To figure out what style of healthy eating works best for you, especially on a busy schedule, we first want to break down the inherent principles that make a healthy diet successful. We all want to eat healthier but establishing the right diet and keeping consistent can be difficult. Food plays an important role in our daily lives and giving in to temptation when you pass a new restaurant or celebrate a friend’s birthday isn’t uncommon. Especially if you’re busy and don’t always have the time to prepare or purchase a healthy meal. In pursuit of a healthy diet, you need to rely on healthy habit guide posts and good advice to reach your goals.

We’ve identified four main principles for developing and maintaining a healthy diet on a busy schedule.

Be In The Right Calorie Range

Calories in vs calories out takes precedence over anything else when considering weight management. However, since we’re trying to build a healthy diet and not just one with a calorie deficit, we’ll want to keep whole foods involved.Even if your goal is to lose weight over a period of time, you still want to make sure you get all of the nutrients you need to live a happy and healthy life. Essentially this healthy diet will include eating meals that often look like a combination of side dishes, containing your proteins, fats, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs (like rice, potato, oats etc). Keeping in the right calorie range involves avoiding processed meals and food items that have a ton of ingredients in their nutritional label.

Consider Your Non-Negotiables

In pursuit of a healthy diet, are there things you are not willing to give up? Whether that’s daily meal frequency or what types of foods you are not willing to go without. Maybe that’s a cup of ice-cream before bed or a nice steak on the weekends. Understanding these first allows you to build a diet plan around your non-negotiables, restricting other areas of your eating patterns that you don’t mind restricting so that you can maintain the things you enjoy. Considering this will make you more likely to enjoy the process and stay consistent with it.

Meal Frequency

If it was up to you, how many meals would you choose to eat on a daily basis? Because it very much is up to you! 😉The more meals you choose to eat, the harder sustaining a busy schedule becomes on a daily basis.. More meals means more planning and preparation. Being able to stick to 2 –3 meals gives you a lot of your time back and reduces the likelihood you will make a poor eating decision while you are hungry and low on time to prepare the right thing.

Keep It Simple

Deciding what meals you’re willing to keep repetitive and boring gives you more flexibility in deciding what meals matter to you.?In attempting to build a healthy diet, reducing caloric variables dramatically increases the likelihood that you can keep your calorie intake steady without a ton of tracking or micromanaging. An example of this would be selecting between two different breakfast meals every morning and having the same midday snack. Like a protein shake, an apple, and a scoop of peanut butter. Doing this allows you to enjoy a bit more variety for dinner since you have managed your calorie range during the day. Once again, the fewer variables in the day, the less time we have to spend on it and the less likely we are to mess up by selecting what is convenient but not necessarily best for us.

These are the major principles that we focus on at Catalyst when taking people through our Nutritional Accountability Program. Building nutritional patterns with you, instead of for you, based on such principles allows our clients to be highly successful as we consider habits and lifestyles before “picture perfect” diets. In addition, we touch base weekly, virtually or in person, so that we can make sure we help troubleshoot the issues that come up each week (as they always do) and of course to be there for you to high five and celebrate your weekly successes! If you’re interested in joining the Catalyst family and live in the Connecticut area, try our 30 Day PT Experience and see all that Catalyst has to offer.