Eating On the Go

If we could come up with the perfect healthy lifestyle plan for you that included exactly what you needed to reach your health and fitness goals, you wouldn’t follow it.

Don’t believe us? How often have you seen people diagnosed with chronic diseases of lifestyle who don’t take the necessary steps to improve their situation? They firstly say they want to eat better, exercise more , work less, stop smoking etc..; then they see the relevant health professionals who tell them how to do it. Yet they end up feeling guilty for not being able to make a change!

Why is it so hard for them to make the change?

Well, unless they really don’t want to change, there are two major obstacles.

Obstacle1: Habits

These are various food and activity related actions that become habitual as we repeat the same pattern day in day out for most of our lives. These are often sub-optimal since people might not have a conscious, logical plan for changing them.

Obstacle 2: Time Management.

People get busy, other life priorities take over such as work, family, financial concerns and making a lifestyle change becomes inconvenient. When these inevitable circumstances come up, it is easier to stay in a comfort zone rather than embark on something that is new, potentially challenging and time consuming.

Eating on the GO

Fast food or convenience food is a growing industry. As people find they have less time to eat they either don’t eat at all or reach for something quick. So why is fast food so appealing?• It’s quick• It’s easy to get• It tastes goodAdvertising and societal norms have a powerful influence over what we eat. . People often go to fast food because they don’t consider other options. They see advertisments and TV commercials for fast food, their parents eat it, their friends eat it, their co-workers eat it, and so on. It’s what a large proportion of the working population do. A major battle in the fight for a lean and healthy body is having nutritious food ready and available.So how can you “plan for the unplanned” and have healthy food ready to eat?

Eating on the Go Option 1 – Weekly Planning

You pick one day per week, set aside a few hours and plan your food intake for the following week. Buy the ingredients, and prepare the lunches and snacks. Try and choose tasty and healthy options such as chicken, tuna, salad, nuts and fruits.Try this for 10 consecutive weeks and it will start to become a habit. You may find it hard at first but with the right planning you are well on the way to becoming healthier as well as saving money!

Eating on the Go Option 2 – Daily Planning

How about a daily food planning? In less than 30 minutes, you can get all of your food organized for the following day. This can be as easy as filling a lunchbox with healthy foods from the fridge or going to your local market to buy a container of salad from the salad bar with the food you need.Eating on the Go Option 3 – If you don’t like to plan then , have others do it!!

If your lifestyle allows, you could hire someone to prepare your food for the week, or get all of your food from a healthy market that does the preparation. You could even investigate a local restaurant that delivers. Having others preparing your food can seem extravagant to some people, and we’ll accept that. But for those weeks when you are extremely busy, finding a healthy food store, restaurant or food preparation service to do the prep for you can add years and quality to your life.Eating healthy can be difficult. But it can also be quite easy. If having healthy food on hand is holding you back, try incorporating a food preparation ritual. See how it works for you. If once a week is overwhelming, try a daily plan to start with. If you aren’t willing to invest the time and energy into your own food preparation, try outsourcing. Your body will thank you.A bit of planning ahead goes a long way!!

By Claire-Louise Drury

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