How to Maintain a Healthy Diet Even in the Busy Season

With September comes a new time of busyness. The kids are starting school, the shops are gearing up for Christmas and you’re just trying to keep things together on a day-to-day basis. With all that going on, diet and nutrition wellness goes out the window, but just because bikini bodies and summer salads seem like a distant memory now, it doesn’t mean your wellbeing has to go along with it. Here are five ways for you to maintain a healthy diet even in this hectic new season.


1. Make time for a breakfast quickie: There’s no way you’re going to have the energy you need to keep up with your crazy schedule unless you have a decent breakfast, so skipping out on the most important meal of the day and heading straight to work is a big no-no. Instead of starting your day on an empty stomach, do a little prep work the night before and store your healthy brekkie in the fridge. To get the most bang for your breakfast buck, choose simple foods from two, three or more food groups. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole grain bread are great, or fill a container with low-fat cottage cheese and seasonal fruit.


2. Pack a nutritious and satisfying lunch: Just because it’s all go-go-go, you don’t have to forgo your food. Mary Hartley, registered dietician and nutritionist for, urges, ‘Don’t starve yourself at lunch – it will only lead to overeating later.’ Again, this is where prepping the night before comes in handy, as stepping out for lunch limits your healthy eating options. Try whole wheat pasta mixed with your favourite raw veggies, olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. This also works well if you take out the pasta and lemon juice and add in brown rice and white beans.


3. Dine out the clever way: There’s no way to avoid eating out, especially if you have a business meeting or you just run out of time to prepare food in advance. However, the key to eating out in a healthy way is portion size, so don’t be afraid to ask the waiter exactly how big the dish will be before you pick it, as well as how it’s cooked. There are also apps out there that can help you determine how many calories are in your meals. If the dish is too much for one sitting, Hartley advises, ‘As soon as your order arrives, split your dish into two servings to share or eat for a later meal.’


4. Plan ahead: We’ve already touched on this but planning ahead is essential to staying healthy in the midst of a jam-packed schedule. Weekends are a nightmare for getting in the way of this, as your schedule is more up-in-the-air. However, you can still get the best out of a busy weekend by stocking up on nutritious, on-the-go snacks like apples and oranges, snack-size low-fat yogurt, raw nuts, raisins and other dried fruit. Hartley explains, ‘Most people will eat junk food because it is convenient, but they’ll often choose healthier options if it’s made available.’


5. Keep tabs on your calorie count: If you’re trying to eat healthily to lose a few pounds – and, let’s face it, most of us are – it’s a good idea to be mindful of the calories you’re consuming, compared to the ones you’re burning off. Luckily, if you’re running around after your kids and getting jobs done around the house, you’re probably getting a lot done in the way of calorie-burning anyway! For the ones you’re consuming, get on your smartphone and track your calorie count.

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