Trying to live a healthy, active lifestyle and improve nutrition, while working and being a mum can at times feel overwhelming. Everyone is different, every diet seems extreme, everyone you speak to has a different opinion. So where do you start? It doesn’t have to be difficult. We caught up with Sydney Nutritionist and Fitness expert, Zak Sztor, for some advice on how to simplify it down!
“I have watched my wife and clients over the years get amazing results with weight-loss and improve energy levels, by taking these simple steps to immediately improve their diet, improve nutrition, as well as improve energy levels,” says Zak.
Meal planning is my secret weapon, this saves you spending every night in the kitchen slogging away, under the pump to get 2-3 different meals organised on top of other house hold duties, before sitting back and relaxing.
Forward prepping of meals will really help you save time, it will also stop you from making bad choices as having planned healthy food in the fridge will stop you from straying, buying takeaways or pre packaged microwave meals; which in most cases tend to be high in salt and low in nutrition.
Initially it can be a little overwhelming organising a weeks meals, however, just like anything, the more you do it the more you’ll become more efficient at it. I typically try and get my clients to organise at least 4 evening meals out of the week (more if manageable), this will ensure that at least 4 out of seven days there are nutritionally sound meals readily available. As a busy mum, or full time worker with deadlines and unforeseen situations arising, meal times can change at short notice, so having already-prepped meals to fall back on can be a lifesaver!
3. Get More Vegetables:
This might sound a little old fashioned, and something your grandmother might have said, but with less than half the adult population eating less than the RDI of vegetables, in my opinion this simple step will give you some immediate improvements in you general well-being
- Expect to have more energy
- Become more regular with your bowel movements and ex
- Support a healthy immune system
- Feeling fuller for longer, this avoids the temptation of unhealthy snacking especially at night- that bar of chocolate, bowl of chips etc… loaded with unwanted calories late at night.
4. Eat More Fruit:
Most busy stay at home mums or working mums will benefit from eating more fruit as a ‘go to snack’ as part of a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Having an apple, pear, banana or a pot of grapes tucked away in your bag will make you less likely to grab a processed sugary snack at times of business and stress.
- Fruits can be used in weight management
- Low in kilojoules or calories
- Curb craving
- Improve mood
- Boost your energy
- Even help speed up recovery after a workout at the gym
5 Drink More Water:
Your body is strongly influenced by how much water you drink. Studies suggest that even moderate dehydration can impair many aspect of your brain function, this in turn can effect your mood, increase anxiety and even make you feel fatigued. All of these feelings may trick you into thinking you are hungry when all you need is a drink of water.
Keeping your fluid topped up during the day can be one simple trick to keep you hydrated. Start off with a glass in the morning and keep a bottle of water with you when you are on the run to keep your hydrations level stable. A cup of peppermint tea rather than a coffee will help you to avoid becoming dehydrated. Snacking on a small piece of fruit or having a juice as a snack will all help keep up your fluid content.
6 Family support:
Evidence shows long-term, healthy behavioral changes are most successful when the entire family gets involved. So what does this mean to a busy mum?
- It means getting encouragement from family and/or friends; this will make your health improvements so much easier to concur.
- Plan your weekly shop and meals together, this will not only make healthy choices easier to manage, it is also more economical and time saving.
- Not having snacks and treats in the house changes the habit of snacking on unhealthy products.
- Getting your loved ones not to buy that bar of chocolate or popping open a bottle of red wine every night for dinner, will definitely steer you In the right direction to better health.