After summer’s lazy days, getting back into the routine of bedtimes, school drop-offs and pick-ups and meal planning is also a great opportunity to re-evaluate your own goals and embrace the positive benefits of a healthy routine. Here’s how:
- Start the day with breakfast. Even if you’re just grabbing an Atkins shake as you head out the door, the nutritious combo of protein and healthy fats will set you up for a productive day and prevent mid-morning donut or bagel cravings.
- Pack your lunch. Brown bagging it isn’t just for the kiddos. You can bring leftovers from dinner (a slow cooker is your best friend on busy nights), quick-and-easy tuna or chicken salad and veggies, a green salad with rotisserie chicken slices or ham or turkey lettuce wraps. If you haven’t already, check out my blog on healthy low carb back-to-school recipes and tips.
- Fill up with fiber. Fiber-rich foods (such as vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruit, beans and whole unrefined grains) are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way typical carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream, so you don’t experience the insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Fiber also helps you stay full for longer, and there are plenty of good sources of fiber to choose from. Try to eat between 25 and 35 grams of fiber a day.
- Snack smart. On-the-go snacks are great for the whole family, especially if you’re in the midst of a traffic-clogged commute or multiple carpools. Hard-boiled eggs, almonds or cheese sticks all work. Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps are also fiber-rich and tasty options you can toss in your purse, briefcase, backpack or glove compartment.
- Get some exercise. If you sit at a desk all day, getting up and moving a little every hour will help clear your head and squeeze in some calorie burning. Walk to work or school if you can, squeeze in a gym session during lunch or break a sweat after dinner.
- Take your H20 to go. Keep a water bottle filled and sip from it frequently.
- Make it work at work. I have more tips in my book, Eat Right, Not Less (just turn to page 108). You’ll learn how to conquer the cafeteria by skipping fried entrees and sticking with the salad bar and grill section. Plus, you can overcome overtime (and the stress involved) by keeping an emergency stash of low carb snacks and meal options on hand.
Stick with these tips, and you should have your healthy fall routine running smoothly in no time.