Busy women everywhere are struggling with trying to eat a healthy balanced meal. Not because we don’t’ want to but this hurry-up mentality that we subscribe to from time to time infiltrates our being. We say we don’t have to cook the meal and that maybe the healthy food may be a little more costly than what we can actually afford. We grab a pop or a bag of chips for breakfast in the morning, then go out for a quick fast food lunch, and if we have time for dinner we use processed foods because we don’t haven’t planned our meal time productively.
Then we notice our clothes fitting tighter and tighter, hide under bigger wearing clothes, and basically keep it going because we are stressed out and haven’t prioritized our health. But at the point where we go to the doctor and find out our weight is labeled, “overweight or obese” by the doctor then we get nervous and want to use other sugared down drinks like Slim Fast for breakfast because we don’t have time.
Or better yet, we scale back by not eating one meal or two a day until we see our weight go back. But if we take the time to breathe, we will notice, we do have an option. We have to take our health back into our hands and make it a lifestyle change and not a “diet”. We have to learn to be active, healthy, and try to balance our nutrition in a way that it is interesting and make “I don’t have time” a thing of the past.
As an active woman who has spent the majority of her last ten years on the go, I am a living testament to the “hurry up and go” mentality. It has gotten me way over the healthy weight limit. It hasn’t stopped me from doing things or having any medical problems, but in at the end of December 2004 I made a choice to take my health back in my hands.
Not just because I’m on the National Body Challenge, but it was time for me to scale back the pounds and get my body in gear. To use my time productively and to decrease my chances of getting High Blood Pressure and Diabetes which runs rampant in my family as well as Breast Cancer.
As a mid-thirties woman, I took stock of my daily routine, and adjusted my nutrition needs as a result by using a combination of the South Beach Diet and my own work out routine which includes walking every week and a thirty-minute work out at Bally’s three times a week. I also used my exercise tapes at home. This resulted in a weight lost of over thirty pounds.
As you look at your own daily routine, the challenges that come with it, you can adjust your eating based on your schedule and also prepare your meals during the weekend so you can have time during the week to do other things.
When grocery shopping, you can choose items like the South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, or Lean Cuisine meals. Also pick up some of the frozen fruits – like strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and use those in preparing frozen yogurt snacks or smoothies.
Many fish items are sold in prepackaged bags individually inside a bigger bag, and this can help you defrost the fish and prepare a quick meal. Think of ways to reduce fat in your meals, by using Olive Oil, or Canola Oil in your meals.
Here are other simple tips to help you:
- Bake, broil, or grill your meats; try to use leaner versions of your favorites.
- Eat fresh vegetables or fruits.
- Incorporate fruit juices (100% version work best; not the cocktails) and try to use the unsweetened versions
- Drink 8 glasses of water
- Prepare your meal on the weekend and all you have to do is heat up if you are working late.
- Use whole foods (100% wheat bread instead of white bread, wheat flour instead of white flour, a piece of fruit instead of a breaded product like a muffin, add wheat germ to your cereals and choose skim or fat free meal over whole milk)
- Bring two snacks a day at work (part skim cheese strings, raisins, unsalted nuts, and various fruit)
- Take the fat off of your chicken and pork chops
- Use frozen vegetables and pre-washed salad bags don’t have time to prepare a meal.
Be patient with yourself during the transition for your eating lifestyle change. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, and it won’t come off overnight. In my case, I have committed myself for the next year and ½ to get to where I need to be. I know it will take some time and I’ll have some highs and lows.
Don’t let your busy schedule dictate your health. It takes time to focus on your meal planning and committing to the change to get to where you might want to be. Besides you might want to remember that as long as you eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, you are doing well.
And incorporate a short walk or work out thirty minutes, three to five days a week, can ensure your success. Know that you have the power to re-design a leaner and better “you”. Take the time for your ultimate health!
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