Juggling home and work is routine for most women in the modern era. Chasing deadlines and beating the odds is all part of a normal day. Eating right, however, seems to be one goal that falls on the wayside for most working women. While finishing off tasks one after the other, eating on time ends up getting pushed to the end of the priority list.
A vast majority of working women would confess to being regular breakfast-skippers. Others grab a few mouthfuls of whatever comes in handy. Lunch is either lousy or missed altogether. The incessant tea/coffee drinking is how you find the energy to push yourself through the day. Starved and deprived of nutrition till late evening, you wolf down a disproportionately heavy dinner. All the energy and nutrition that the body needs in the day are pumped in right before crashing out.
If this sounds like you, then this piece of information is going to cheer you up for sure - eating a balanced diet is only a few smart moves away. Here’s how you get started:
1. Tweak your morning schedule to allow at least 15-20 minutes for breakfast. Studies show that breakfast skippers are most likely to get irritable and temperamental at work and at home. Since they have missed the opportunity to provide the body with adequate nutrients after an overnight fast, they will find their body and brain slowing down by midday. On the other hand, those who have a proper breakfast are found to be efficient in the morning and less drowsy after lunch.
2. Bring variety into the diet. If you are sticking to store-bought breakfast cereals in the belief that it is healthy, you can relax and have idli-sambar for a change. The calories are not much different and might even tip in favour of one or two idli or dosa. Include fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, lean meat and dairy to make eating a pleasurable activity. Choose a variety of food in the right amounts and take the time to savour your meals.
3. Eat whole foods. Foods that are in their natural, unprocessed state is the best way to retain their fiber and nutrients. Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat your fruit; choose wheat over maida; eat a raw vegetable for lunch and so on.
4. Watch the portion size. Taking small portions of food will keep you stocked up on the energy required to be active through the day. It will keep hunger pangs away and stop you from gorging on unhealthy food at the end of the day. Even if you catch yourself downing a burger once in a while, remember to limit it to just one and ignore the temptation to make it an everyday affair.
5. Do not think of weight issues as a reason to skip meals. Stress has been identified as a major appetite-killer. 'Not feeling hungry' is a common phenomenon among working women while they are at work places. The same people find any food appealing once they are home and relaxed. Stress is also found to increase the chances of obesity. The first step to battling weight issues could be starting to eat on time.
6. Eat on time. Make sure that you eat all three meals in small portions. Choose soups or salads in between meals or as meal substitutes instead of tea and coffee.
7. Limit your intake of tea and coffee. These appetite-killers can be replaced with whole fruits, soups and salads. Remember that smart eating goes a long way in making you smart at work.