Think about your daily schedule. You probably come in around 9, then go out to eat around noon, and then go home at 5 and eat sometime between your arrival home and, say, 8 p.m.? But what if you ate lunch late? Maybe you skipped breakfast or had a late meeting, so dinner was pushed back until 9? And then, in your rush to find sustenance, you got fast food or some other form of grub that wasn’t made by your own two hands? You’re probably eating a lot less healthy than you co-worker who eats at regularly scheduled times and brings her lunch to work.

Researchers found that college students who made their meals at home and regularly ate breakfast and dinner had better overall diets than their peers. In a new study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, the students consumed less fast food and sugary drinks and ate more fruits and vegetables. Those who ate on the run or watched TV, played with their phone or used some other form of media to occupy their attention while they ate, or ordered food were less likely to eat healthy.

We all have busy lives, though, and most of us aren’t college students, so what do we do when we want to eat healthy but don’t have time to prepare, pack, and eat our own food at regularly scheduled times?

Meal Prep

This involves a little forward thinking/preparing. First, you need a list of all the foods you want to cook and the ingredients you need to make them. Head to your grocery store, buy your ingredients, and take them home. Then, cook the next two days’ worth of food and either refrigerate it or freeze it. That way, you won’t have to worry about preparing a meal during your down time, since it’ll already be prepared.

Set Alarms

Just like using an alarm to get yourself out of bed, use it to get yourself to eat as well. If you know when you start to get hungry during the day, set your alarm around that time, so you’ll pull away from your work and find time to eat.

Turn Off The TV

No matter what, you should always have the TV off during meal time. This allows you to communicate with your family or whomever you share meals with, and it also makes you more conscious of what and how much you’re eating.


Many experts harp over the fact that we should always be eating: It helps with our metabolism and digestion. Being constantly satiated is good for you and keeps your cravings down. Now, snacking doesn’t mean eating a bag of chips or six cookies every so often. Snack wisely; grab an apple or a handful of nuts or a protein bar instead.

Source: Melissa N Laskaa, Mary O Hearst. How we eat what we eat: identifying meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy and unhealthy dietary factors among young adults. Public Health Nutrition. 2015.