Meals Matter: 3 Tips for Making Healthy Eating a Priority
As busy people, most of us can probably admit to having skipped a meal or eaten potato chips for breakfast in order to save time and get other things done. With a datebook so full you can’t even pencil in restroom breaks, you might think your eating habits and schedule aren’t of enough importance to be a priority. Really, though, deciding what and when to eat should always be at the top of our to-do lists. Food is our body’s fuel. Food can influence whether we are fit or overweight, healthy or sick, happy or depressed—needless to say, eating properly is crucial to many aspects of our lives. If you struggle to make time for eating during your busy day, here are a few tips on how to fix that:
1. No matter how hectic your morning is, don’t skip breakfast! According to Live Science, people who skip breakfast are actually a third more likely to be obese than those who eat a good breakfast. (Susan E. Matthews, Live Science) Eating a healthy, protein-filled breakfast not only provides energy for your day, but it also helps your body avoid the famished feeling around lunchtime, so you don’t feel the need to ravenously scarf down a five-course meal at noon. If you’re someone who rushes out the door in the mornings, try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can wake up in time to whip up some eggs and sausage.
2. If you have the munchies, munch. Another habit that can actually help with weight loss if used correctly is eating small meals or snacks throughout the day. Consuming healthy snacks throughout the day is a smart way to curb your hunger, keep you from overeating at mealtimes and provide you with natural energy between meals. A couple things to keep in mind when snacking are a) eating snacks that are low in carbs and high in protein, vitamins and good fats, and b) stopping when you’re full. I know the latter seems like common sense, but in our “free refill” society, it can really be a challenge to stop consuming when our bodies have had enough. Listen to your body; eat but don’t overeat. Some ideas for these mini meals are nuts and dried fruit, Greek yogurt, salads and natural-ingredient protein bars. Have them prepared and easily accessible to you for when you get the munchies.
3. Don’t make dinner a calorie fest. Oftentimes working people go without getting their proper caloric intake throughout the day and try to make up for it by gorging themselves at dinnertime. Unfortunately, your body can only convert so much of that food into energy; a lot of it will be stored as fat, which would not be the case had those calories been spread out throughout the day. Do your best to not head into dinnertime desperately hungry. If you can remember to eat breakfast and have those snacks throughout the day, you should be able to manage this one.
When you’re thinking about your daily checklist, remember how important food is to your life. Don’t put off fixing your eating habits until later–you don’t want to wait until you’re dealing with obesity, diabetes or other problems to get your diet in order. Eat right today so you’re not paying for it tomorrow.