How to eat healthily when you’re busy

It can be hard to eat healthy when you’re busy. Juggling work, family, and social obligations can leave you tired and with little time for meal preparation. And when you finally do have time to cook, it’s tempting to order takeout or hit up the nearest takeaway. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult! In this blog post, we will give you tips and tricks on how to make healthy eating easier and energy-boosting – even when you’re short on time.

If your busy schedule is leaving you tired, ensure that you are getting the nutrition you need to boost your energy and give your body all the nutrients it needs.

Limit your caffeine intake and keep it to before midday

Although caffeine is a stimulant and may feel like it’s boosting your energy, it is a short-lived boost and could leave you feeling more tired than before!

Experts recommend keeping caffeine limited to before midday so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep and further exaggerate the cycle.

Plan ahead with prepped meals

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re eating healthy is to plan ahead and cook meals in advance. This can be as simple as chopping up vegetables on Sunday and storing in the fridge so you can easily throw together a salad or stir-fry during the week.

Breakfasts can be made quick and easy by making your own breakfast bars, overnight oats or having a freezer stocked with frozen fruits ready to make a quick breakfast smoothie.

Have healthy snacks to hand

When you’re busy, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks like crisps or chocolate bars. But these kinds of snacks are often high in sugar and saturated fat, which can leave you feeling tired and sluggish.

A better option is to have healthy snacks to hand instead, whole foods are best rather than processed ones. This could be something like:

  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Vegetable sticks and hummus.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • A freshly made smoothie
  • Oatcakes with nut butter

Fight fatigue with energy-boosting nutrients

If your schedule doesn’t leave much room for a pause or you’re feeling stressed and overstretched you may find it takes its toll on your energy levels making it even harder to keep up with commitments.

Try to include energy-boosting foods daily that include nutrients to fight fatigue such as:

  • Iron-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
    Being low in iron can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia, which can make you feel tired and run down.
  • B vitamins such as brown rice, whole grains and beans.
    Vitamin B12 is a vitamin essential for maintaining healthy blood cells and is often associated with energy levels. Your levels can be easily tested at home with an Active Vitamin B12 Home Test Kit.
  • Magnesium-rich foods including dark chocolate, almonds and spinach.
    Magnesium plays a role in supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production.

If you need some support identifying where your diet may adjust to support your energy levels, our Energy & Fatigue packages will check for common causes of fatigue, including iron and protein levels, dehydration, diabetes, cholesterol and more.

Find out more about Energy & Fatigue tests

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water will help to keep you hydrated and energised. If you’re busy rushing between commitments it’s easy to grab a coffee on the go or even completely forget about drinking but little and often with hydrating drinks really will help your energy levels, mood and general health.

Make sure you always have a reusable water bottle filled with fresh water with you and take regular sips. The NHS recommends six to eight 200ml glasses of fluid a day, 1.2 litres.

Although tea and coffee does count towards your intake, the caffeine can cause energy spikes and dips so herbal teas that are naturally decaffeinated and water are still your best choices.

Eat regularly

Make sure you’re not missing out on meals! Skipping meals can make your blood sugar levels drop and leave you feeling tired.

Eating regular, balanced meals with healthy snacks in between will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and give you the energy you need to get on with your busy day.