It’s a brand new year, the fire is lit, and you’re ready to do what it takes to reach your health and fitness goals…the only problem is that your schedule doesn’t want to cooperate with your dreams of a slimmer, fitter you. Guys, this is a question we get all the time – how am I supposed to structure my meals with my crazy, long schedule? It can be so difficult to find a healthy—eating schedule that coordinates with odd hour shifts, long days, and just general busyness. Luckily, after many years on the road and working around the clock, Chris and I have come up with a few solutions to keep you on track. Here are a few of our tried-and-true methods:
- Spread out your meals longer than every three hours. Although at first glance this may seem counter-intuitive to what we always preach—”eat every three hours no matter what!”—in some cases, it’s just not feasible, and we understand that. There have been several times that we, ourselves, have worked 20 straight hours, so spacing out our meals was a must. If every three hours is just not going to cut it, try eating a healthy, balanced meal every 3 1/2 or 4 hours instead.
- Cut your meals in half, eating each half-meal every 3 hours. Some jobs, like first responders, for example, require you to be up for 24 hours straight, which would mean eating every 3 hours and would give you 8 meals a day! Even if you’re eating clean, 8 full meals is quite the caloric bomb. On days where I’ve been required to be up 16+ hours, I try to cut my meals in half and continue on my regular eating schedule. That way, I’m satisfied and never hungry, but not overdoing it either.
- Plump up your meals with extra veggies! I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired, I’m hungry, or hangry (so hungry I’m angry), as Chris lovingly refers to it. 😉 Satisfying your appetite when you lead such a crazy schedule can be difficult, so instead of loading your plates with more carbs or fats that’ll just leave you feeling groggier, fill up your plate with veggies. It’s a great way to make your meals go farther and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Do you work a long schedule or lead a crazy lifestyle? What works for you? I’m always on the hunt for helpful hints for staying on track! Let me know in the comments below. 🙂