De-Junk Your Kitchen
It will be painful, but go through your cabinets and fridge and trash (or give away) all your sugary snacks, processed chips and crackers, frozen treats, and any other junk-food items. "When you're busy and pressed for time, you're more likely to reach for these over any healthier food in your kitchen, and that derails weight loss," says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., a nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Put Healthy Food at Eye Level
After you've un-junked your kitchen, stock healthy foods and snacks, and put them right in your line of sight so you see them, and reach for them first, suggests Rumsey. "Put Greek yoghurt on the eye-level refrigerator rack, and load the first part of your cabinets with healthy canned soups, instant brown rice, tuna packets, quinoa,low-fat, lower-calorie foods you can see, grab, and prepare quickly," she says.
Pencil In Your Workouts
Busy people are always putting their appointments in a date-book or on their smartphone planner, and doing the same for your 7:30 p.m cardio class can help you stick to your diet goals. "If you write in the specifics for an exercise session, then you're more likely to view it as another important appointment to keep," says Rumsey.
Make Big Batches
Seriously, even the busiest CEO or new mum can carve out a few hours on Sunday afternoon or evening and put together a large healthy meal in advance that can serve as lunch or dinner through the week. "Make a big pot of brown rice, roast a heaping tray of veggies, make chilli in your slow cooker, even roast an entire chicken," suggests Rumsey. All of these keep well for days in the fridge, and they can be re-purposed into a variety of meals for days in the time it takes to hit the take away.
Don't Rely on Sugar and Caffeine
A regular morning coffee is one thing. "But when we're stressed and time-pressed, we tend to turn to stimulants like coffee and sugary treats for an energy surge throughout the day," says Rumsey. After the initial jolt, however, both of these wear off and can leave you more tired, and with big cravings. Next time you're dragging, try eating a healthy alternative, fruit is fantastic but sadly most people don't seem to notice.