Sure, you thought you would have time to meal prep this week – but when you finally finished your report for that Monday morning meeting late on Sunday night, there was no way that you were going to go start chopping up vegetables and weighing them out. When you’re racing from your house to your job to your engagements with friends and everything in between – oftentimes the last thing you want to think about is how to avoid messing up all of the work you just put in at the gym. So, I’ve compiled a list of quick-and-easy tips to help you guys keep it right and keep it tight – even when you’re in a rush.
1) Two birds, one stone – the healthy way
Turn your hangout sessions into mini-workout sessions. Rather than hitting happy hour every time that you meet up with your friends from college, try taking the morning to go for a hike. See if your friends would be willing to go kayaking in Lake Washington or, because it is still pretty cold outside, if they would rather try to jump into a bootcamp or kickboxing class with you. That way, you can get your sweat on and you can still catch up afterwords over coffee or on the walk back to the office.
2) Sugar craving? Swap candy for fruit
Apples, bananas and mangoes (my favorite dried mango slices found here) can take the edge off of your sugar craving in a much healthier fashion and leave you feeling satisfied instead of guilty (like you might feel if you reach for the Snickers bar instead). It is the little changes like this one that can help you keep it right and keep it tight in the long run. Fruit is also a great source of fiber and can give you a burst of energy that doesn’t have nearly the same crash as a candy bar or piece of chocolate would leave you with.
3) Always eat at the table
Practicing mindful eating includes knowing what you’re eating and also being aware of when you’re starting to feel full – which is difficult to do when you’re trying to figure out whether or not Nick will actually find true love on The Bachelor. Whether you’re at home or at work, create a rule for yourself that says you don’t eat lunch at your desk or dinner on your couch. The fastest way to begin mindlessly eating – and consuming the bulk of the extra, empty carbs – is by eating while you are doing something else. The Bachelor is such a great show that you don’t realize how much food you’re eating – or how fast you’re eating it – and pretty soon, there’s nothing left on your plate or in your cupboards. Sitting down to eat – or even sitting in the break room – can sometimes seem like a pain, but it is necessary. You can resume watching Nick fall in love after dinner.
4) Treat yo’self
One of the biggest obstacles I had to learn how to overcome was my craving for anything sweet after I eat a meal. Blame it on my sweet tooth (I could eat an entire pie after dinner – or whatever else is sitting in the fridge), but I love dessert. My solution? Chia oat pudding. When I am doing meal prep, I always plan in a chia pudding treat (click for my recipe) – and sometimes, I even split it into two servings so that I can have one in the middle of the day and one at night. They are small, but they are an effective way to curb my sweet tooth after dinner without ruining an entire day of carefully counting out my calories because I plan ahead so that they always fit into my macros.
5) Make every step count
Finally, and maybe the most important for people who are super busy – find a way to make every step count. This craze came about after a fancy study at Stanford discovered that “people who used pedometers to monitor their daily activity walked about 2,000 more steps every day, or about one extra mile, compared to those who weren’t counting steps.” (FASCINATED? Read more here.) Track your steps using a Fitbit (find them here) or if you’re really fancy, an Apple Watch – which now even has a Nike+ series version (found here) that is waterproof (okay, I think it’s more like sweat proof – so maybe don’t try what Chelsea Handler tries in the clip below.)