How to: Meal Prep and Planning while working full time

How to: Meal Prep and Planning while working full time

As you have probably noticed, working full-time at-home or outside of the home may pose challenges for healthy habits that require time spent on planning and preparing. Healthy eating is a great example of one of those challenges and finding a sustainable rhythm is crucial to developing a process that enables you to have healthy food available to you on a daily basis. 

We’ve talked about it before, but we’ll say it again to inspire a healthy relationship with food – 

  • Strive for the 80/20 rule, meaning the majority of the time you eat the nutritious choice
  • Prohibit yourself from calling foods “good” and “bad” 
  • Don’t use the phrase “cheat meals” during the 20% of the time you indulge

Here are a few tips to consider as you find or continue your healthy eating rhythm while working full-time.

  • Lists. These precious notes to yourself provide reminders for grocery shopping, meal/snack ideas and more. Keep a notepad in your kitchen or notes page on your phone dedicated to your meal planning.
  • Containers. Get some if you don’t have any yet. Prepping food and storing it so that it’s a quick refrigerator pull away makes a world of a difference. You can even portion out your lunch for the next day and grab and go before work or during your lunch break at home.
  • Meal prep. Don’t be scared of those two words. Instead, choose a reasonable amount of prep that works for you. Think about which meal/s that are tougher for you to make the healthy choice at and plan and prep a few of those for the week. Once you prep those consistently, add another and so on. The time spent planning and prepping will be worth it in the moment.
  • Produce prep. After you unload and store your groceries, spend any extra time you have to wash and prep your fruits and veggies. If they’re in your fridge ready-to-eat, when you have a sweet or crunchy craving, the time it will take you to open the fridge and grab a fruit or veggie will be equal to the time it would take to open the pantry for whatever. 
  • Snacks. Laser focus on work or downtime between tasks may lead to skipping a meal or sudden snacky-ness. As a result, planning snack options and making sure they are quickly available is a great idea. Keep your snacks in the office (or home) refrigerator or in a desk drawer. It’s better to not keep your bundle of snacky goodness on your desk because they might start calling your name sooner than you need them. Out of sight out of mind and always make sure you’re well hydrated before you get started on back-to-back snacks because thirst can sometimes present as hunger.

Workout Spotlight: Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) – According to ACE Fitness:

“EMOM workouts, otherwise known as “Every Minute on the Minute,” are a fun and creative way to manipulate your work-rest ratio during workouts. A predetermined number of reps are assigned for each set, and they must be completed in a minute. If completed faster, a longer rest break may be taken. If the exerciser moves slowly, however, he or she will have a limited rest break before the next set.”Read more here.

by Victoria Emmitt RD

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