It can be difficult to stay motivated to achieve health goals when you are working a tough nine to five. But it is important to maintain your fitness aspirations because it will keep you healthy for your long hours at work and give you that last bit of energy when you really need it.
Here are some tips that I have learned over the years as a personal trainer that will ensure you maintain a healthy diet whilst enduring a difficult work schedule.
1) The Golden Rule
The Golden rule for a balanced diet is to make sure you are eating the right food. It may seem obvious but this is where a lot of people will slip up. The most important thing is to plan your shopping and make one big shop per week.
If you don’t even have time to physically go out and shop that is not a problem. Online shopping is a thriving business because it is so convenient. You can do your online shop during your commute to work and have your shopping delivered later that day.
It is vital that you plan you shop, and stay consistent. Make sure your groceries arrive on a Friday evening so that you are prepared for the week to come. Ordering the right amount of food and having it ready to go at home will help prevent you giving in to the easy take-away. You should also ensure you think about various sources of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.
Don’t forget to think of snacks.
2) Meal Prep: Keep it Simple
The best way to ensure a healthy week in the office is to prepare your lunch in advance. This is not a difficult step, you can keep it simple at first and gradually get more adventurous when you develop a routine.
Keep it simple but make sure you choose at least two or three different sources of protein and carbs throughout the week. It you have a variety of choice it will stop you getting bored and prevent you from looking for more attractive alternatives like fast food.
A good combination is meat plus vegetables plus legumes, or fish plus vegetables and legumes. For vegetarians experimenting with different types of legumes and vegetables and things like tofu is a great way to stay healthy.
Make sure you have the containers to take to work. Pack them in advance, store them in the fridge and take one container out in the evening before going to bed.
3) No-Effort Breakfast
Most people favor sleeping an extra hour over preparing a healthy breakfast. I can’t disagree, sleep is equally vital to your health. But breakfast doesn’t need to require a huge amount of effort. Here are some easy, cheap and quick breakfast combinations to get you going:
– Boiled eggs + Spinach/any other greens (11 min to boil the eggs)
– Smoked salmon + greens or read
– Greek yogurt + berries
– Overnight oats + berries
None of these options require significant effort. Just keep it simple!
4) Those Cheeky Little Snacks!
We all love a cheeky little snack, but if we don’t watch ourselves this momentary indulgence could slip into an hour-long biscuit binge! Planning is crucial.
Having a health snack, like seasonal fruits and nuts will help you maintain a healthy diet. If you have a sweet tooth and you know you can’t go through the day without sweets bring some in with you, but only a piece or two.
5) Working Late Hours
Ditch the greasy take-out pizza and find a healthy alternative close to your office. Order light meals that will aid your productivity rather than make you lethargic.
Whilst it might be tempting to take the easy option when you are tired, knowing that you chose the healthy option instead should keep you motivated to finish that project!
6) Water Please!
This step is simple: drink water. Staying hydrated is essential, it will ensure you are less hungry and will keep you active throughout the day.
If you follow these few tips you will back in the health groove in no time. At times, it may be tough to stick to a routine when work is stressful but it is fine if you fail occasionally. If you recognise your limits and stay motivated you will be able to keep your health and work life balanced!
Justina Triasovaite is a certified female personal trainer in London and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives.