Life is full of decisions-but choosing between your lifestyle and your health shouldn’t be one of them. Between obligations to work, family, and friends, finding time to take care of yourself can be hard. Busy schedules leave you exhausted and the mere thought of cooking a meal when you get home is just as draining (not to mention the terrible chore of dish-washing that inevitably follows). We’ve all been there. Fortunately, we don’t have to stay there. The modern world has heard our woes and now being and eating healthy on the go has never been easier. Nowadays, you can do it all-work, workout, and even work in nights out with your friends-all without derailing your hard-work towards a healthier you in the process. You can have your cake, and eat it too (one bite won’t hurt, right?). Here’s my five tips for making healthy fit into your schedule.
Many people warn against going grocery shopping when you’re hungry and anyone under the influence of an empty stomach can vouch for this adage being just as important when making decisions on what to eat. That’s just one of the reasons preparing your meals ahead of time is so good for keeping your healthy lifestyle on track. The accountability that comes when the decision on what to eat has already been made (by a wiser and less-hungry you, may I add) is nearly impossible to mess up. Gone is the option to justify a trip through a drive-thru window when you have a previously prepared and positioned meal sitting pretty in its shiny little Tupperware container. In today’s day and age, pre-packed meals are no longer just for your kid’s school lunches.
Few methods to avoid making unhealthy decisions work as well as not having any options at all. Tested and true, cleaning out your fridge and replacing those cookies for carrots forces your grab-and-go food choices to be good ones. For some of us, this is easier said than done. Luckily, the urge to throw the bag of chips in the cart can be replaced by a mouse-click for a healthier alternative. Still worried about picking out that candy bar in the check-out line? Avoid that too and just have your online grocery shopping hand-delivered to your door. Nobody ever makes bad decisions online shopping, right?
They say practice makes perfect. The same goes for making a routine that keeps you on track with living a healthy lifestyle. I have found that one of the best ways to hold myself accountable to actually go to the gym after work is to head straight there. For me, a pit-stop at home usually has me ending up in the same attire but in a much more sedentary position (probably watching marathons of Law and Order). Everything in your life can fit into your schedule with a little bit of pre-planning and trust me when I say that knowing in advance when, where, and how you are going to check-off your to-do list is the ultimate stress-reliever.
Little changes can lead to big progress. However, making lifestyle changes alone leaves room for slip-ups and giving up. One way to keep your healthy lifestyle on track is to rally in your friends to do the same. Compete against one another to see who can walk the most steps in a day (yes, this means take the stairs). Collectively pick to order the broccoli for a side instead of the fries. Craving dessert? Find one you all like and share it over some juicy conversation. Planning a hang-out? Make the decision to meet up for a walk at the park or agree to suffer through a spin-class together. The options for fitting healthy living into your schedule are endless and much more enjoyable with your friends beside you and along for the ride.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of leading a healthy lifestyle is recognizing your changes, overcoming your challenges, and taking pride in your sacrifices towards a healthier you. You are your biggest fan. Taking the time to look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are capable and that you can lead a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate motivation. You and your body have a long life to lead and it thanks you for the gym sessions, healthy food choices, and positive bouts of self-love that come from you fitting healthy into your schedule.
Being healthy in today’s fast-paced world doesn’t have to be hard. A little bit of planning ahead goes a long way to keeping your healthy eating on track. Sure, leading a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment, but when you’ve got yourself and your friends on your side…anything is possible.
In a world full of McDonalds, choose Max.