How to Maintain an Athlete’s Diet When Short on Time
Living a healthy lifestyle begins and ends with your diet. Whether you’re a novice at the gym or professional athlete, how you fuel your body should be priority one. However, it’s not always easy to eat healthy in today’s fast-paced world. In between work and family demands, it’s not uncommon to grab something on the go that keeps your stomach from rumbling. Unfortunately, most prepackaged foods, even if labeled as healthy, are full of preservatives and a lot of other unhealthy byproducts.
If you’re serious about getting in shape and eating like an athlete, here’s four ways you can maintain a healthy diet even when you’re on the move.
Skipping takeout is probably the most important thing you need to do when trying to maintain a healthy diet. Restaurants tend to use a lot of unhealthy substitutes in their cooking that you probably don’t realize or think about. Even their salads can be packed with saturated fat, high carbohydrates and offer little to no nutritional support. That’s not to say you can’t find healthy alternatives when eating out, but it’s usually better to meal prep at home and take it with you.
Meal prep isn’t as time-consuming as some people may think. While it does take some time, prepping your meals for the week not only saves you money, but it also puts you in control of what’s going in your mouth. Choose two or three of your favorite dishes, prep for the week and store in the fridge. Mason jar salads are great alternatives for people who work in an office. You can do the same for the following week’s dinner. Use Sunday to prep all of your veggies you know you’ll be too tired to chop during the week. Store in labeled containers that can go from fridge to table in less than 20 minutes.
Eat a Rainbow
In addition to eating at home and prepping in advance, you also need to eat proactively. Avid athletes eat a specific quantity of fruits, vegetables, and protein each day, as well as healthy carbs. Your plate should consist mostly of colorful vegetables with smaller amounts of protein and healthy fats. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need to look to other sources for protein. Legumes, beans, and tofu are all excellent choices, which you can request if you use a meal delivery service. In fact, most meal delivery services offer a wide array of healthy alternatives for busy families with little time to spare.
If you do eat meat, look for the leanest cuts you can afford. Chicken is leaner and more affordable than red meat. Even better, you can roast a chicken on the weekend and use it multiple ways throughout the week. Fish is also an excellent choice when you’re short of time but still want to eat healthily. However, limit intake of tuna and salmon to only once or twice a week since these types of fish have high mercury levels.
Eating like an athlete, even when you have no time to spare, is doable. With a little forethought and meal prepping, you can still shed unwanted pounds and feel energized while doing double time.