Some weeks, you just don't have time to work out, do meal prep and try to get 10,000 steps in, and that's OK! Living a healthy lifestyle is all about doing what you can, but not beating yourself up when you just can't do it all.
If you do want to incorporate a few healthy hacks into your busiest weeks, though, here are a few simple, totally doable ones that will get you back on track! Keep them in the back of your mind for days when you can barely get to work on time.
1. Eat breakfast
A recent study found that people who finish eating all of their meals by early afternoon had small fluctuations in hunger, and burned slightly more fat than people who ate throughout the day. So the more you eat earlier in the day, the healthier you may be!
In this study, participants finished eating their meals by 2 p.m., which may be tough to do. Another strategy may be to stick to your regular meal times, but to make breakfast and lunch your biggest meals of the day.
It may not help you lose weight, but eating breakfast can help you kick start a day of mindful eating. Most people are hungriest right when they wake up — breakfast helps to satisfy that hunger. It also assures that you won't be starving by the time lunch hits.
Here are some healthy, quick and easy breakfast options:
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs
- Plain or non-fat Greek yogurt
- Fresh fruit
- Unsweetened oatmeal
2. Add walnuts to your diet
According to registered dietitian Keri Glassman, the monounsaturated fats found in nuts can help to burn belly fat, and like all fat, help to keep you satiated. Nuts have a healthy balance of fiber, protein and fat, which work together to keep hunger at bay.
Bonus: Walnuts, in particular, are a great source of magnesium, and high levels of magnesium have been linked to reduced symptoms of depression. They also contain antioxidants and are low in carbohydrates, which means they won't cause a spike in your blood sugar. Snack on a handful in the afternoon, or add to your morning yogurt.
3. Burn calories while you sit
Sitting all day is pretty bad for your body, but there are things you can do to combat the effect. Getting up and walking around every hour can help, but here are some great tips to help you burn calories while you're actually working:
- Tighten your abs: Simply tighten your abs like someone is going to tickle you. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat ten times. To target your lower abs: Lift your feet a couple of inches off the ground, kick them out and bring them back down. Repeat as many times as you can.
- Tone your legs: Straighten out your legs until they're parallel to the ground and focus on tightening your quads. Hold for a few seconds, and lower back down. Repeat.
- Fidget: You may annoy your co-workers, but moving around in your seat and getting up to walk around can help you burn hundreds of calories a day. Stretch, shake out your arms legs — just keep moving!