Have a busy schedule and feel like you have no time to stop and eat? Often binge in the evenings? You’re not alone. Despite your best efforts to eat regularly to help keep your energy levels up throughout the day, you find yourself running around surviving only on a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar.
There has even been evidence that shows that 40% of millennials surveyed said that cereal was “inconvenient” because it takes “too long to clean up after eating” (1). We really are busier than ever!
How does forgetting to eat and then binging affect us?
Squeezing a HIIT class into a lunch break instead of taking the time to slow down and enjoy lunch may impact our hormone levels. Engaging in a cycle of restriction throughout the day, adding in high-impact exercise and then binging in the evening may increase levels of cortisol, growth hormone and noradrenaline. These hormones may contribute to elevated blood glucose levels over time, increased inflammation and feelings of fatigue.
When we go about our days without eating, we are basically running on an empty fuel tank. Food gives us the energy to do all of the things we need to in a day, including jumping from meeting to meeting to drinks after work. Not eating regularly causes low blood sugar levels which can affect our concentration levels - not great when we need to pay attention at work!
Having a demanding schedule and career doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your energy levels, playing havoc with your hormones and feeling awful. Our nutritionists are here to help you with their top tips for eating regularly even with a busy schedule.
Cook once; eat more
When you are cooking at home, consider making more than one serving. With these extra servings, you can freeze them or take them to work the following day. Invest in some storage containers to keep the food fresh and a cooler bag to throw into your bag so you always have a home-cooked meal at lunchtime. This can be a lifesaver on days where you keep promising you’ll take 10 minutes to run and grab lunch but before you know it, it’s 4pm!
Is cooking not for you or feel like you don’t have the time to channel your inner Nigella? Recipe Food prep delivery services like Prep Kitchen and Simmer food deliver tasty, individually portioned meals straight to your door - you could even get them delivered to the office if it is easier.
Make an evening ritual
If you know that your days are never the same twice, then try to carve out the time to develop an evening ritual. In the evening, create meals that contain all three macronutrients. Combining proteins, fats and carbohydrates in one meal can help to keep you feeling satisfied and nourished. Taking the time to slow down in the evening, and spending time away from your phone, laptop and other screens where possible is ideal to help you wind down and connect with the eating experience.
If you find that you do tend to binge in the evenings, apart from checking in and making sure you are eating enough throughout the day, taking the time to reconnect with yourself, the food you are eating and the emotions you are feeling may be helpful. Taking a more mindful approach to your evening meal can help you recognise when you are feeling full, and prevent eating past the point of comfortable fullness.
Set boundaries and prioritise nourishment
We hear you and know you are busy. But, your health and happiness are important. Creating boundaries with colleagues and clients so you can have time in the day to adequately nourish yourself is essential. Even slotting 15-30 minute gaps between meetings or calls to let you enjoy some food isn’t just essential for your physical and mental wellbeing, it will also ensure you are performing your best. It’s impossible to do your best work when you are hungry and frazzled!
Still struggling to find the time to eat with your busy schedule? Barely eating throughout the day and then bingeing and overeating in the evening? Join Nuna on the 1st of March for a free webinar to learn about how to stop overeating, work with your emotions and step into your highest potential. Sign up for free here.