Eating Pitfalls Of Busy People

April 20, 2017  |  
1 of 20 studio shot of an African American businesswoman holding a pear at arms length with a disgusted look on her face.

We’re all prone to letting healthy eating habits slip when we’re busy. You don’t want to be bothered with nutrition labels and calorie counts when you’re creating an empire and generally being a boss! The problem is that if you don’t worry about those things now, then once your empire is fully up and running, and your cup runneth over with success, your jeans may also runneth over with love handles. Then you’ll be busy hitting the gym extra hard. See, it’s all about balance. Pay a little attention to your eating habits every day, and you don’t need to dedicate all of your attention to them thirty pounds from now. And remember, it’s much easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. With that in mind, here are eating pitfalls of busy people that you should avoid.

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Eating processed foods

If it comes in packaging, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Packaged foods mascaraed as the busy person’s best friend. Microwavable meals, pre-made trail mix…These brands tend to make money by loading their food with empty calories.




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Eating calorie-sorted snacks

Little bags of pretzels and cookies that boast their 100-calorie content are easy to carry in your bag, but they forget to mention one thing; they have no nutrition. In other words, they do not fill you up at all and leave you reaching for more.




Plastic containers for food on wooden background

Failing to invest in Tupperware

How are you supposed to make lunch at home if you don’t have the proper Tupperware to put it in? When you realize all you have is one, flimsy little piece, you’ll give up and order delivery. Invest in good Tupperware that can go in the microwave, has different compartments, features venting lids and all.



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Forgetting to make time to eat

You’ve planned your morning yoga, your time to open emails, your 10 am conference call, your 11 am conference call, your 12:30 presentation, your 1:30 meeting and…oops, you forgot to make time to eat! That means you scarf down something that can be scarfed down (like a burrito or burger) between meetings. Treat eating like a meeting: give it at least a 30-minute window.



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Eating at the restaurant/bar/meeting place

If you take a lot of meetings at restaurants, hotel lobbies, bars and the like, it’s easy to think, “I’ll just save time by eating there.” But you won’t always find the healthiest options here. If this is how you make time to eat, then choose healthy spots for your meetings.



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Forgetting to make time to grocery shop

This, like eating, should be on your calendar—it should get its own time slot. Your good intentions to make lunch at home go out the window when you don’t have food with which to make that lunch. Pick a time—maybe Sunday afternoon—and say that’s when you grocery shop. Don’t let anything get in the way.



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Failing to keep healthy snacks in the car

If you find yourself stuck in traffic or driving between meetings and starving, what do you do? You go through a drive-through. That’s all you have time for! How about you save even more time by keeping some protein-rich nuts in your center divider.



Kale chips. Photo:

Failing to keep healthy snacks in your bag

You never know when a meeting will run an hour over, leaving your stomach grumbling in your chair. There are, of course, cookies and donuts on the conference table. If you’re smart, there will be healthy snacks in your purse.




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Buying coffee at a coffee shop

First off, this is expensive. But second, when you buy coffee at a coffee shop, you end up adding the muffin or the bagel. Make coffee in your own kitchen where you aren’t surrounded by pastries.






Eating too quickly

This one’s pretty obvious, but in case it must be stated: busy people eat too quickly! When you eat too quickly, you tend to overeat because your brain doesn’t get the time it needs to register that you are full.






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Giving in to late night cravings

If you have to stay up late with your busy schedule, then you probably need to eat something late at night to keep your energy up. When you’re tired, you lose the willpower to make healthy choices. So outsmart yourself by only keeping healthy snacks at the house, like vegetables and hummus.




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Eating at your computer

Do not eat at your computer, over spreadsheets, or while perusing a periodical. When you’re focused on something other than your food, you tend to overeat.





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Skipping a good breakfast

It’s easy to think, “I’ll save twenty minutes by not having breakfast at home.” But then what happens? You get to the office hungry and give into the donuts and bagels. Those only leave you with a blood sugar crash later so, if you think about it, they cost you time.




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Missing out on fresh produce

Fresh produce isn’t the easiest thing to pack, which is why busy people tend to opt for frozen or canned. But don’t do that—it doesn’t have nearly as many nutrients as the fresh stuff.






Not sleeping enough

Busy people naturally struggle to get enough sleep, but when you’re sleep deprived, you look for energy in other things (like food), and your brain isn’t strong enough to make healthy choices.






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Drink anything other than water

Whatever your pick-me-up is—whether it’s juice, an energy drink, a diet soda or a latte—it probably isn’t healthy and will just leave you tired later. Water should be your one and only cold, liquid pick-me-up.

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Giving into group mentality

Everybody’s stressed out, everybody’s working long hours, and now everybody wants to order greasy delivery because, as they say, “We’ve earned it.” It’s hard not to join in but resist.



Eating with other busy people

If you’re busy, you probably hang out with busy people. That means they’re stressed, rushed, and probably order things like the burger and fries. It’s hard to order healthy around someone who isn’t ordering healthy. If you need to eat alone to make the right food choices, do so.




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Hanging out near food

Don’t have your work conversations standing next to the bagel platter or call your mom on your break next to the donuts. You’re bound to start munching.







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Failing to keep water on hand

You should have a bottle of water at your desk, in your car, and in your bag at all times. Every time you think you want a snack, drink a ton of water—you’ll probably find that your craving goes away.

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