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How to Keep Your Nutrition On Track When Life Gets Busy

Life's demands can often feel like a whirlwind, leaving little time and energy to focus on our nutritional goals.

However, prioritizing your well-being, especially through a mindful approach to nutrition, is crucial for sustained energy, mental clarity, and overall health.

But how does one do that when life is busy, in the midst of emotional or physical illness, or simply when trying to keep up with the day-to-day demands of life?

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Today, we'll explore practical strategies to help you stay on top of your nutrition goals even when life gets hectic. This blog covers how to keep on top of your goals first, and then what to do when things get out of control!

Plan and Prep:

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The first step is always planning! A little planning goes a long way, and the more you can take off your plate now, the less you will have to worry about later.

Set aside time each week to plan your meals and snacks. Prepare some staples in advance, such as chopped vegetables, grilled chicken or tofu, or whole (not refined) grains, to streamline your daily meal preparation. Having healthy options readily available can prevent impulsive, less nutritious choices.

If you have time prioritizing planning ahead, try thinking of it as a gift to your future self. Reflect on the frustration of not having anything to eat or reaching for the foods that work against your fitness goals.

Remember that you are gifting the future you a better chance at making a choice you won’t only be proud of, but one that will support your health and wellness!

Embrace Quick and Nutrient-Dense Options:

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When time is of the essence, opt for quick, nutrient-dense meals and snacks. Stock up on portable, healthy options like Greek yogurt, nuts, fruits, and whole-grain crackers.

These choices provide essential nutrients without requiring extensive preparation. When reaching for a snack, try to have something that contains more than one natural ingredient.

Having something with protein, carbs, and fat will help you feel more satisfied and decrease the likelihood that you’ll keep snacking.

Don’t reach for a processed or packaged snack if you can avoid it - for example, some yogurt with berries, nuts, seeds, and granola contains all those macros and will be more satisfying than if you had any of those ingredients on their own.

Stay Hydrated:

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Hydration is often overlooked but is fundamental to overall well-being. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, and set reminders if needed. Proper hydration supports digestion, energy levels, and cognitive function, helping you stay focused and alert during busy periods.

Listen to your body when it says it is thirsty, and if you are the person who “doesn’t get thirsty,” it’s because you’ve been ignoring that cue from your body for too long!

Start drinking water again, and keep in mind that after thirst, your body will use hunger pangs to try to get you to consume more water through the food you take in.

So if you’re never thirsty but always hungry, start with a glass of water, then do a body check to see if that is what your body was after in the first place!

Create a Personalized Meal Schedule:

Establish a flexible meal schedule that aligns with your daily routine. Consistency is key, but it's also essential to adapt to the unpredictability of life.

Whether it's three main meals or several smaller ones, find a schedule that works for you and allows for adjustments when needed.

Mindful Eating Practices:

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Practice mindful eating, even in the midst of a hectic day. Take a few moments to savor your meals, paying attention to flavors and textures.

This can enhance satisfaction, prevent overeating, and foster a healthier relationship with food. Remember it takes time for your brain to get word from your stomach that you’re full, and if you scarf down your food you won’t give your body enough time to send that message!

Utilize Technology:

Leverage technology to support your nutrition goals. Use apps to track your food intake, set reminders for meals and snacks, or explore recipe ideas.

Keep track of recipes you like or make a note of meals that are quick, easy, and match flavors you’ll actually eat. This way, when you’re feeling uninspired you can look at your list instead of trying to use energy you don’t have to think of a meal.

Delegate and Share Responsibilities:

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Don't hesitate to delegate tasks and share responsibilities. Whether it's meal preparation, grocery shopping, or other chores, involving others lightens the load and allows you more time to focus on your nutritional goals.

If you can’t delegate within your household, consider services outside the home!

Hire a nutritionist to help you plan and stay accountable, have your groceries delivered, sign up for a meal delivery service like Factor, Hello Fresh, or Green Chef, or even consider hiring a personal chef if your budget allows!

Sometimes we just don’t have the time or energy to do it all, and there is no shame in outsourcing until you get to a point where you feel you can take that burden on again.

Use the Good, Better, Best Method when shopping for ingredients:

It can be easy to get caught up in doing something 100% right all the time, but sometimes that’s just not possible. Instead of sacrificing your nutrition goals because you can’t get the best, most healthy version, consider just getting the “good” or “better” options.

Say, for example, you’re trying to eat more veggies.

Best: Buy fresh, organic veggies. Wash them and prep them so that you can easily access them throughout the week.
Better: Buy fresh, prechopped veggies from the store. Use them throughout the week.

Good: Buy some prechopped, frozen veggies and keep them in the freezer so that you can pull out and use them when you’re ready and don’t require you to prep anything in advance or keep track of them molding in the back of your fridge.

Notice that either way, you’re still getting your veggies in. While frozen veggies aren’t the best option, they are a great way to make sure you are still getting nutrients in until you have the time and energy to deal with fresh veggies.

And while you’ll receive more nutrients from unfrozen veggies, you’ll still receive essential vitamins and minerals from the frozen version without the guilt and stress of dealing it the fresh variety!

Be Kind to Yourself:

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Lastly, be kind to yourself when life gets overwhelming. Understand that perfection is not the goal, and there will be moments of flexibility. The key is consistency over time and making choices that align with your overall well-being.

Staying on top of your nutrition goals in a busy world requires a blend of planning, flexibility, and self-compassion. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can nourish your body effectively even during the busiest of times. Remember, it's about making sustainable choices that support your health in the long run.

Mint Condition Fitness has personalized programs led by professional fitness and nutrition coaches who are ready to help you begin making progress on your health goals and start living the life you envisioned.