Too busy to eat healthy? Stress eating is stopping you from losing weight.
As a busy cardiologist, I’m frequently asked how I have time to eat healthy. The truth is I didn’t use to.
Before when I was really busy I would end up stress eating peanut M&Ms from the cafeteria. It seemed faster than actually eating a whole meal. Also, I used to have a bad habit of incorporating chocolate into every meal :). But peanut M&Ms aren’t actually a meal. I would end up eating a regular lunch later in the day too.
Stressed Out at Work?
Is your job really busy and stressful? You’re not alone, based on studies 25%-35% of Americans are stressed out every day at work. If you’re stressed out at work, you’re probably too busy to do meal prep and pack a healthy lunch every day.
You may normally make good choices. But on days you feel like you’re just trying to survive at work you grab whatever is the fastest or easiest or most satisfying. And that could be what’s preventing you from losing weight or making you put on extra weight you don’t want.
This is what I found worked best for me and it could work for you too:
- Picking up lunch the night before. You may not have time to make your lunch every day, but you could pick up something healthy the night before. I usually pick up a salad from Panera on my way home from work. They have an app so I order it when I’m leaving work so it’s ready by the time I get there. This way you don’t have to worry about figuring something out for lunch the next day when you’re home and tired.
2. Preplanning your delivery lunch. If you didn’t have time to pick up something the night before, have a preset order waiting for days like this in your food delivery app. This is so that during high stress or really busy times you don’t have to decide to eat healthy. During these times you’ll usually default to your “I’m too busy to think about eating healthy” stress food favorites. This way you’ll be prepared in advance.
3.Leave the scene of the crime. If you didn’t have time to preplan anything and you’re eating from the cafeteria, mentally decide what healthy lunch you’re going to get from the cafeteria on your way to work. Do this before you get busy. Then when you go to the cafeteria get your food and leave as quickly as possible. The more minutes you’re in the cafeteria, the more time you have to change your mind to eat healthy and get a chocolate chip cookie, candy, or other sugary foods.
Don’t Give Up
This will take a lot of practice to make into a habit, but I know you can do it 🙂 I would look at it as an investment in your health the same way you invest for retirement. You have to put in the effort now if you want to stop stress eating, lose weight, and be healthy.