Snacking can be the downfall for many when it comes to hitting nutrition goals. Energy levels start flagging through the day and a lack of time means you instantly reach for the easiest and quickest option to perk you up again to get you through your day.
The Problem: Stress
We've all been there; deadlines are looming, the to-do list is stacking up, management demanding more in shorter time frames. Then all of a sudden, your energy levels are drained and you're reaching for that quick caffeine or sugar fix.
The Fix: Time out
Make a conscious effort to get up and away from your work space for at least 5 minutes every hour. Studies show that by taking a 5 min walk out of the office to get some much-needed fresh air can help to reduce cravings as much as 30mins of exercise due to the resulting decreases in ghrelin levels (the appetite-stimulating hormone) and increased levels of peptide YY (the satiety hormone).
If after a 5-minute time out, you're still craving a hit, opt for lighter options such as green tea or a piece of fruit. You will still be getting the hit of energy your body is craving, but without the crash and burn feeling that high levels of caffeine or sugary snacks can create.
The Problem: Travel
Airport food is usually not the greatest choice, not to mention airplane food. With early morning flights to catch and often flying back within the same day, it can be easy to let your nutrition plan fly away with you by chowing down on the first thing you come across in the departure lounge.
The Fix: Game Plan
Go online and check out the departure and arrival airports restaurant choices the night before so you don't grab the first thing you see. And allow yourself enough time to get something and sit down and eat it before your flight.
Make sure you take an empty water bottle with you. Whilst you won't be able to take a full bottle through security, you're allowed to take an empty bottle through and fill it up before you depart. Travelling dehydrates you which is easy to mistake as hunger. Keep yourself well hydrated to avoided unnecessary snacking.
Finally have some healthy snack options prepared in your bag such as portion of nuts or a piece of fruit. That way if you get tempted by the inflight snack trolley, you already have a healthy back up ready to go.
The Problem: Eating Regular Meals
Between deadlines, meetings and travel, it can be hard to find the time to eat regular meals and lead to binge eating when you do get an opportunity. This, mixed in with breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, evening events all scheduled around your usual meal times can easily set your eating times out of whack.
The Fix: Start the day off right
That old wife's tale of breakfast being the most important meal isn't far off that mark. By breakfast time, your body is running on empty, you've been asleep for 6-8hrs and you're about to start your day off. You need to make sure you've got the right fuel to get you through the day. Imagine starting off on a long road trip with only a quarter of a tank of fuel and expecting to make it the whole way, it wouldn't happen…same goes for your body!
Eat a healthy balanced breakfast such as boiled eggs on toast with avo or overnight protein oats to get you through the day and keep your energy levels pumping.
The Take Away
Preparation is key. If you're serious about keeping your nutrition on track whilst your work/life balance may be a bit out of whack then start planning ahead. Work out when you're going to eat the following day and what you should be eating at those times and always have a healthy back up option if all else fails.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.