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May 10, 2019 Peggy Liu

5 tips for eating right with a busy schedule

Your time is limited, and eating healthy can be difficult. Here are some things you can do to make it a little easier.

As any entrepreneur knows, it can be easy to overlook the lifestyle basics that set you up for the optimal mindset to generate success. Many executives and entrepreneurs struggle with maintaining healthy eating habits with their busy schedules.

Time is a valuable resource, and being healthy can involve more time and effort than is available. To save you some time, here are five easy tips to put you on the right track.

Hydrate

Drinking water consistently throughout the day is just as important as eating healthy foods. Dehydration negatively affects your body’s energy levels and its ability to regulate temperature, leading to headaches, fatigue, and even anxiety.

Successful people know that personal health can make or break your work performance, and it’s infinitely more difficult to focus on work when half your energy is spent on keeping a throbbing headache or bad mood at bay. Dehydration can also often be mistaken for hunger, so keeping a water bottle on hand is an easy, cost-efficient way to both keep your mind clear and stave off hunger.

Prepare a meal plan

Being conscious of what you’re putting into your body is a guaranteed way to eating healthy, especially when you have a tight schedule. Preparing what you’re going to eat the next day or week not only helps you choose better options, but helps with portion control.

Having an idea of what you’re eating in advance helps you to avoid making split-second decisions when hunger hits. When you’re ravenously hungry, it’s all too easy to prioritize convenience and immediate satisfaction over nutrition. Easiest solution is to have a meal plan that eliminates the extra minutes spent deciding what and where to eat.

Healthy snacking

Even with a meal plan, you might find yourself feeling hungry at random times. An easy solution is to keep a stock of healthy snacks on hand. Fruits like apples, bananas, and grapes are great for bringing your energy back up. Nuts and dark chocolate contain healthy fats to keep you satiated.

They’d also rather have a burger.

Whole wheat pita, veggies, and hummus are also a great option because they contain lots of fiber to keep your blood sugar in check. Having healthy snacks like these dials down the temptation to order a sugary pastry to go with your coffee or ordering takeout for a late dinner. When cravings hit or you’re feeling low on energy, having healthy snacks on hand sets you up with the right options.

Prioritize protein

Try to incorporate protein in every meal. If you’re prone to skipping meals due to a busy schedule, prioritizing protein in your meals helps keep you full longer and your energy levels up! You can work longer and more productively between meals with less worry about being distracted by hunger.

Choose lean proteins like tilapia, turkey, and chicken for the healthiest boost to your meals. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, legumes, hempseed, soy products, and even ancient grains are great sources of plant-based protein.

Be mindful when dining out

Networking is an important part of being an entrepreneur and this is often done over sharing a meal or drink. When dining out, choose the healthier option on the menu. Know that you can ask for healthy tweaks made to your food. For example, asking for less salt or oil being added to your entrees, substituting fries for a salad, and choosing a lighter sauce are small but effective ways to ensure you’re still feeding your body with the healthiest options available.

When it comes to happy hours or after-work cocktails, try to avoid the temptation of ordering drinks with lots of additives. Instead, opt for dry wines or drinking spirits neat/on the rocks for less sugar and calories.

Finding the time for self-care can be hard for executives and entrepreneurs when it feels like every minute of the day is dedicated to building success. However, eating right can be the simplest and time-efficient way to set yourself up for success if you incorporate these five simple habits.

Not only will your physical health be positively affected, your mental health will be at its best for optimal productivity. Success always starts with a healthy and balanced self.

Peggy Liu

Peggy Liu is a freelance writer and content creator and editor. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in English Literature, where she was also a mental health columnist for the student newspaper. When she isn't digging her way to the bottom of a peanut butter jar or petting friendly dogs around Vancouver, she can be found sitting in cafes with a notebook and a cup of coffee.