ones is more intimate than eating out at a restaurant, and it can help you keep control of your diet. If you don’t know how to cook, investing some time in cooking classes or watching videos on YouTube can get you started out right.

A multi racial couple cooking at the kitchen.
Cooking At Home Will Help You Keep Control Of Your Diet (Image Source: Shutterstock)

When you do go out to eat, a few minor adjustments can protect you from bad decisions. Ask your server to put sauces and dressings on the side, and always order a vegetable. Look for restaurants with a lot of healthy options or smaller portions. When you explore the healthy options available, you not only eat better, but you discover just how delicious new foods can be.

Meal prep is another way to save time and money and ensure you always have something delicious to eat. Anticipation increases appreciation. If you already know what you are going to eat then you can anticipate your favorite meals as you go. This will make you happier and more likely to appreciate your food.

Easy Breakfast Ideas

When I get up in the morning I drink a tall glass of water first thing. Most people are dehydrated in the morning so this is a great way to start your day. Getting proper hydration in the morning is also important because a glass of water boosts your metabolism by up to thirty percent. This helps kick start your day and give you the energy to hit the ground running.

My favorite breakfast is Overnight Oats. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious. You take a mason jar and fill it with:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite milk
  • 7-8 almond kernels
  • frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 jars of overnight oats topped with blue berries placed on top of a napkin and a spoon on the side.
Overnight Oats For Breakfast (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Put it in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight. You can eat it at home or take it with you if you’re on the go.

Another favorite staple is cottage cheese and pineapple. Fill your bowl with:

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of mint
Cottage cheese and 2 slices of pineapple with mint leaves on wooden bowl and a wooden spoon on the side.
Cottage Cheese and Pineapple a Low-Calorie Breakfast (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Not only is this a low-calorie breakfast, it is also high in protein, helping you feel satisfied and full.

When you fill your belly with goodness in the morning, you will be more successful throughout the day.

Exposure to Diverse Foods Can Help You Learn How to Eat Healthy

Expanding your palate is a fun and delicious way to explore food. When you learn to appreciate a wide range of flavors it’s easier to avoid high fat and high sugar options.

Dessert is an important part of a fulfilling meal, and there are many healthy and delicious ways to reward yourself for eating right. Program yourself with easy ways to avoid pitfalls. When your server asks, “Do you have room for dessert?” have a response already scripted in your head like, “I’d like a cup of tea” or “What seasonal fruits do you have available?” The more options you have, the better, so brainstorm this for a while. Eating should be fun, and if you learn how to eat healthy, then you never have to skip dessert.

A couple drinking tea after eating their meal.
Avoid Desserts Instead Take a Cup Of Tea (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Taking time out for meal prep is one of the best time management tips. By planning ahead, I save time, money, and aggravation throughout the week. Before I go to bed I wind down by doing an hour of meal prep for the week. I load up my six pack prep meal bag with delicious meals and quick, healthy snacks.

My meal bag is easy to take with me, so when I’m not at home it’s easy to stay on track and not cheat. I always have something healthy with me, and because I make the meals myself, I get to explore something different every week! Exploring tasty recipes is a great way to enjoy your food more and avoid overeating.

Meal Planning is My Secret Weapon

I always have pre-made delicious snacks that won’t make me feel guilty. My snacks usually include something like nuts, dried fruit, or granola, and I eat them with a large glass of water or a cup of tea.

Meal Planning For Beginners – Meghan Livingstone

If you can befriend the crockpot, it can become a powerful ally in your quest for delicious food. Crockpot meals are quick and easy to prep, and once turned on they will slow cook your food all day. I love opening the door to the delicious aroma of perfectly cooked food!

Some of the best crock pot meals I have found are vegetarian instant pot recipes.

Are you in control of your diet? Ready to transform your meals or simply step it up a notch? Elevate your life today by making one small change and discover how to eat healthy and stay happy.