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How to eat healthy when I’m so busy?

At my reception, I often encounter clients that explain that their failed attempts at changing their lifestyle are due to being too busy. Too busy to eat lunch at a restaurant, because queuing and waiting for food takes time, and even too busy to go to the store to get a takeaway lunch. Then they find that they “have to” put whatever they can find into their mouths to feed their hunger. As a result, their weight fluctuates and clients feel hopeless. Even at busy times, we should be able to eat healthy meals and snacks.

“Healthy eating? I don’t have time”

I admit I feel hopeless about this too from time to time. How is it possible that my 24 hours a day aren’t enough for anything?! I don’t have time to eat and I’m running around all crazy all day long. No wonder I feel tired and run down.

Before learning the hard way, I had days when busyness led to putting the wrong snacks in my mouth or going long hours without eating anything. Experience taught me a thing or two about how bad those days usually turn out, and using the See How You Eat application supported my need to change. Now, I try to keep up my meal rhythm and make smart choices. There won’t always be 100% great food days, but striving to go in the right direction is often enough.

How is it possible that my 24 hours a day aren’t enough for anything?! I don’t have time to eat and I’m running around all crazy all day long.

How can I succeed with my daily eating at busy times?

The first thing I had to accept, was that perfection should never be the objective in busy times. When I don’t have time to get lunch at a diner, I instead have to make time for a trip to the grocery store beforehand. At the same time, I want to spend time with my child so we decide to make a shopping trip together. The shopping basket is filled with items to survive the week. Therefore, the second key to success is planning. I anticipate the chance that there is a busy week ahead, and can therefore prepare myself and make good food choices for the upcoming week.

What should you put in your shopping basket when preparing for a busy week?

First, stop fruits and vegetables. Most fruits are easy to pack along and eat on the run. Fruit and veggie mash for kids can also work well as snacks on the go. If there is no way to put my snacks in the fridge for the day I make sure to pack nuts and protein bars. The energy and protein balance in protein bars is usually good. Protein bars and drinks are just an emergency go-to, but they are better than nothing. Read more about the pitfalls you do when making stressed food decisions.

The mind has a huge impact on your success to eat healthy

It’s good to stop and ponder “What’s important for me?”. As SHYE founder says in this article, “If you’re going, to be honest, once in your life – be honest with yourself.” You might think: I want to feel good, have energy, and succeed in daily healthy eating. Therefore, I will find a way to do so even in tricky times when the diet can’t be perfect, but good enough is just enough.

When this busy time eases I will again choose more wisely and strive to eat healthy and balanced meals.

Nutrition is the basis of our wellbeing, also at busy times!

Marika Venäläinen


As a nutritionist, I help people find their way towards balanced eating.

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