No matter how much of a healthy food or exercise nut you think you may be, no one is perfect. If you can admit that, you’ll be on the right track to making positive changes in your daily routine. After you’ve figured out your nutrition or exercise holes, set small weekly goals to keep yourself motivated, or recruit a buddy to hold you accountable.
Below find five common mistakes that even the healthiest people can make during the day, whether it’s at the workplace, gym, or home, and learn what you can do to overcome them.
1. You hit the gym before work, then sit all day long.
While it’s easy to think that a tough morning session gives you a free pass to glue yourself to your office chair, this is absolutely not the case. Increasing evidence suggests that too much sitting is harmful.
The fix: Take a walk around the block during lunch — your body will thank you.
2. You’re crunched for time, so you eat lunch too quickly or skip it entirely.
Feeling pressure with a tight deadline can bring out the best work in many of us, but extreme focus and stress can often make us skip meals or barrel through them. Eating too fast can lead to overeating, while starving yourself can lead to bingeing later in the day.
The fix: Take the time to pack a balanced lunch full of naturally filling, fiber-rich foods. Don’t forget snacks to control hunger pangs in between meals; almonds, hummus and pita bread, or whole fruit are excellent choices.
3. You meal prep for the whole week on Sunday, but get bored of everything by Tuesday.
Meal prepping is a smart way to save time during the week, but making five turkey roll-up sandwiches or one huge vegetable soup recipe can get tiresome quickly. You may resort to eating out to satisfy your bored-to-tears taste buds, making all your hard work utterly pointless.
The fix: Rethink your meal-prep game; instead of making just one recipe, try batch-cooking several staple foods such as quinoa, roasted veggies, or toasted nuts. Make a few different vinaigrettes or sauces so you can mix-and-match different ingredients.
4. You cooked a nutritious dinner (yay) but shoveled it down in front of the TV (boo).
While a TV show can help you relax, it can also steal your attention from your plate and cause you to overeat or finish too quickly.
The fix: Practice screen-free eating. Sit down at the table (with family or friends if possible) and enjoy that dazzling plate of greens and grains you took the time to prepare.
5. You buy all the healthy foods, then realize you don’t have time to cook them.
While filling your shopping cart to the gills with the entire produce section or five types of ancient grains may make you feel like you’re being healthy, if you haven’t made a game plan for how you’re going to actually cook any of it you may end up wasting food — and money.
The fix: If your weeknight schedule isn’t set but you want to stock up, opt for produce with longer shelf lives such as potatoes, onions, apples, and hardy greens such as spinach. Your wallet will thank you.