There seems to be less and less time each day to cook healthy meals. We used to be able to cook all of our meals at home, but now we have to eat on the go in order to keep up with everything going on.
And with most people working full-time jobs while balancing exercise, social, and family lives, it can be difficult to find the time to cook a healthy meal. So what does that mean for your diet?
You are often sacrificing nutrition for convenience when you eat on the go. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of ways to eat healthy, even when you’re a busy professional, a college student without a kitchen, or a busy mom on the go.
The key is to be prepared, so the healthy choice becomes the easiest choice.
What is healthy eating?
Eating healthy means consuming the right nutrients that your body needs to function properly. This will vary from person to person and for individuals at different stages of their life. These nutrients include macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and micronutrients: vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs. As much as we wish or marketing claims want us to believe, there is no one superfood that has all the nutrients we need.
This is why a balanced diet is important, including a variety of different foods from each food group. Carbs, for example, come in many forms, including whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, and fruit. While all of these contain carbohydrates, they contain varying amounts of different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Healthy eating also means consuming the right amount of calories for your individual needs. If you consume too many calories, you will gain weight. If you consume too few calories, you will lose weight. Your calorie needs are highly dependent on your individual anthropometrics, metabolism, activity level, and other factors.
CICO, or calories in, calories out, is a helpful way to think about weight gain and loss. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. The best way to do this is by eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods and exercising regularly.
If you're just beginning to eat healthy for the sake of longevity and disease prevention, that's also great! Every step you take towards eating healthy is a positive one. The key is to find what works for you and your lifestyle and to stick with it.
Why is eating healthy foods and meals important?
There are many reasons why someone might want to eat healthy. Some people want to eat healthy to lose weight, others want to eat healthy to prevent or manage chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes, and still others want to eat healthy for the sake of overall wellness and improved energy.
No matter what your reason is for wanting to eat healthy, the important thing is that you make the commitment to do it and stick with it. But how do you begin?
Here are some of the benefits of eating healthy:
Keeping a Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Diseases: Eating healthy can help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Why? Eating healthy foods helps your body stay strong and function properly. This can help prevent chronic diseases by keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy, controlling your blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation throughout your body.
Improving Your Overall Wellness: Eating healthy can also improve your overall sense of well-being. When you eat healthy foods, your body gets the nutrients it needs to function properly. This can lead to increased energy levels, better sleep, and improved mental health.
Taste: Just because something is healthy doesn't mean it has to be boring. There are endless possibilities when it comes to healthy eating. By being creative with your food choices, you can make healthy eating enjoyable.
Reaching Fitness Goals: Weight isn't the only thing that affects your fitness levels. Eating healthy can help you reach your fitness goals by providing your body with the nutrients you need to perform at your best.
Mental Health: Eating healthy has been linked to improved mental health. Did you know that what you eat can affect the way you think and feel? Eating a healthy diet can help improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your overall mental health (1).
4 Healthy Eating Tips for on the Go
Ready to eat healthier but not sure where to start when you’re always running around?
Incorporating healthy eating habits into your life on the go doesn't have to be hard. Here are four simple tips to get you started:
1. Eat a Balanced Meal Before You Leave
If you're heading out for the day, make sure to eat a balanced meal beforehand. This will help to keep your energy levels up and prevent you from making unhealthy choices when you're feeling famished.
A nutritious breakfast or lunch can include items like eggs, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole-grain toast.
Eating before you leave also helps to set the tone for the rest of the day. If you start off by making healthy choices, you're more likely to continue doing so throughout the day.
2. Pack Healthy Snacks With You
Whenever you're on the go, it's important to have healthy snacks with you. This way, you won't be tempted to make unhealthy choices when you get hungry.
The components of a healthy snack include:
- Have a good source of protein and at least one other macro, so either carb and/or fat.
- This will help keep blood sugar balanced.
- Limit saturated fat and added sugars.
- Include a fruit and/or vegetable
Some good snacks to pack include:
- Nuts, seeds, or trail mix
- Granola/Protein bars
- look for options with less than 7 g of added sugar and more than 7 g of protein
- Veggie sticks
These simple but impactful life hacks will help you make healthier choices when you're on the go. Just remember to be prepared and always have healthy snacks on hand to prevent yourself from making unhealthy choices.
3. Don't Get Too Hungry
Isn't it harder to make healthy choices when you're starving? When you're famished, all you can think about is food, and you're more likely to make unhealthy decisions. This is why it's so important to eat regularly throughout the day and never let yourself get too hungry.
If you find yourself getting hungry, make sure to have a healthy prepared snack or meal with you. This will help to tide you over until you can sit down and have a proper meal. This could include a small sandwich, salad, fruit, or even some leftovers. The trick is to not let yourself get too hungry in the first place.
4. Drink More Water
When you're on the go, it's easy to get dehydrated. This is why it's so important to drink lots of water throughout the day. Not only does water help to keep you hydrated, but it also helps to fill you up. This can prevent you from overeating and making unhealthy choices.
Water is also important for cognitive focus; when you're well-hydrated, you're able to concentrate and remember things better. It's also great for preventing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke (2, 3).
Healthy Meal Plans Delivered: The Simple Solution
Making healthy choices when you're on the go doesn't have to be hard. Just remember to eat a balanced meal before you leave, pack healthy snacks with you, drink lots of water, and don't let yourself get too hungry. With these simple tips, you can make healthier choices no matter where you are.
Want to try something new? Trifecta offers pre-portioned healthy meal plans that can help you make nutritious choices no matter how busy you are. With delicious and nutritious meals delivered right to your door, you'll have one less thing to worry about when you're on the go. Get started today!