Are you so loaded with your work that you often need to skip cooking and order food from outside? Does not your work let you eat on time? Do you often skip your meals because of long meetings and client visits? Do you travel often because of your work and depend on hotel foods during traveling?
If the answers to all the above-mentioned questions are “yes”, then you need to start meal planning smartly so that you can take care of yourself even when you are loaded with work!
Meal planning is nothing but planning the entire family’s meals and snacks ahead of time.
Most of the working people spend 8-10 hours or basically the first half of the day in office. That 8-10 hours time is very important because in the morning body’s metabolic rate remains extremely high. Skipping meals or keeping a long gap between meals can actually slow down the process of metabolism and also can lead to different gastrointestinal discomfort. That is where meal planning comes into the picture.
You can keep the below mentioned key points in mind while doing the meal planning –
1. Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast, being the first meal of the day, sets up our metabolic process on the right path. A good breakfast can actually help to keep the energy level up throughout the day whereas skipping breakfast can make your day really slow and sluggish. Try to have a complete breakfast within 1-1.5 hours of waking up. Make sure your breakfast provides you a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Idli sambar- parantha curd – vegetable poha – veggie sprouts upma – cheela curd – chapatti sabji etc are some ideal combos that can be picked as breakfast. If your morning rush does not let you prepare any of these, then you can grab a milk cereal bowl with nuts or fruit yogurt parfait on the go!
2. Do Not Keep Your Stomach Empty For Long
No matter how long meetings you attend on a day to day basis; you must not keep your stomach empty, for long. Try to keep some buttermilk or fresh fruit juice in a bottle near you, which you can sip during meetings. If you spend your morning hours at the desk then you can grab some fresh whole or cut fruits or some nuts as your mid-morning snack.
3. Pack a Smart Lunch
If you carry your lunch from home then you must take care of the combination of the food that you are carrying. Lunch, being a major meal of the day, is expected to meet 30% of our daily energy needs which can be ruined by a bad combination of food. Carry some balanced combo meals like – paneer pulao with kheera raita – palak roti with chana curry – herb rice with chicken curry – roasted gobi parantha with curd – steamed rice with fish and vegetable curry, etc.
4. Ditch The Oily Canteen Food
If you are the one who eats lunch in the office canteen, then you must watch out for the oily and spicy dishes and make sure to avoid them. Roti-dal-less oily sabji- salad-curd-roasted papad could be the combo that you can safely opt for. Try not to eat bhatura – pasta – poori – pizza- burger, etc at lunch!
5. Say “NO” to Caffeine
Taking breaks during work is fine as long as you do not turn it into a coffee break. Drinking coffee more than two times a day can actually interfere with food absorption. Also, it can lead to severe dehydration. Be wise in picking your drink; a glass of fresh juice, green tea, buttermilk or lemon honey water can be a savior any time.
6. Evening Snacks are Must
Since there is a long gap between lunch and dinner, the metabolic rate can drastically go down in the evening. Under such circumstances, a good protein-rich evening snack can really help to maintain the normal metabolic rate. An omelet – grilled paneer – thick chicken soup – grilled chicken – mixed nuts are some of the items which you can opt for in the evening. Say ‘no’ to chats, panipuri, burger, cold drinks, ice cream, etc, and save the health!
Apart from these six golden rules, you must take care of the followings –
- Keep some nuts/ fiber cookies handy at your desk to munch on whenever you feel low in energy.
- Keep the water bottle filled and in front of your easy. Take a sip whenever you see the bottle.
- Do not sit for long continuously. Take small breaks, get up, take a walk, go down the staircase, do some stretching, and come back to your desk.
- To avoid a food coma, try not to eat a full stomach. Take a small walk post-lunch.
Just by keeping these things in mind, you can do your meal planning with ease.
Stay energetic! Stay Focused! Stay Healthy!
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