With all this back-to-school stress, staying in shape and healthy eating can become the least of your worries. Your routine is turning upside down and schedules are somewhat unpredictable. The following strategies will help you during this busy time of year.
When busy times are ahead, plan your meals and go grocery shopping accordingly. This way, you’ll avoid the famous question, “What’s for dinner?” less than an hour before the meal. You’ll cut down on frozen dinners and eating out too often. This means your salt, sugar and fat intake will reduce.
Optimal control of your intake is possible by cooking your meals. And preparing recipes in bulk will help you save time. You can choose to eat some and freeze the rest by making sure you divide it into a few meals.
Caught off guard and eating out remains the only option? Try to adopt the proportions of a healthy plate, i.e., a plate filled as follows: 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% grain products and 25% protein sources. By following these proportions, you’ll have some control over the nutrients you consume. Since a large part of your plate will be covered with vegetables, you’ll definitely get a healthy quota of vitamins, minerals and fibres. What’s more, they have a low energy density. This means that they provide few calories for their volume, which contributes to the feeling of fullness. That’s why it’s smart to fill up your plate with veggies.
Snacks are important for weight maintenance. They help you feel full all day long. Always keep some at hand; this way, you’ll avoid long periods without eating and it will tide you over if you skip a meal. But remember one thing: don’t get into the habit of replacing a meal with a snack. Only in exceptional situations can a snack partly make up for a missed meal.
The consumption of liquid calories increases weight gain since liquid calories don’t make you feel as full. Avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice, iced coffee and alcohol. You’ll be surprised how all these end up affecting your weight!