A question I am frequently being asked at the moment is how on earth do I find the time to eat the way I do; I simply think that life is too short not to. I have tried so many faddy diets over the years, protein based diets, no-carbs, low fat, calorie counting, fasting and not one has been sustainable for me. I either constantly crave food or ‘break’ my diet and consequently feel guilty. For the past few years I haven’t dieted once I have maintained my optimal BMI and weight. I have lost when I have wanted to and more importantly been happy throughout. My energy levels have been high and I have been healthy. (Of course I eat out, I have to odd glass of wine and chocolates when I fancy it!)

Back to my question how do I find time…

It’s hard for me to answer this question because I always find time, I always have. For a long as I can remember my colleagues have commented on my choice of lunch.

Well I realise that me eating properly is the difference between me having a good day or not. I want to feel happy and if I don’t eat right I don’t feel right, so it starts with a plan. I love to know what I’m eating and when, so I think ahead. I hate feeling caught short and that I just need to eat and eat anything because I’m famished this is when I’m most likely to eat what I call empty foods- the ones that are quick and easy and low on nutrients. My plan starts in the supermarket I buy to suit what I need. I go for whole, fresh foods and steer clear of processed foods.

I know what works for me. Through trying various different approaches to food I could workout what did and didn’t work for me, I began to ask myself how I felt after eating different foods and what happened to my mood and energy levels. I also thought a lot about the emotional connection with food – stress makes me eat. Stress is a big one for me it gets me reaching for sugar and lots of it, the more I have to more I want and I never know when to stop. I also know what makes me feel good, so I make sure it’s readily available.

Preparation is everything. Meals and snack need to fit into your life. So make it easy – if I know I have a busy day I select food I know will fit in. Make the most of left overs. If time is the issue, why not make double what you need and save some for the following day or freeze a portion. I often prepare vegetables in advance especially if I know I will be home late (which I often am) so I do as much as possible at a time which suits then I can leave a note asking for something to be heated.

Breakfast is the single most important thing in my day, I don’t function with out it. So if it means I’m up earlier than I need to be that’s fine by me.

I make satisfying meals and snacks and stop to eat them. I try not to eat on the go or multitask because I don’t register what I’m doing, it’s really important to find time not just to prepare the food but also to eat it. Eating is a social thing for me too, the TV goes off and I like to chat and munch. I can’t bare to sit on the sofa with my dinner! I feel bloated and generally horrible and I’m always hankering for something else.

So in short my top fin time tips are:

  • Make yourself a priority
  • Plan ahead
  • Prepare
  • Make it simple
  • Find time (even if it’s a few minutes)
  • Be proactive and make good decisions
  • Understand how you work and what makes you feel your best
  • Eat often

This is how I find time, it has nothing to do with the types of foods I like or how they make me feel. Try it for one week and let me know how it goes.