Eating healthy is one of the best ways to improve your health and drop a few pounds. But if you’re a busy person juggling work, family and other obligations, you may not have time to prepare healthy meals. Sometimes, it’s easier to pick up fast food on the way home from work.
Fortunately, there are little things you can do to shed unwanted pounds when you don’t have time to eat healthy.
1. Cut Your Portions in Half
Make sure you eat smaller portions. A good rule of thumb: eat until you’re satisfied, not full. Let’s say you’re picking up fast food on the way home from work. Rather than ordering a combo meal with a burger, fries and a Coke, only get a sandwich, and order the smallest sandwich you can. If you get a larger sandwich, only eat half and save the rest for later. This approach can slash your calorie count.
2. Don't Skip Meals
You might think you’re doing your body a favor by skipping meals. But, unfortunately, skipping meals can slow your metabolism, which is the rate your body burns fat and calories. To keep your metabolism active, eat small meals every two to three hours.
3. Be Active Whenever You Can
Look for different ways to add more activity into your daily routine. This can be as simple as taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, parking your car in the back or rising from your chair every hour to exercise for a minute. You can walk or bike to work, or maybe schedule walking meetings with coworkers. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn. To lose one pound of fat you’ll need to burn at least 3,500 more calories than you take in.
4. Schedule Your Workouts
Then same way you schedule meetings and other appointments, you need to schedule exercise. Even if you can only squeeze in five minutes, 10 or 15 minutes of exercise before getting your day started, every little bit counts toward losing weight and getting healthier. If you finish your lunch early and have 15 or 20 minutes before heading back to work, take a walk around the parking lot.
5. Avoid Extra Calories
If you’re not eating healthy, do whatever you can to avoid additional calories. For example, if you order a burger, you can reduce your calorie intake by removing mayonnaise and cheese. And if you’re grabbing tacos for lunch or dinner, you can reduce your calorie count by getting a corn tortilla instead of a flour tortilla, and skipping the guacamole and sour cream. You can also take in fewer calories by ordering water instead of sweet tea or soda.
6. Know the Calorie Count
Just about every restaurant lists nutritional information on their websites. If you’re unable to cook because of a busy schedule and you’re constantly picking up food, check the nutritional information before ordering, and pick items with the least amount of calories.
See also: Bring Your Fitness Routine into Work
Eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to drop extra pounds. But when eating healthy isn’t an option, reducing your portions and getting active might make up for a bad diet.