Too Busy To Be Healthy? Here’s 6 Tips You Can Start Today

‘We are what we eat’.  It’s the health industry slogan that’s become so commonplace it’s a truism.  Everyone knows that a diet of soft drink and cheeseburgers isn’t great for our bodies.  A servo pie and a pack of smokes is no longer considered the world’s best lunch.

We’re more health-conscious than ever, and, with so much information freely available on the Internet, it begs the question – why aren’t we all eating properly?  Why aren’t we swapping fast food for whole food?  Why is a takeaway burger preferable to a homemade organic beef patty?  Why do we grab food from the nearest café instead of bringing lunch to work?

The answer’s simple: time.  Between work, family and the general demands of life, we don’t all have the time we need to cook and eat healthy.  High-quality restaurant food is too expensive and home-prepped meals are too slow, so we compromise – fast food, cheap takeout, something hot and warm and tasty from somewhere close.  Sometimes we’re too tired from work to even get dinner, and we end up completely skipping meals.

The problem is that, as we compromise our diets, we also compromise our health.  A bad diet (high in salt, saturated fats and processed sugar) contributes to virtually every health condition out there.

You’re probably wondering what the solution is.  Don’t worry, it’s out there – from meal prepping to five-minute recipes to time management, there’s a bunch of different ways to help you eat healthy faster.  But that’s not what this article is about.

We’re here to give you six actionable tips you can start implementing right now.  Keep reading and find out how you can eat healthier even when you’re short on time.

1. Make a good breakfast a priority

Another popular adage is ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’.  It kickstarts your metabolism and replenishes energy stores, resulting in more energy and less daytime snacking.

But are all breakfasts equal?  No, they’re not.  A slice of toast topped with marmalade or a bowl of sugary cereal won’t give your body the sustained fuel it needs to effectively get through the day.  Instead of nutrients, you’re filling up on empty, highly processed calories which are actually damaging your health, not helping it.

Here are a couple of breakfast tips:

  • Instead of white toast with spreads like jam or marmalade, try wholegrain, wholemeal or spelt bread with vegemite and cheese, avocado or peanut butter.
  • Rather than eating sugar-loaded cereals like Corn Flakes or Cocoa Puffs, fill up on a bowl of porridge sweetened with honey, or try healthy mueslis and granolas.
  • Don’t assume a fruit juice is healthy – the high concentration of fructose can have health impacts comparable to artificially sweetened beverages [1]. Instead, make or buy juices that contain mostly vegetable juice, or try protein smoothies that use milk and Greek yoghurt.
  • If you don’t like eating breakfast, try adding a healthy diet supplement like AdVital to your morning coffee to make sure you’re loaded up with nutrients for the day.

All of the above take virtually no time to prepare, and they’re much better for your body.

2. Drink more water

Roughly 60% of the adult human body is composed of water, so it’s no surprise that many of us need to drink more water to improve our health.  The general rule is that adults should be following is drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day (2 to 2.5 litres).

Water is critical for virtually every aspect of our bodily functions [2].  It helps regulate body temperature.  It stops our airways from constricting.  It removes waste from our bodies, allows us to digest food, keeps our joints moving.  It allows our brains to function properly, and prevents the onset of dry mouth {link to what is dry mouth article from Osmist}.  Without it, we suffer from breakouts and headaches.  Body odour increases, and our energy decreases.  Minerals can’t be absorbed, leaving us feeling fatigued and listless.

Moral of the story?  Drink lots of water.  You’ll feel better for it, and your body will thank you.

If you’re struggling with your water intake, these practical tips can help:

  • Don’t drink lots of water at once. Instead, sip slowly throughout the day to prevent constant toilet breaks.
  • Drink a glass of water before and after every meal. Drinking before eating helps prevent overconsumption, and washing your mouth out afterwards helps fight bad breath.
  • Many people find drinking from water bottles with sippy lids easier than constantly refilling a glass, particularly when working at a desk.

3. Eat more mindfully

Too Busy To Be Healthy? Here's 6 Tips You Can Start Today

Let’s be honest – most of us don’t snack because we’re hungry.  We snack because we’re bored and we’ve got a little more room in our stomachs.  We snack while watching movies or talking with friends.  It’s an activity, not a way to sate our appetites.

That’s where mindful eating comes in.  Before you open a packet of chips or tuck into a bowl of ice cream, ask yourself, “am I really hungry?”.  A good test is to drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes to see if you still feel like food.

It’s also important to eat slowly and without distraction.  Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and focus on your meal.  It takes roughly 20 minutes for your body to realise it’s full, so don’t tuck into dessert straight after dinner.  Wait, assess your appetite, and think about whether you really need all those saturated fats and empty carbs.

