As busy, driven, ambitious women who strive for success in all areas of our lives, sometimes the overwhelm of having to make so many decisions in a day leaves us mentally exhausted. The never-ending checklists and to do lists often leave us suffering from “decision fatigue” – the more decisions we’re required to make, the more our mental capacity declines…. This is why by the end of a long day, the last thing we want to decide on is what to make for dinner.
This tired, burnt out feeling also crushes our willpower and makes us more prone to making not so great choices when it comes to our food and health. We might start with good intentions in the morning, but that will power soon vanishes when we get home. Thus, we sacrifice healthy habits like proper nutrition and exercise. Or, we might throw in the towel and refuse to make any decision at all, resorting to whatever is most convenient in the moment.
The reality is that our juggling demands aren’t going away anytime soon. Because of that, we need to find a way to create habits and strategies to simplify as many areas of our life as possible. Create a process so that meal decisions are already made ahead of time. This way we can help eliminate this decision fatigue and stop solely depending on willpower.
This could include:
- Creating a weekly meal plan
- Meal prepping on Sundays
- Delegating cooking tasks to other family members
- Hiring a meal delivery service. This way, the decision making has been streamlined for you and you have time to focus on your priorities.
Here’s a more detailed example of meal prepping tips to help simplify healthy eating and to fight against food decision fatigue:
1. Plan your essential 5 food staples for the week. These are the building blocks of meals.
- Protein – choose a quality protein source to cook in bulk for the week: chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, fish, lentils, beans, etc.
- Veggies – a combination of at least 3 different veggies to mix and match with meals.
- Whole grains & bases – quinoa, brown rice, cauli-rice, pasta, spaghetti squash are great options.
- Fruit – preferably fresh, in season fruits to eat as snacks or part of your meals.
- Sauces/toppings – lemon herb, tomato/marinara, garlic, hummus, salsa, vinaigrette, soy/tamari, etc.
2. Next, organize by meal type:
- Stir fry
This way, when planning for the week’s meals ahead, think about how to mix and match the essential five together into different meal types rather than specific recipes.
- Protein – chicken
- Veggies – broccoli and carrots, onions
- Carb – brown rice
- Sauce – tamari
- Protein – chicken
- Veggies – broccoli, carrots, cauliflower
- Grain – Pasta
- Sauce – Marinara
Aim to keep the main essentials (protein, veggies) constant for most meals during the week. Simply change the base, sauce & toppings to completely change the flavor and overall feel of the meal. This keeps variety with very minimal decision making!
Keep a weekly, organized grocery list in your phone so it’s easily accessible at the grocery store. I recommend making one single trip to the grocery for the entire week to eliminate the need for multiple trips throughout the busy workweek.
By just this little bit of planning, we reduce the impact of decision fatigue in our life and are able to make healthy choices with confidence, clarity, and ease.
Short Article Review
- As busy, ambitious women, we’re forced to make hundreds of decisions throughout the day, leaving us with decision fatigue.
- Decision fatigue can cause us to make unhealthy decisions when it comes to our diet.
- By, creating a process to simplify constants, like meals, in our life and having decisions made ahead of time, we’re able to focus on what matters.
- Strategies could include meal planning, prepping, delegating cooking, meal delivery service.
- When meal planning, think about the essential 5 food staples and organizing by meal type to simplify the process.
The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about any medical condition.
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