Summer is in full swing! After a couple of weekends at the lake, horseshoe tournaments with friends and a graduation, I am so over beer and cake and ready to get back to eating right. With that, comes a lot of planning that can often take the back burner when the busy weekends are followed by busy weeks.Whether you are like me and just need to get back on track or are starting a healthy diet for the first time, these five tips can help!
1. Plan your meals as if you were to plan a day of meetings with an important client.
Take extra time at the beginning of your week to plan meals and grocery shop. If your week starts on Monday, Sunday afternoon would be a good time to plan ahead for breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week. By starting your morning with a healthy breakfast, instead of a coffee shop crumble, you will jump start your metabolism and energy levels for the day. Packing a healthy lunch will ensure your energy levels stay up well past the 3 o’clock slump! After work, treat yourself to an occasional dinner with friends or head home for the veggie pizza you planned to make.
2. Make a grocery list.
After you have planned what you will eat for the week, make a list of the items you already have and those that you need to get. Take your grocery list with you to help save time at the store, help you remember what you need, and to help steer you away from impulse buys.
3. Pack your lunch-everyday!
Packing a healthy lunch can keep you from indulging in the calorie packed meals that are catered to business meetings. We all know how hard it is to say no to a “free” catered meal, but your waistline will thank you over time. If you have a lunch meeting at a restaurant, you can always leave your packed lunch in the office refrigerator for the next day.
4. Plan for healthy snacks.
The one thing most healthy eaters have in common is that they always have food with them. Packing healthy snacks of veggies, fruits, or lean protein will keep you away from vending machine urges and afternoon calorie traps. If you have a late meeting and aren’t sure when you will have time for dinner, take a healthy snack to get you through so the entire room won’t be distracted by your stomach rumble!
5. Plan for exercise, too.
Exercise not only releases endorphins that make you happy, it also helps you focus and boost memory. Set aside time each day to walk, jog or even lift weights. People who exercise tend to make better food choices throughout the day. Write that time down in your planner to help you visualize how it can fit into your busy routine.
This article was originally written for and posted on Your Coffee Break!