It seems like every day is a constant struggle when it comes to getting all of our responsibilities done. Between giving it our all at work and having a social life, there just never seems to be enough time for everything – let alone making healthy choices. We’re constantly in awe of the girls who balance a demanding career, spend time with friends and make it to the gym.
For a long time, we thought that these luxuries were only afforded to those ladies of leisure. But we were wrong. We chatted with the experts, and they had a different outlook: Busy girls can be healthy too.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it occurs before the craziness of the day hits, so treat your a.m. nosh as your time to fuel up for the busy day ahead.
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“Beginning your day in a healthy way informs your mind and body to keep making healthy choices,” says Taliah Mekki, health coach and group fitness manager at Equinox. Mekki recommends starting the day with a berry and veggie smoothie, which you can divide up and freeze in individual plastic bags on Sunday. All you have to do is toss it in the blender.
EAT FOR ENERGY
Don’t be afraid of carbs. “Our bodies need carbs because they provide the energy for the whole body,” says Alejandro Chaban, certified nutrition consultant and founder of the Yes You Can! Diet Plan. “Our brains and nervous systems, for example, are highly dependent on carbs to carry out their main functions.”
But you need to know what to eat and when to eat it. “Eat slow-absorption carbs (such as whole grains, legumes, and red berries), and limit fast-absorption carbs (honey, sugar, fruit juice), which create glucose spikes and are harder to burn.” Aim to get one serving of good carbohydrates in at breakfast and at lunch, but avoid carbs at dinner. When you’re powering down for the day, your body doesn’t need carbohydrates.
SET AN ALARM
Set an alarm to drink water. Confusing hunger for thirst is very common, and it could be sabotaging your get-fit goals. Chaban says drinking water steadily throughout the day will help you avert unnecessary cravings in between meals: “So set an alarm to remind yourself to drink at least one glass (eight ounces) of water per hour.”
SNACK ON PORTABLE PROTEIN
Protein is important. “Muscles are the little ovens that burn the fat in our bodies, and protein is what gives muscles their strength to carry out that function,” Chaban says. “By consuming more protein, you will be able to have healthier muscles, burn more fat, and boost your metabolism.”
So eat protein at every meal, and, more importantly, when snacking. Look for high-quality whey protein products, like bars and shakes. Try to get your protein fix every three hours to keep your metabolism running.
DO SOMETHING (ANYTHING, REALLY)
When it comes to workouts, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. Interval training is an effective workout that’s quick.
“The most efficient cardio workout right now is Precision Running, created by David Siik for Equinox,” Mekki says. You can print out the workout and take it with you. Getting a 30-minute treadmill session in two or three times a week is all you need. But find a workout that works for you. Even at your busiest — actually, especially at your busiest — you need to make time for yourself.