After a busy day, it might be tempting to call in takeout from their favorite restaurant or picking up fast food from the drive-through. After all, it can be difficult to find the energy to cook after all of that!
But you may not be able to eat that last French fry without reaping serious consequences at the gym the next day.
Why? Because various lifestyle changes make it harder to stay in shape.
I’ve had a lot of experience in this area, being a nutritionist and dietician with a treatment center that helps women overcome eating disorders and other addictions.
And what I’ve found is this: there are social factors such as going out to eat and staying up later at night, and now women and men alike are responsible for making their own food choices. When in high school and college, there’s easy access to organized sports, and as teens, many likely had their meals prepared for them.
As a working professional, however, you actually have to put time, energy and effort into preparing meals or going to the gym.
So how are we expected to stay fit during lifestyle changes? Here are some of my simple nutrition and exercise tips.
How To Stay Healthy While On The Go
1. Prepare for success
It’s harder to eat healthy when…well, you make it hard. Make eating healthy easy for you! Buy cut-up vegetables and add a healthy protein, such as hummus. You can even cook several fillets of chicken all at once, then keep them in the fridge for the next several days for a quick lunch.
Related: 3 Surprising Tips To Achieve Success
2. Don’t give frozen veggies the cold shoulder
Frozen fruits and vegetables get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t. They are actually frozen at their highest nutrient value. Add frozen fruit to a yogurt smoothie, oatmeal, or cottage cheese for a chilly, nutritious kick.
3. Buy ready-made—but not processed
Frozen vegetables can be added to a lean protein. Add 10-minute ready-made brown rice, and you have a balanced meal that can be prepared faster than waiting in line at a drive-through. Just don’t think that includes those super-processed chicken nuggets!
4. Plan ahead
Take one day a week to make a menu for the week. This way, you already have set in your mind what is for dinner, and you won’t be tempted to grab an easy meal on the way home. Plus, think of all the money you’ll be saving by not eating out!
5. Make exercise fun…
Exercise classes can be more motivational because you are surrounded by other people. Step outside of your comfort zone and try a fitness class that has always interested you. I personally love hot yoga, kickboxing, Pilates, and spinning.
6. …and keep it fresh and interesting!
The key is to enjoy what you do, whether it’s riding your bike, swimming or walking on the beach. Have a few options that you change up every few weeks so you don’t become bored.
If you are looking for exercise inspiration, check out local fun runs being hosted in your area, ask friends and co-workers what activities they participate in to stay in shape, or even check sites like Groupon that encourage you to try new things.
Everyone experiences lifestyle changes, and it can be hard to get back on track. But the next time you have the girls over for a wine night, don’t feel bad about having that extra glass of wine or eating a few extra crackers with cheese. By incorporating these easy tips into your daily routine, you’ll be on the right track to staying fit and fabulous.
Andrea Szebeni is a registered dietitian at Lighthouse Recovery Institute in Delray Beach, Fl. She specializes in eating disorder recovery treatments, wellness development and individual health and fitness. Andrea’s personal experiences, education and passion for helping people feel better about themselves make her one of South Florida’s most dynamic and successful eating disorder professionals.
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