Healthy eating made easy for busy women

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 10 March 2021.
Tagged: health, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, nutrition

Healthy eating made easy for busy women

When you’re busy it’s easy to reach for a quick hunger-fix. Unfortunately, easy and quick doesn’t equal healthy. Here are my 10 simple tips to make healthy eating easy and way less confusing. Follow them and you’ll be eating right!

1. Eat mindfully

 I know this sounds like hippie-speak but eating slowly and concentrating on the food in front of you will help you eat better. Not to mention the fact that it will improve your digestion! For a start, slowing down the rate of eating and putting your utensils down between mouthfuls forces you to listen to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. Chewing your food starts the digestion process as your saliva contains the enzyme amylase which begins the breakdown of starches in the mouth. Chewing well reduces and grinds food into a “slurry” that makes digestion easier. What’s more, you’ll actually enjoy what you’re eating if you savour it.

2. Listen to your stomach

Learn to stop when you’re at a comfortable 5 out of 10 full. Not an over-stuffed 7 or 8 out of 10 as happens often if we eat out all the time. You can easily rate your fullness level so you can work out a comfortable point of fullness (satiety) to stop eating. Best of all, this works with ANY diet or program. Read more.

3. Keep portions moderate

Steer clear of huge portion sizes or seconds as these are a key cause of obesity. The bigger the portion in front of you, the more you tend to eat – and that’s been proven in research. Serve meals on smaller sized plates and bowls. Use small – not oversized - spoons. Measure or weigh your portions of rice, pasta or meat once so you know what a standard size serve looks like. When you’re serving, take notice of how much you’re serving – is it the suggested half a cup OR really 1 1/2 cups?

4. Forget dieting – eat for life!

Nutrition is not about dropping a dress size. It’s about eating well to nourish your body. Aka a nutrient-dense, rather than kilojoule-dense, diet.

5. Drink more water

Make plain water your default drink. Water is the best thirst quencher, yet most of us don’t drink enough. The body needs about 2 litres (8 glasses) of water each day. Carry a bottle of water with you in the car and have one on your desk at work.

Juices are fat-free and healthy but they are fruit in concentrated form - high in natural sugars, low in fibre, high in kilojoules/calories and easy to over-consume. You couldn't chomp your way through 2 or 3 oranges in a minute but I bet you could easily drink in one glass of orange juice

6. Eat a salad a day

I’m big on salads because they are easy to pull together, use up bits hanging around in your fridge and can be made up ahead (needing only the dressing poured over before serving). What’s more, they give you food in raw state which means you get your vitamin C, folate and B1 (which are all heat-sensitive) and require chewing. 

Women Eating salad Lunch

7. Watch the salt

We eat twice as much salt as we should. Stop sprinkling salt over your food before you taste it and start buying reduced-salt products such as stock and baked beans. Boost the flavour with fresh herbs, garlic, chilli and lemon or lime zest.

8. Watch the sugar

Feeding that sweet tooth? Too much sugar adds unwanted kilojoules (calories) and supplies no fibre, vitamins or minerals. A spread of jam on your toast or sugar in yoghurt is OK, but limit your consumption of sugary soft drinks, juices, lollies, chocolate, muffins, pastries and ice creams. 

Sugar Woman Chocolate Bar

9. Eat smart carbohydrates

 Say “No” to refined carbs like white rice. Go for whole grains, high-fibre or low GI carbs such as dense grainy breads, brown rice, oats, pearl barley, wholegrain breakfast cereals and legumes.  This means they are absorbed more slowly – your body is doing the work, not the food factory!

10. Use technology to help

Buy a wearable tracker such as a Fit Bit watch or use an App such as Easy Diet Diary (Australian and in kilojoules rather than calories) to track your food, steps, sleep and heart rate.

I don’t feel you need to enter everything you put in your mouth – many dishes are hard to classify such as Chinese stir-fries or pizza with its mixed toppings (and how many wedges). What’s more you don’t want to sit for hours entering data onto a small screen or smart phone! Sitting is the new smoking. Have a tech-detox on the weekend or when you’re away.   

The bottom line

Even if you can only manage to implement a few of these tips, I promise you, you’ll feel better for it. Good luck!

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Nutrition for Life 2020 Edition is a fresh new update on all the things you've read about or heard in the last year. Think insects, collagen, vegan eating, Keto dieting, vitamin B12, fast food and cafe culture.  It has plenty of colour pictures and is easy to dip in and out of. Grab your copy NOW!