How to make meal planning a reality for your busy lifestyle

How to make meal planning a reality for your busy lifestyle

Health & Lifestyle

ExecFuel Editorial Staff

ExecFuel Editorial Staff

397 week ago — 7 min read

Busy entrepreneurs and working professionals feel they have little time to devote to the essentiality of mindful eating. With all day meetings, stringent client commitments, unrealistic deadlines, long office hours and on-boarding new hires; health and proper diet often take a backseat.

A sedentary desk-job isn’t easy on your mind, nor on your body. If you are not particularly cautious about what you eat and when you eat, your body may soon transform into a vulnerable hotspot of life-threatening diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The good news is, a little bit of 'meal planning' can do wonders for your body – it can transform you into the busiest, yet the healthiest brand of yourself. Here are some tips to maintain a healthy weight and shape despite being a busy entrepreneur:

1. Don’t skip your breakfast

Breakfast, which literally means 'breaking the fast', is the most important meal of the day. A recent study has shown that as much as 25% of the people end up skipping breakfast. Eating breakfast regularly is a difficult habit to master, especially if you are always in a race with the clock. It’s easier to grab a chocolate muffin than actually prepare yourself a healthy breakfast. Here are a few reasons why you should have breakfast every morning:

  • Breakfast replenishes the glucose content and gives our body the energy it needs for the day ahead.
  • It helps us feel full and prevents mindless snacking throughout the day. This aids in our constant struggle to lose weight.
  • It helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and prevents the risk of diabetes mellitus.

A balanced breakfast diet should ideally be a combination of complex carbohydrates (e.g. cereal, fruits, and vegetables), fibrous foods (e.g. broccoli, black beans, and whole grain cereals), rich in protein (e.g. nuts, seeds, yogurt and eggs) and foods containing healthy fats (e.g. avocados, flax and coconut).

2. Rely on smart snacking

Snacks are vital components for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Healthy snacks prevent you from over eating at lunch or dinners thus maintaining a healthy body weight. A high carb breakfast keeps the blood sugar level even and prevents insulin resistance. However, it is important that you choose nutritious and healthy snacks, and avoid packaged and processed foods. Processed foods are high in preservatives and artificial ingredients. They contain phosphates which are detrimental to your organs and bones. Aerated sodas are loaded with sugar which simply isn’t great for your health. It triggers weight gain and premature aging process. Sugar affects the brain in a unique way which is a stepping stone for obesity. Sugar is converted to glucose in our body which causes glycation. It makes our skin vulnerable to skin diseases, sagging and damage.

Almonds, cashews, fruits like apples and banana, salads, kale chips are ideal for snacks. These options are nutritious, tasty and contain essential vitamins and minerals.

3. Stay away from packaged and processed foods

A burger or a pizza seem to be a timesaving and a tastier option than a fruit salad. In a world where we race against time, chopping all the fruits, mixing them, adding flavors and dry fruits certainly seem to be a tedious process. It’s more convenient to munch on a packet of potato chips while hitting the keys at the computer table. Packaged foods are loaded with excess sugar, sodium, colors and preservatives. These are extremely unhealthy for your body as they 'clog' our system and add unwanted 'empty' calories and are designed to make you overeat. They are loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) or similar alternatives which simply add to weight increase if you are not moving to use this excess energy up. Excess sodium in these foods is harmful for your kidneys. It leads to high blood pressure and cardio diseases. Stay away from these!

4. Prepare meals in advance
Take out time on the weekend to prepare your meals for the next week. It’s not only good for your health but is equally good for your wallet. It is extremely helpful in losing weight as it helps in controlling excess calories as you know exactly what is in your food. Prepare the proteins (fish, chicken), and the vegetables (broccoli, beans, peas, cauliflower) and put them in a plastic container that can be refrigerated. It saves your valuable time and money.


5. Stay hydrated

It goes without saying that water is vital for your system. Carry a large bottle with you and ensure that you fill it at least 3-4 times throughout the day.           

  • Water boosts up the energy levels and improves concentration.
  • It keeps the tissues moist and lubricates the more sensitive parts of your body like the joints and the spinal cord.
  • Water is essential for efficiently removing waste from your body in the form of urination and perspiration.
  • It aids in digestion and is vital for dissolving soluble fibres.

Try to have family dinners 3-4 nights per week. It is important to maintain a healthy work life and family life balance, and it also helps to balance your physical health. Food prepared outside of home can be substantially higher in calories compared with home cooked food. 

A full-time job when you have a young family is never easy, and on top of that if you have toddlers at home, there’s an even more difficult job waiting for you once you return home. Family meal planning is essential, especially if you are busy and pressed for time. Some quick and healthy options for a tasty and nutritious family meal are pasta with broccoli, peas and cheese; pan fried fish, vegetable or fruit salads and vegetable fried rice.

'Too busy' is a myth. People can find time for what is important; and nothing is more important than your health and waistline.


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