The secret to successful healthy eating is consistency, and great Personal Trainers help busy clients get it right. Here's their best advice.
Personal Trainers are used to dealing with busy, stressed clients who find healthy eating a challenge. Busy mums have to juggle the school run and home life whilst trying to meet their fitness goals. Stressed execs have jam-packed diaries and plenty of travel - rarely a good combination for eating well. And people who are brand-new to fat loss may have never been taught about nutrition, cooking or healthy eating at all.
If your hectic lifestyle leaves you overwhelmed, here are a few great ideas for eating well.
Have a go-to meal plan
There's no perfect meal plan; the best diet is the one which works for your lifestyle, schedule, eating habits and personal preferences. So have a simple go-to meal plan you can easily fall back on without overthinking. Make sure it satisfies your tastebuds, eating preferences and of course all those healthy eating check points.
Slim down your shopping list
Don't waste time at the supermarket. Write a shopping list which only includes ingredients you need for the meals you'll be making and eating. In and out, no dithering. It'll save you cash, too (and probably help you break any weight-loss plateau!) And keep the fridge and freezer stocked with healthy items like meat, fish, rice, porridge oats, tinned pulses and frozen vegetables.
Prepare food the night before
If you know tomorrow's schedule is jam-packed, make a few meals and snacks the night before. Breakfast oats can be prepped (soak porridge oats in milk, water or yoghurt and add fruit, berries, seeds, nuts or protein powder). Lunches and dinners of rice, cous cous, quinoa or pasta, vegetables and protein can be prepared in advance.
Quick grab snacks
Make sure you always have quick-grab snacks to hand so you never have to get too hungry or reach for the vending machine. Having your own healthy, tasty snacks around saves money and saves lbs! Try Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, hardboiled eggs, crudites, avocado, fruit, rice cakes, and your favourite protein source. No need for a detour to the nearest convenience store.
When you've only got a short window of time to cook, eat and get the rest of the family sorted, you need easy meals. So develop your own healthy recipe list. Great kitchen aids include a slow cooker to make large quantities of healthy chillis, pulled chicken, stews and even homemade curries. You get to control the ingredients, fats and calories, and can batch cook for the fridge or freezer.
Learn to read labels
When you're in a hurry, don't fall foul of poor food choices. Learn to read food labels for calorie count, fats, sugars, carbohydrates, and undesirable ingredients, as well as good things like healthy fats, protein and fibre. In time you'll build up a mental database of the best choices no matter where you're shopping.