Referees' Healthy Time-Saving Tips!

Don't let too-little-time be your excuse for getting off track!

"I don't have time to be healthy." 

It's a phrase heard so frequently that many of us don't question it. But let's look at the assumptions it's based on: that making a healthy meal takes more time than making an unhealthy one, that you need hours and hours of free time to work out each day, that shopping for healthy foods requires an entire afternoon.

We hate to burst that lovely excuse bubble, but those assumptions are, well, total bunk. Sure, cruising through the McDonald's drive-thru takes less time than making a braised kale and quinoa casserole, but the belief that healthier means more time-consuming is definitely NOT always true. In fact, it's possible to eat healthily and stay active with relatively little daily time investment. All it takes is a bit of planning and some smart time-saving tricks. 

To help out with the second part, we got our awesome team of Referees to spill their favorite healthy tips for saving time while staying healthy:

Alexis: My best healthy time-saving tip is meal prepping! It takes some time at the beginning of the week, but when you think about it, it’s quicker in the long run. I have these great mini frittatas I make with egg whites and spinach. I can just grab them in the morning and reheat them at work and eat them at my desk. Way better than getting a sandwich at the deli!

Ashley: When I know I need to get up and work out in the morning, I'll sleep in my workout clothes. Then I have no reason not to get up and get moving! Plus, saves me on laundry from both pajamas and workout gear.

Dean: If you live in a larger apartment complex, take advantage of the apartment's fitness center. Using my apartment's fitness center saves me almost a half hour of commute time every day.

Eric: I tend to multi-task as much as possible. Examples of this include brushing my teeth while getting dressed, eating while driving (not recommended to everyone), and walking for my StepBet goal while working.

Karyn: My best time-saving healthy tip is to have snacks ready to go. My fridge is always well-stocked with 100-calorie cups of hummus and organic guacamole. I like to pre-chop my vegetables every week so they are always easy to grab on-the-go.

Kim: To save time and stay motivated, go to bed in your workout clothes! It may sound silly but if all you have to do is put on your sneakers to get started, you're more than halfway there! This can really help before coffee!

Jeff: My best healthy time-saving tip is preparing ahead of time. Whether it be meals for the following day or clothes for somewhere I'm going...If I get everything ready ahead of time, it helps me to ensure that I'm always prepared and it prevents me from having to rush at the last minute, which definitely saves me time!

Jenn D: This may seem weird to some people, but I promise you it works – I like to sleep in my workout clothes (as long as they are comfy!). If I wake up and I’m already dressed, that is one less excuse I can use to NOT work out. I love working out first thing in morning as soon as I’m done… it’s just getting up to start that is rough! [Editor's note: Does anyone else sense a theme here??]

Jen Z: My biggest time saver is meal prep.I cook all of my dinners for the week Sunday night (I pre-plan the meals the week before). This gives me an extra hour or two to work out each night!!

Stacey: Make your breakfast the night before. Smoothies are especially easy to prep and grab on the way out the door (since if you are like me, you will want any extra sleep you can get!).

Tim: Hummus is a good snack you can make ahead of time to pack with lunches. If you eat it with baby carrots and/or cherry tomatoes, you can save prep time (vs. chopping vegetables) and reduce calories (vs. pita bread). If you make the hummus yourself, you can control the calories too. I don't really like tahini anyway, so i omit that calorie-dense ingredient, and you can reduce the oil in whatever recipe you use. Instead of oil, i just add more liquid ingredients a couple tablespoons at a time until it's the right consistency. Good flavorful liquids are lemon juice, hot sauce, or roasted peppers (they have a lot of water in them). If you have all the flavor you need, you can add a couple tablespoons of water instead of oil.

Make it WayBetter

Use that saved time wisely! We have so many easy ways to waste time these days, so make sure you take advantage of your precious free hours by doing something that leaves you feeling fulfilled.