There are some tricks that I use in order to create balance and optimize efficiency during the day. I started sharing them with my partner and my family a while ago. It has been working well for them, so they have encouraged me to share them here. These tricks may not work for some people, but they are small and easy to follow. Give them a try if you’d like, and let me know about your experience with them.
1. Plan Ahead
Before going grocery shopping, decide on the snacks you would like to eat for the week ahead. Try to go for high protein snacks that keep you full and give you a good amount of energy, such as almonds, yogurt, edamame beans, etc. One effective strategy of the supermarkets is placement of snacks in a way that would lure customers easily. Have you seen how there’s always candy, chips and soda drinks available right next to the cashier? If you’d like to have some chocolate during the week, that’s okay. Decide that before going to the store and go straight for the candy or chocolate bar that you have in mind. If you don’t plan your snack list beforehand, you start exploring and buying unnecessary items. Also, never go grocery shopping hungry. Always make sure you eat beforehand because otherwise, staying focused on your list would become a challenge.
2. Listen to your body
It is important to take hunger seriously and eat when your body is hungry. However, many times we feel hunger due to dehydration. If you have already eaten your meal on time and the snack after, but you still feel hungry, go for a glass of water or a cup of green tea. If after drinking you’re still hungry, it’s okay to eat. If your hunger does go away, it means that you need to drink more water during the day. If you are a coffee drinker, go for a glass of water after every cup of coffee you drink. It will save you from dehydration. In addition, coffe is a diuretic and will make you urinate a lot. This is a good circulation of water through your body.
3. Don’t put your faith in sugary foods
High sugary foods have a high “Glycemic Index”. This means that they cause a sugar spike, which boosts your energy for a short amount of time. After that, your energy starts crashing very fast and you feel tired and fatigue. As a result, it’s not a good idea to use coke, chocolate and other high sugary foods as a way of increasing productivity. It’s okay to consume them every once in a while for the purpose of enjoying them. For productivity and sufficient energy, it’s better to consume foods that give your brain enough glucose over a longer period of time. Some examples would be apple slices with peanut butter, carrot sticks with hummus, fruits, and nuts.
4. Eat your way through the fridge
When you have random leftover items in your fridge, don’t throw them away. Take 5 minutes to look up recipes for those items online and make a meal or a snack from those leftovers. It saves you money and it teaches you something new. I recommend the app “Tasty”, where you can search meals based on the ingredients you have.
5. Make water drinking exciting
If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, make it exciting by buying cool-looking water bottles. See through water bottles are better because you can add fruits and vegetables to your water. Every once in a while when you look up from your desk and see the colourful fruit-water infusion in front of you, you can’t resist drinking it. Some good infusions that I enjoy are cucumber-mint, lemon-orange, raspberry- lemon, grapefruit (bitter), and lemon-mint.
6. Calorie control
I am not a fan of counting calories. However, there are small tricks I use to do calorie control on specific things. For example, when I order food at restaurants I always ask for dressing or sauce on the side. This way, you can have better control over what you eat. Let’s say you would like to eat all of your fries. Instead of eating all of them with a ton of mayonnaise on top, it would be better to have mayonnaise on the side and dip every 1 out of 5 piece of fry in it, while having a lot of leftover mayonnaise. Similarly, I never ask for sugar inside my coffee. I ask for black coffee and then add the sugar myself depending on how sweet I like it at that moment.
Please remember, every single item on my list is easy to do. The only thing you need is to put aside 15-20 minutes every day for planning and preparation.
Let me know if you have questions or recommendations that can be added to my list.
Until next time!