As parents, staying on top of things can feel impossible, because time management comes more so down to prioritizing the urgent tasks at hand. If there were an easy answer to time management while parenting, we’re sure millions would pay… well, millions for it.
So, one has to ask: how do you manage all of your time commitments while sticking to a healthy dietary plan?
While we’re not the parenting experts here (who is?), we’re at least experts in the health industry and are consciously looking out for the latest healthy food swaps and techniques for a healthier life.
Here are our top five tips:
• If you’re not sure about counting calories, try it. Take two weeks and plug in the foods that you eat every day – and do it immediately, right after you eat them. While the initial time might be a bit consuming, at first, it’s an eye opener knowing how much you consume -- as well as how much that little pat of butter really is.
After two weeks, evaluate your intake as a whole. Chances are, you eat much of the same foods and the caloric intakes will be easier and easier to remember. You can also save the counts for past eaten foods in an easy-to-access library, like with www.livestrong.com.
• For breakfast, start to take notice of your routine. Do you eat the same cereal, or like to eat a variety of cereals in the morning? Either way, skip measuring every time, and purchase a cheap bowl that you can use every day. Make a mark with a permanent marker on the outside, and you’ll never have to guess how much cereal 300 calories is again.
• Write out a things-to-do list before you go to bed every night. While this tip has nothing to do with actual meal planning, it has everything to do with it and the meals you’ll eat. The better you know your time commitments, the more you can focus on other areas, like your health and opting to eat at home versus having to speed through a drive-thru to pick up greasy takeout food.
• If you want to get into a routine, start with your kids first. Let them know that every other evening for one hour, they need to promise quiet time. Purchase a favorite toy and let them play with it only during special times, or give them a behavioral incentive to look forward to – like, for an hour of promised quiet time, they can look forward to an hour of one-on-one “Mommy Time” later during the week. Then, focus on meditating, light weightlifting, or walking on the treadmill. Or, even bring your kids in on your regular fitness routine with help from game systems like the Wii Fit.
• Write a list of the foods you typically indulge in. If it’s the local frozen yogurt shop down the street, write it down, and be honest with yourself. Do you have a tendency to go overboard? If so, research healthier alternatives and indulge every other time you have a craving, and opt for the healthier alternative during the interim. (Perhaps you could try the Magic Bullet Dessert Maker ~ we hear it makes great frozen treats that taste like the real thing!)
For more tips of the healthier trade, stay tuned, as Dr. John’s updates this blog regularly.