From the ambitious young professional spending long days in the office to the loving parent staying up all night with their newborn, to the knowledge-thirsty student juggling classes with their part-time job — it’s no wonder that the majority of Americans report being busier than ever before. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to spend time caring for oneself, which contributes to the obesity epidemic. Below are five fitness tips that can help busy people make healthier choices:
1. Stockpile Healthy Snacks
If you’re surprised to see “stockpile snacks” as the number one tip in a weight loss article, you’re probably not alone. However, “healthy” is the key word here. When you’re busy, the simple reality is that grabbing a snack instead of sitting down to eat is sometimes inevitable — and if your home is full of chips, cookies, and sodas, then guess what you’re going to grab?
Instead, try to keep the amount of “treats” in your home to a minimum — and make sure that a wide variety of healthy snacks are always available. Need some inspiration? Here is a quick list of 88 healthy snacks with 100 calories or less.
2. Sneak Fitness Into Your Lifestyle
No time to hit the gym? No worries. There are plenty of ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine — from taking the stairs to choosing further parking spot, to simply doing some push-ups first thing in the morning. A dozen small choices like this spread throughout the day can add up to a substantial workout!
3. Give Meal Prep a Shot
If you have even one free afternoon or evening throughout the course of your week, try dedicating it to making an extra-large batch of a food you love? From slow-cooking your grandma’s chili recipe, to making a couple loaves of banana bread — meal prep can be loads of fun and gives you the chance to eat home-cooked meals throughout the week rather than heading to the local drive through.
4. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Studies have shown that staying properly hydrated can help curb the appetite — however, be careful what you’re drinking. Sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices are all loaded with sugar, and can sometimes be almost as high in calories as an entire meal. Coffee can be okay as long as it is consumed in moderation and without large amounts of sugar, cream, and/or flavor syrups. Because alcoholic beverages are quite high in calories, people interested in losing weight should definitely stay within the CDC’s “moderate drinking” guidelines.
5. Avoid “On-the-Go” Eating
As we discussed in this recent Top Fitness Magazine article on Mindful Eating, multiple studies have shown that people who take time to enjoy their meals distraction-free end up feeling fuller, faster. This is why setting aside a small amount of time (even ten to fifteen minutes) to consume your meals rather than eating “on-the-go” can help you establish healthier habits.