With an endlessly expanding inbox, back-to-back meetings, and daily projects to take care of, healthy-eating goals tend to get pushed further and further down the list of priorities. But nutritionists and doctors consistently remind us that our eating habits have a direct impact on our mental focus and mood as well as long-term health, so we should pay attention to what we eat whether we're busy or not. According to nutritionist Susie Burrell, this dietary slip-up is easy to fix without having to make any major lifestyle changes.
How? It starts with time management. In an article for Body + Soul, Burrell says to stop delaying (or skipping) meals—especially breakfast. Morphing meals may seem efficient when time is of the essence, but ia late breakfast triggers an entire day of delayed meals. Kelly Allison, PhD, a psychotherapist and medical expert specializing in night eating syndrome, notes that delaying meals can result in a slower metabolism, fluctuating hormones, and chronic diseases.
Aside from good timing, you also may need to adjust your attitude. In fact, Burrell advises against treating food as a reward system. Nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars explains that restricting indulgent treats until you "deserve" a reward trains your brain to link good behavior with bad foods. Next come cravings, which may become binges. This is particularly true if your food-reward sessions happen late at night because then you'll wake up full, prompting another day of delayed meals.
Instead, opt for a quick breakfast before you leave home. Try Greek yogurt and berries, a protein-packed smoothie, or whole-wheat toast with almond butter. All of these make for easy, tasty, and affordable meals that'll kick-start your day. Plus, they're of the walk-and-talk variety, so you can enjoy them as you run out the door and rush into your busy day. And this way you won't be as hungry late at night, preventing the reward-system mindset.
Share your favorite healthy foods to eat on the go in the comments below.