How to ‘busy proof’ your diet: tips for eating well when there’s no time

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Fruit and Vegetable section
It’s a familiar story. Monday morning comes around and you’re determined that this week, you’re going to get it right; no takeaways, no junk food and definitely no alcohol. This week, you’re going to eat healthily, one hundred percent of the time. Juggling home and professional commitments makes it all too easy to reach for a take away menu. So, how do you go about ‘busy proofing’ your diet? Here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Clean out the pantry
    This may seem drastic, but the first step in beginning an effective healthy eating plan is to remove temptation from your home. When you’re tired and hungry, that packet of chips and bar of chocolate is going to prove too hard to resist. Make it easier on yourself by getting rid of everything that can derail your efforts. Get family members on board too. If they aren’t keen to give up their lollies and chocolate, ask them to hide them somewhere out of view.
  2. Make a shopping list
    The key to healthy eating is to be prepared. Plan all your meals for the week ahead and make a shopping list with everything you’ll need, including healthy snacks like nuts and fruit. If you know exactly what you’re looking for at the supermarket, shopping is quicker and you’ll be less tempted to buy unhealthy items.
  3. Prepare meals ahead of time
    If you know the week ahead will be busy, take some time over the weekend to prepare as many of your meals as possible. Double up on recipes and store in portion size freezer bag. This means that you can prepare three or four healthy meals in the same amount of time it usually takes to make just one. Homemade meals prepared this way are a healthier option than frozen convenience food, because they contain no preservatives, and are generally much lower in fat and sodium.
  4. Prepare healthy snacks
    It’s easy to be derailed when you’re hungry and need a quick snack to keep you going through the day. If you’re unprepared, the easiest place to head is the nearest vending machine or coffee shop. Instead of falling into this habit, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks available, such as nuts, fruit or vegetable sticks. You could also eat something small and healthy before heading out for dinner or drinks, so that you’re not too hungry and are therefore less likely to overindulge.

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Published March 28, 2014
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