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by Guest Author,

Sophie Royce, student dietitian Curtin University

When life gets busy, a healthy diet probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list. This is understandable - we can only juggle so much at once. With work, family, home and social commitments, healthy eating might not seem a priority. But in order to feel good and stay on top of your busy schedule, eating well is key.

Eating healthy doesn’t need to add extra time or burden to your jam-packed schedule. You just need a little forward thinking to help make healthy eating your norm. Your body will thank you for it!

Here are our top five healthy eating hacks for busy people:

1. Shop smart

A pantry and freezer stocked with healthy staples makes throwing a meal together much easier. Canned beans, fast-cooking grains (like couscous), and frozen vegies are the go-to choices in my kitchen. They are versatile and easy to use. Check out our recent post The Busy People’s Guide to Pantry Essentials for inspiration!

Pantry items

2. Build your recipe bank

Keep a notebook in the kitchen, or a photo album with recipes on your phone. Add easy, healthy recipes to this recipe bank that you find or are given. This will make dinner preparation a breeze. Cooking instead of buying take away after a long day will save you money, too. Check out our online recipe collection if you need a kick-start.

3. Unplug

Next time you eat during a busy day, take note of how you eat. If you find yourself scrolling through your phone, or watching TV, try removing distractions and notice if there are any changes. You might find that you eat more slowly, are more in tune with your appetite, or are satisfied sooner.

4. Stash healthy snacks

This doesn’t need to be fancy! A handful of nuts, a piece of fruit, or grainy crackers will do the trick. Keep these in your car, bag, or workplace. By preparing ahead and having snacks on hand, you can save money and time. Having a fruit bowl in your kitchen is a great reminder to grab a piece of fruit for your bag as you head out the door.

Fruit bowl

5. Keep it simple

Being creative is great, but don’t feel bad if you aren’t the next Masterchef. Forget recipes with a million ingredients you’ve never even heard of. When time is limited, stick to the basics. Have a gander of our “Back to Basics” recipe booklet and prepare your taste buds for some easy, delicious meals.

So, don’t wait for a new year’s resolution! You can try these hacks straight away. We suggest trying one of these tips each week, or dive right in and try them all. Remember, healthy eating is not a diet - it’s a lifestyle, and should be easy to follow long-term. Find what works for you and stick with that!

Which hack tickles your fancy? Let us know how you go. Feel free to let us know about other healthy eating hacks you follow when life gets busy.

LiveLighter supports future health professionals through engagement with Australian Universities. This student blog was created for LiveLighter as part of Advanced Public Health Nutrition Practice coursework (Master of Dietetics at Curtin University, Western Australia).

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