Finally, make sure you’re choosing the right ingredients to cook with.  Pick whole foods – vegetables, fruit, milk, lean, unprocessed meat and good-quality bread.  If you’re making cuisine is delicious, health and chemical-free, you’re more likely to enjoy it.

4. Turn one meal into many

Meal prep with multiple containers holding chicken, veggies and more.

One of the many reasons we don’t eat healthily is because we don’t have time to cook at night.  We get home after work, and the kids need picking up, and housework needs doing, and maybe work runs overtime, and we need to be up early the next day.  So we skip dinner, grab takeaway or opt for jam on toast instead.

The easiest solution to this vicious cycle is by pre-planning meals.  You can cook dinners like pasta, curry and stew every second day or on the weekend, then freeze them in portion-sized containers.  When you come home from work during the week, heat up a portion in the microwave, and enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal without all the hassle.

Alternatively, consider salads and other easily prepared foods – you can make them in just minutes with minimal clean-up time.

5. Keep healthy snacks at your fingertips

Too Busy To Be Healthy. Healthy Snacks. Cut up carrots, peas and cucumbers and berries.

We’re all guilty of eating the wrong foods, especially when we’re feeling hungry between meals.  Snacking is often associated with unhealthiness, but it doesn’t have to be.  Swapping chips and chocolate for more natural alternatives is a good way to avoid negative impacts like diabetes and obesity.

Enhanced with artificial colours, flavours and preservatives to improve both shelf-life and appearance, processed foods are high in sodium, sugar and fat, and have been strongly linked to a range of health conditions like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes.  Many of these chemical additives have not been widely tested, so it’s important to check the ingredients on packets and see if there’s anything there you don’t recognise.

Try substituting your favourite processed snacks for natural whole foods.  Often, you can also replace actual food with nutrient-loaded drinks.  Sugar-free coffee, smoothies, shakes, tea and healthy juices are all great alternatives.  If you are feeling hungry, try eating nuts (almonds or walnuts are best), vegetable sticks with dip, healthy crackers or squares of dark chocolate.  Keep in mind that protein is more filling than carbs or fats, so high-protein snacks will keep you away from the fridge for a longer period of time.

6. Boost the foods you love with AdVital Powder

Too Busy To Be Healthy. Healthy muffins with advital protein powder.

If you’re eating healthily, you’re probably receiving the right combination of vitamins and minerals.  But what if you’re not there yet?  Maybe reading this article is your first step towards healthier living, and you’re not quite ready to go cold turkey on all your favourite foods.  That’s okay.  We understand.  We’ve been where you are, and we know progress takes time.

But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on getting the right nutrients.  It doesn’t mean your loved ones need to, either.  AdVital is a neutrally flavoured, all-natural powder that can be dissolved into your favourite meals and drinks.  Loaded with 27 vitamins and minerals and 15 grams of protein, it’s a nutritionally complete supplement designed to fulfil gaps in your diet and keep your body working at its best.

Remember those artificial ingredients we talked about earlier?  AdVital doesn’t have any of those.  It’s also gluten-free, vegetarian and halal – made by Australians for all Australians.

Right now, you’re probably wondering where exactly AdVital can fit into your diet.  Actual meals?  Drinks?  Snacks?  Answer: all of the above.  In fact, we’ve put together a whole library of healthy (and tasty) recipes to give you some inspiration.  Potato wedges, blueberry smoothies, shepherd’s pie, lemonade spiders … all of your favourites, enriched with a scoop of AdVital.  Check it out here.

Summary

If you’re too busy to eat healthy, here’s six tips you can start using today to achieve a better diet:

  1. Make a good breakfast a priority
  2. Drink more water
  3. Eat more mindfully
  4. Turn one meal into many
  5. Keep health snacks at your fingertips
  6. Boost the foods you love with AdVital Powder

Making change and forming good habits isn’t easy.  Instead of trying to implement all these tips at once, start with whichever one you think is the easiest, and then add a second tip after two weeks, and then a third, and so on.

If you slip up and you wander down the rabbit-hole of cheap and fast, don’t beat yourself up.  Progress takes time.  You’re here, and that’s the first step.  Keep persisting, and eventually you’ll get there.

References

[1] Pepin, A. Stanhope, K. L. Imbeault, P. (2019) Are Fruit Juices Healthier Than Sugar-Sweetened Beverages? A Review. Nutrients. 11(5), 1006-1022. doi: 10.3390/nu11051006      

[2] McIntosh, J. (2018, July 16) Fifteen benefits of drinking water. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814