5 Tips for Balancing Healthy Eating with a Stressful and Hectic Lifestyle
© Ella Olsson
Staying healthy is a very difficult task anyway, but if you have a packed schedule, that task becomes nearly impossible. The key word here is “nearly”. Anything is achievable if you put your mind to it, and our team has come together to offer you advice that will make this nearly impossible task become second-nature to you.
Don’t skip breakfast
The word breakfast can be broken up into “break” and “fast”. Think about it, you have been fasting for at least 8 hours while you were asleep. Once you wake up, your body needs something to nourish it. Many people are guilty of skipping breakfast and continuing their fast until noon, or even later, which can have detrimental effects on your health. Now, there are people that simply cannot stomach anything in the morning, be it because they prefer eating later in the day, or if their morning is so hectic that they forget to eat anything.
What we aren’t trying to do is convince you that you should start force-feeding yourself with fried eggs and bacon, if you don’t want to. A light yoghurt-based smoothie is all you need to provide your body with enough healthy fats, carbs and protein to give you energy and stabilise your blood sugar levels. You can prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge, it’ll taste even better and save you time in the morning.
Skip on the fast food
When working a stressful and fast-paced job, we may be more inclined to grab a quick lunch that soothes all our cravings, especially if you often skip breakfast. Fast food is the most common choice, since it is quick to make and rich in fat and sugar. The problem is, if you work in an office all day, you don’t burn that many calories, and fast food is usually extremely calorie-dense. Even salads have heavy dressing, and they can be as caloric as a cheeseburger.
Fast food is not only bad for your figure, but it also causes high blood pressure and other heart problems, which don’t pair very well with working stressful jobs. Instead, try to pack your own lunch. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a simple lightly dressed salad or sandwich on whole-grain bread and low-cal condiments will do just fine. It’ll keep you full for longer, and it is much healthier.
Another bad habit we tend to adopt when we are focused on work is that we often forget to drink enough water. Staring at a computer screen all day and drinking little to no liquids can cause splitting migraines; with that comes less productivity, moodiness, brain fog, and irritability.
Add that big cup of coffee you had in the morning to the equation, which further dehydrates you and may cause anxiety, and you have all the ingredients for a really stressful and exhausting day. To remind yourself to drink water, keep a big hydro flask or plain bottle on your desk at all times. And make sure to always fill it up when it gets empty.
Choose your snacks wisely
If you tend to get snackish at work, and God knows we all do, make sure that you don’t grab the first cookie you see. Sure, those doughnuts your colleague brought do seem inviting, but the sugar spike and crash that follow are not. Why not make an effort and plan out your work snacks? And you don’t even have to make them yourself – there are plenty of shops that specialise in healthy products, so getting your hands on better snacking options has never been easier.
By far the cheapest and healthiest way to make sure you are eating the right food is preparing your own meals. Let’s be real, no one has time to cook every day, and eating healthy while on the go is a tough task. But there are ways you can make the process a bit less complicated and more rewarding.
Meal-prep is a great start, and it simply means that you cook a larger meal in advance and divide it into individual portions you will bring to work as your lunch. You can prepare some of your next-week’s lunches on Sunday evening. They’ll keep in the fridge for the next three to four days. On the days you don’t have a prepped meal, you can grab something on the go. Either way, it’s better than ordering fast food.
Stress at work can make us binge on high-calorie food without even noticing. You don’t want to wake up one day and realise you have huge eye bags, greasy skin, high blood pressure, and that none of your pants fit. For this reason, it is essential that you start planning out healthy meals, even if you already have a lot on your plate at work. You simply cannot be unhealthy and productive at the same time.