Approximately 95 percent of adult Americans either “always” or “sometimes” look for healthy food options when grocery shopping according to a 2018 study jointly conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation and the American Heart Association.
If that’s the case, why does the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases report that more than one in three adults in the U.S. are overweight, with another one in three categorized as obese?
Though carrying excess weight is often the result of a combination of many factors, one that is especially prevalent in today’s day and age involves not having the time to prepare healthy foods.
Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice all of your free time to eat healthier. Here are a few options to consider:
- Designate a prep day. If you typically have a few hours of down time on a Sunday afternoon, for instance, this is a great time to prep healthy foods that you can just grab and go the rest of the week. Put single servings of lunches and snacks together, maybe even prepping a dinner or two that can be stashed in the freezer until you’re ready to cook it.
- Purchase ready-to-eat foods. Not big on spending your only time off cutting up all of your nutrient-filled fruits and veggies? No problem. Buy already-cut options available at your local grocer instead. They may cost a little more, but what you save in time will be well worth it.
- Keep primarily healthy foods on hand. When you’re hungry, it’s too easy to grab foods that aren’t the best for you. One way to overcome this obstacle is to not even have them around. If all you have are healthy options when your appetite increases, that’s what you’ll go for.
- Have a few go to’s handy. When you’re fighting against the clock to get everything done within a limited amount of time, having a quick, easy, and healthy go-to meal or two on hand can make sticking to a healthy diet an achievable goal. Always keep these items in your fridge or cupboard so they’re there when you need them.
- Join a food delivery service. Another option for the busy person who wants to still look after their health is to join a food delivery service. At a minimum, this can save you time shopping for nutritious foods. Some also provide ready-made meals that all you have to do is warm up and enjoy. It really doesn’t get easier than that.
- Divide and conquer. If you have friends who also want to eat healthier on the go, why not split the duties among you? Perhaps one person could take care of lunches, another dinners, and another snacks. Together, you’ll have healthy foods for the rest of the week.
- Make it fun. The best way to turn any healthy action into a habit is to make it fun. Do this by including the kids—also teaching them healthy eating in the process—or making a day of it by food shopping and prepping with your friends. The fun you have together will make the whole process easier to stick to.