I’ve recently decided to move downtown, actually the very first Wednesday of the month I decided to sell my car, and move myself and my business downtown. Ever since then, I’ve had to switch gears, and I’ve been working tirelessly to make this dream a reality. However, because I’ve been so busy putting my car up for sale, looking at apartments, looking for work, and commuting via transit all the time, it really got me thinking about how difficult it is to stay committed to a diet when you’re away from home a lot. So, I decided to write a piece with some helpful tips on how to stay on track with your diet when you have a very busy life, and you’re always on the go. These past two weeks have been extremely difficult for me, and I will not say that I was perfect with my nutrition. However, that does not mean that I am willing to give up on my goals just because it has suddenly become a little more difficult for me, and neither should you! So here are my top 3 tips for successful weight loss with an extremely busy schedule:
- Make sure that you have a good lunch box. One that is big enough to hold more than one meal, and that is easy to carry.
There are plenty of lunch boxes out there that are stylish, and convenient. For example Six Pack Fitness has several different styles of lunch boxes that look like backpacks, purses, and even duffel bags. They can fit up to five meals, and all your personal belongings. These bags keep your meals cool, and your belonging (including electronics) safe. So, if you’re spending the whole day away from home, there is no need to resort to fast food if you have a good lunch box to keep all your food for the day. If the Six Pack Fitness bags are out of your budget, there are other lunch bags or small coolers that you can buy that are less expensive but still do the same job.
2. Plan ahead!!
Now you have the lunch box, and you know that you have a busy day, and/or week ahead of you, where you will not have a lot of time to prepare your meals, what do you do? Well, if that’s the case, then you need to spend a day, like a Sunday before your work week, or the night before to prep and pack all your meals. You can use the left overs from dinner, for your lunch the next day, or you can prep a whole bunch of meals for the next two to three days. For example, since the weather is nice, you can BBQ a pack of chicken breast on a Sunday, steam a bunch of veggies, make some rice, and then divide these things into 4-5 meals depending on your macro nutrients for the next couple of days. Put your prepared food into the fridge, put labels on it, so people know it’s yours, and then throw your meals into your lunch bag in the morning on your way out. And if you’re super lazy, you can literally make several salads for yourself with pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables! All you have to do is throw them into containers, cook and measure your protein, and BAM you have lunch! There really is no excuse as to why you can’t pack your own lunch on a regular basis. Even if you don’t cook, there are several meal services out there that will cook and measure all your food for you based on your macro-nutrient goals and dietary restrictions.
3. What do you do if you don’t have access to a microwave? Or it’s just not convenient to eat chicken and veggies?
Personally, I have literally eaten chicken and asparagus out of a Ziploc bag this past week because I didn’t have time to find a lid for a container, so I threw my meal in a plastic bag and ate it on the go. It was a little awkward eating chicken like that in the middle of Yorkville before a meeting, but hey! Better than eating something unhealthy, overpriced, and/or disappointing. So, I did what I had to do! But, if you don’t consider that an option, and sometimes it is really inconvenient to eat chicken and veggies, then you must be prepared with other forms of nutrients that you can store in your car, purse, or gym bag without running the risk of it going bad. Some things that I like to always have on hand in case of meal emergencies where you had absolutely no time to prepare lunch, or a short errand turned out to take way longer than expected, are as follows:
- Protein powder. I sometimes have extra protein powder measured and put into little Ziploc bags or small containers, and I leave them in my gym bag or purse just in case I get stuck without food somewhere and I really need something to eat. (Bottled water can literally be found anywhere so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to mix your powder…)
- Raw, natural, unsalted nuts. Again a handful of nuts is a great snack to help you in between meals when you’re stuck. You can keep these in your car, or bag for meal emergencies.
- Protein bars. Again a good meal alternative when you’re stuck in a bind! Make sure you have a quality protein bar that is low in carbohydrates! You want your protein bar to be high in protein with at least 20 grams of protein and very little sugar/carbohydrates. Ideally, your protein bar should be sweetened with stevia. If you’re vegetarian, again make sure that the total amount of protein in the bar is higher than the carbohydrates. Protein bars are not something I would consume all the time. There are better and more nutritious ways to eat, however, if you’re stuck and you’re hungry, it is better to eat a protein bar than to cheat horribly on your diet.
None of these food items will go bad right away, so they are safe to store in your car, or bag for any emergency food situation.
And there you have it guys! My top three tips for dieting on the run. The main thing is, is that you need to always be prepared. You need to have the right tools, and you need to plan ahead, if you want to be successful. It’s not really a question of time when it comes to dieting, it’s really a question of will. Are you willing to plan ahead, and prepare yourself so that you are successful with your diet? Or, are you going to throw caution to the wind, and hope that it will all somehow works out for you? At the end of the day, it is your choice.