Aside from the physical benefits of exercising, one of the best things about a good workout is the feeling of pride and accomplishment when it’s over. However, it can be discouraging to put in so much effort and not see a change in the way your body looks, feels, or functions. It may seem like you should stay even longer at the gym, but did you know that the solution could actually be to spend a little more time in the kitchen?
We all know that eating healthy is good, but did you know that it is just important as getting exercise when it comes to maintaining or improving physical fitness? It is easy to forget how crucial good eating habits are to a healthy life. Oftentimes, even though we know something is not good for us, we fall into the habit of eating what is most convenient. Grabbing a breakfast taco or a pastry on the way to work is quicker than preparing breakfast. The vending machine right down the hall is full of quick snacks. And at the end of a long day, the drive thru sounds more appealing than going home and cooking a meal.
The key to fighting these bad habits is to have healthy snacks on hand for when temptations set in. It doesn’t take much, just a little prep work. It can even be a fun activity for the whole family to join in on! Here are a few tips:
1.) Start early - Sunday evenings are a great time to meal prep. By getting it done early, you are able to go into the week fully prepared. Prepare and organize lunches for the first few days of the week. It will save you time on those chaotic Monday mornings and you’ll save money by not having to eat out.
2.) Make leftovers your friend - When preparing dinner, double the recipe so that you will have another night’s worth of food with minimal extra prep time. The drive thru is less tempting when you know you have a home cooked meal waiting at home!
3.) Make it a family affair- Let the kids help with the cooking! Assign small tasks like washing fruit or other manageable tasks. It will be a great way to spend time as a family, and in the end, you will have worked together to create something you can all enjoy! They will be proud of their efforts and will look forward to working on the next meal, plus, cooking is a valuable skill to pick up at any age. Don’t forget to talk about why it is important to make healthy choices!
In addition to preparing bigger meals ahead of time, think about healthy snacks you can take on the go. Remember that it is great to indulge every now and then, but the key is to enjoy treats in moderation. Finally, don’t overthink it; enjoy the healthy recipes you find, have fun preparing a meal with your family, and don’t get upset if you slip up every now and then!
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