Body Science Dietitian and Nutritionist, Susie Burrell provides these tips to help busy women eat well and stay lean.
Without a doubt, juggling work, relationships as well as finding time to look after self is a constant battle for women who need to be at their best every single day. While we know that regular training and eating well is a vital part of this, unfortunately the pressures of modern life can mean that this may be easier said than done. Eating out, drinking, long days as well as social and work commitments can all impact our ability to eat well on a daily basis. So, if we are to keep well as well as maintain a healthy weight no matter what else is going on in our worlds, we have to take control and luckily there is also Body for Women to help you keep in great shape no matter how demanding your schedule.
1. Plan, plan, plan
Without a doubt it is planning that is the key to dietary success long term. Most of us know what we should be eating but things fall apart when we find ourselves in situations in which we do not have the foods we need readily available. Take time out each week to get organised and plan as many of your meals and snacks as you can. Schedule in a shopping trip regularly to stock up on all your food staples and when you find yourself with a little extra time, prepare some extra meals that can be frozen and kept for nights where you may get home late. Where possible pack your lunch the night before, never leave the house without a protein rich snack such as the new Body for Women Low Carb Bites or Bars so you are never caught out.
2. Start the day right
You have heard it a million times, you need to eat breakfast every single day to optimise metabolic rate. While this is true, the time you eat your breakfast and the food combinations you choose are also of utmost importance. Ideally the earlier you manage to eat your breakfast the better – a coffee and Turkish toast at 10am will just not cut it. Try and have your breakfast by 8am at the latest to kick start your metabolism and get things moving. The next step is making sure that your breakfast has the right combination of slow digesting, low GI carbs and a good dose of protein for fullness throughout the morning. Good options include eggs on wholegrain toast, a bran or oat based breakfast cereal teamed with natural yoghurt, or if you are in a hurry, grab a Body for Women shake which will give you a great protein rich breakfast in just minutes.
3. Always carry your protein rich snack with you
Snacking is a normal part of any healthy eating regime, especially for active people who are burning a significant number of calories each day but snacking on highly processed, high carb foods including biscuits, cakes, muffins, snack bars, bread and potato chips is a recipe for disaster when it comes to weight control. While sweet tasting foods may temporarily relieve hunger, they are also likely to result in an associated energy drop an hour or so after you eat them, leaving you feeling unsatisfied and hungry.
The secret to avoiding this scenario is to always make sure that your snack choices are rich in protein. The protein component will slow digestion and help to control your blood glucose levels which in turn help to keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.
Top 10 Protein rich snack choices:
- 100g natural yoghurt with berries and cinnamon
- Wholegrain crackers with cheese
- Corn cakes with cottage cheese
- Body for Women Low Carb Bar or Bites
- Small skim milk Latte
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter or hummus with cut up vegetables
- Handful of almonds with fresh fruit
- Ham or turkey wrap
- Body for Women Shake with skim milk
4. Maintain your alcohol limits
In an ideal world we couple drink a couple of glasses of our favourite wine each night without any associated health consequences but the reality is there are few of us who can manage that. Alcohol, per gram, has almost the same number of calories as that of fat, which is why it can be so difficult to lose or even maintain weight if you are drinking regularly. For social people who find themselves out on many nights each week and who also wish to control their weight it is a good idea of set an alcohol limit each week and try and stick to it. This may be only drinking on one or two nights or it may be just having ½ a glass at work events. While there is not one set of rules that will apply to everyone, being mindful of how much alcohol may be slipping into your week and proactively managing this is imperative to keep an eye on your calorie intake and ultimately your weight long term.
5. Look after your body
It is not uncommon to see women who appear to be training regularly and eating well but if you take a closer look you become privy to a world of inadequate sleep, too little sunlight, daily inactivity followed by extreme gym workouts and poor quality food eaten on the run. While you may feel as if pushing your body to the brink is a skill itself, the concept of taking time out to look after your body and give it the key things it needs to be at its best is a simple yet powerful way to care for your health long term. Make it a priority to get out into the sunlight each day and breathe fresh air. Walk as much as you can and get enough rest to balance the physical demands you place on it when you train hard. Live by the mantra, “quality over quantity” when it comes to your food, get organised, plan ahead and look after yourself in the best “Body for Women” way that you can.