5 Strategies For Healthy Eating on a Tight Schedule

When your days are packed with meetings, calls, reports and errands, eating – let alone eating healthy – might sometimes fall to the end of your list. Nevertheless, when you eat healthy, you have more energy for everything you need to accomplish, you won’t get sick as often and you will simply feel that much better from the inside out.

Even when you’re busy – especially when you are busy – eating healthy should be a top priority. If you find that you are eating fast food, vending machine food or not enough food, then the following strategies can help you get your diet and your day back on track. 

1. Organize, organize, organize

If your Monday through Friday schedule is particularly busy, take some time over the weekend to meal plan and organize for the week ahead. Determine when you will have time for a hot meal and when you will need to eat on the run; you can use meal-planning apps or simply make your own meal chart. Make a grocery list (or save more time by having your groceries delivered to your front door) and plan for at least half, if not all, of your weekday meals. When you’re not trying to find something on the fly or when you are already famished, you will be more likely to make healthy food choices.

2. Make freezer meals

If you are like most busy people, you don’t have time to prepare a three-course meal when you get home each night. Instead, think ahead. Freezer meals can help you eat well, even when you’re in a rush. Every Sunday, make a couple larger meals (you can freeze black bean burgers, lentil pasta, soups, casseroles that are heavy on vegetables, chicken breasts and more) and freeze them. When Wednesday morning rolls around and you know that you have an especially hectic day, simply pull something out of the freezer and warm it up – and enjoy – when you get home. You can check out websites, apps and books with ideas for delicious and healthy make-ahead meal options.

3. Start your day out right

When you eat a healthy breakfast, you set yourself up for success. On the other hand, when you start out on an empty stomach, your blood sugar plummets and it can be hard to focus or make good decisions. Likewise, skipping breakfast can lead to an increased risk of obesity and other health issues. Consider healthy options such as…

  • Make some "overnight oatmeal" by mixing the ingredients the night before, then add fresh fruit and spices in the morning.
  • Smoothie delivery services such as Daily Harvest offer a quick and healthy way to fuel up in the morning.
  • "Grab and go" options such as chia pudding, hard-boiled eggs or Greek yogurt.

The right mix of protein and carbs can provide a boost for the entire morning to come.

4. Keep healthy snacks close at hand

Keep your friends close and your healthy snacks closer. When you have healthy options in your bag or purse, desk drawer or car, you will be more likely to snack well on the run. Stock up on grab-and-go snacks such as small packets of almonds, dried fruit or veggies (or fresh options that travel well such as apples, carrots, snap peas and oranges), low-sugar granola bars (make sure you read the fine print) and whole-grain crackers. Small snacks can prevent that afternoon crash without ruining your dinner.

5. Choose healthy options when eating out

A working lunch can be a great way to brainstorm or even just connect with colleagues, but they can also be a detriment to your diet. Be conscious about what you order, limiting fried food and fast food, repeat trips to the bread basket and desserts. Instead, look for grilled meat and seafood, salad with dressing on the side, vegetable-based soups and fresh fruit on menus. Even when you’re busy, take time to taste and enjoy your food, rather than racing through meals. 

Eating healthy can also mean eating what’s in season. Visit your local farmer’s market to stock up on fresh and flavorful produce, eggs and meat or look into ordering a CSA (community supported agriculture) box of local goodies each week.

When you make healthy eating a priority, you will feel better, perform better and even live better.

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  • Arthav Chawla and Abby LeBlanc liked this
  • Dwayne Henderson
    Dwayne Henderson
    I'm trying to meal prep but I feel like I'll be eating the same bland things all the time.
    March 14, 2019
  • Zoey Burgess
    Zoey Burgess
    There are lots of good recipes and subscriptions out there for you. Keep looking!
    March 14, 2019