How I Save More Than 730 Hours A Year By Eating Healthy
It seems to be the most emotional decision in my life and I deal with it daily. I am standing in my office break room at work. I am a drained from the non-stop meetings and calls. My body is calling for a breather.
Then I look at one of the food tables and I see this…
How can you not give in? One won’t hurt right?
Then jump forward to the evening after succumbing to that evil tastiness. You are at home, you look at yourself in the mirror, noticing the less than attractive waistline. You are baffled. You ask, “Why did I eat that crap today?”
You think of what you ate and then go through the laundry list of satanic high fructose corn syrup foods like you are vomiting out your sins in confession to a priest. Each item a disappointment greater than the last.
You commit to doing better. You will never eat that sugar again. You will never put in any unhealthy carbs likes chips, pizza, and donuts. You swear to yourself that you will mix in more protein, veggies, fruit, and healthy fat.
You are gonna change this time. Your resolve is like that of super hero.
But you don’t. You fall back into your mortal embarrassing ways, only to go through one more pep talk.
Why does this happen?
In my mind there are two major reasons: addiction and sloth.
One of the major reasons that we eat sugar, as well as insulin spiking flour that is laced with sugar, is because it is an rabid addiction. Why is it so hard to get on a treadmill, but you will get out of bed at 2 am and drive to the grocery store for some Ding Dongs? It is because the same brain receptors that are triggered by crack and heroine, also triggers our addiction for wheat and sugar.
That is right. Imagine Tony Montana in Scarface with mounds of coke all over his face. You are basically the same thing, but replace the coke with sugar and drop the machine guns. You migth as well call yourself Sugarface.
What makes it worse is that while the fix is covered slightly, there isn’t that “full feeling”. We end up eating more and more fattening foods until we are about to implode like an Oompa Loompa. This is a downward spiral worthy of some terrible Dr. Drew TV program.
The more we eat, the more we want it. While that sounds terrible, don’t worry…this gets worse.
Sloth is being both physically and emotionally inactive. This is just as much of a mental battle as it is physical.
So in order to combat this type of eating, we have to eat healthy foods that are satiating and provide energy. These foods often mean having to cook fresh food on your own. That can be a huge challenge that takes time.
Yeah you can cook in bulk, but how many people have time to do that? I agree you can make time, but there are some of us that simply don’t love cooking. I will do it, but I would much rather spend my time doing things like: sleeping, eating, working, hangin’ with family, or watching Ricky Rubio on NBA League Pass.
What makes it more challenging is that we have crazy schedules! According to BLS we actually have about 5-6 hours of leisure time daily where we can cook. Do you feel like you really have that much time? I don’t.
I think about when I eat lunch and dinner. I am usually at work and I have 100 things to do. I have to eat quickly only to survive while I move on to the next action item, meeting, or fire I have to put out. So if I am eating anything, guess what I am going for. It is the food that is processed and easy to grab on the fly. It is a deadly combo where it is addictive and easy.
Eating sugar filled food shoots your insulin resistance and causes you to be more tired. Do tired people in a glucose coma have time for cooking? No. See again how this is perfect for some Dr. Drew TV Program? I would shoot a pilot, but I think it would be depressing to watch people acting like sugar zombies for majority of the show only to reach a climax when they go hunting for processed sugar and flour.
How to Fight These Two Monsters
So how do you fight back? Well obviously it takes will power. We talked about before how important it is to use “kicks” like competition, taking pictures of your food, taking pictures of yourself, taking measurements, or writing about it on blog like this.
We have heard from countless sources such as Gary Taubes and Robb Wolf that it takes a minimum of 21 days and usually 30 days in order to make a big difference to your energy and to kick the habit. So great you can fight, but where people fall down is when they are thrown into stressful, unique, or group situations. You have a life challenge, people at work bring in cake, you have a huge deadline you have to meet, you have to take the kids to the doctor because they are sick, and the list goes on.
Cooking has to be easy. Eating has to be easy. My thought has always been to make it one less challenge.
This is why I recommend you pay someone else to cook you food.
Ok I know. You probably have some objections to paying someone to cook you food or a professional food service, but I think it is great for several reasons. Hear me out.
- Cost: Yeah it can be pricey, but so can eating healthy. Often eating healthy means having to go buy fresh produce. That isn’t cheap. I spend $130/week to get lunch, dinner, and snack for five days out of the week from my gourmet food service. Depending on how you want to do that math that comes out to $11 a meal consisting of meat and veggies and $4 a snack that is usually protein based. I can ask for really whatever I want for those meals based on what my goals are health wise. I am easily spending that on groceries, eating out, and gas. I am averaging that on groceries and that isn’t counting the $20 for eating out a few times a week. Throw out that expensive gas to get food and I call myself a miser. To be fair I am going to be paying less for crappy food, but my crack-like addiction to sugar and wheat is going to probably make me spend just as much to ease my sugar fix. I don’t even have to get into long term ROI on health bills, better work performance, and who knows…you might turn into a model and make bajillions. Charlie Sheen calls that Winning.
- Arrogant: Gosh if I order food I am going to be seen as one of those tree-hugging, rich, needy bastards. Does that make you the 99% or the 1%? Whatever it is yeah you probably will be called those names, but who cares. People always make fun of people that eat well. It is like some unwritten law of jealous overweight people. They do this because they get awkward around change and embarrassed of being fat while you are trying to look hot. Embrace it and tell them to suck it. Ok that is a bit mean.
- Time Saved: This is the big kicker for me. I believe there is nothing more important than time. I only get one shot to be this age. I want to spend as much time as I can enjoying it. Don’t you? If you love cooking, then yes cook! I don’t. I know that might not seem very health guru of me, but so be it! I easily save two hours a day that I would have spent traveling to buy lunch and dinner while at work or trying to cook it at work during breaks. That is where I get the 730 hours in the title. On top of that I am saving more time by not traveling to grocery shop for an hour each week. I remember Bill Phillips, author of Body for Life, saying successful people like John Elway become great at their goals because they put a great deal of time in it. They don’t waste their time doing things like mowing their lawn. I am not saying you have to hire lawn boys and maids, but be effective with your time where you can to spend the time where it means the most to you. Make the most of your time because it is all you got.
- Time Gained: There is indirect time benefits as well where I feel like ordering healthy food can help me take time back. I have seen for me personally that any fat loss I have is because of at least 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. I would venture to say that is similar for a lot of people. If I eat well, or do what I can to ensure that, then I am saving countless hours of working out where I am spinning my wheels without getting results. Gary Taubes talks about runners he interacted with that spend several hours running daily and have still put on several pounds of fat each year. You only burn about a pound after running a marathon. You have to give your body a biochemical fighting chance by eating well. I don’t know about you, but I want results. Eating can seriously be as distracting as email. If I can grab food and keep working, then I don’t lose my momentum. Yeah I may spend an hour eating out for lunch or dinner, but it probably takes me another 10-15 minutes on top of that to get back in the mental groove of work. Your goals don’t have to take years to achieve. Cut days, weeks, and even months by making baby tweaks.
Here is an example of the food I ate for lunch today instead of that crap on the table.
It took me an extra 2 minutes to microwave this, but it is fresh fish and squash. I do this daily for my meals at work and I get a variety of veggies and meats to help me get numerous vital nutrients. I could use the company fridge if I want, but it gets crowded so I bought a mini fridge for about $100 to store the food. I save thousands of hours of my life and probably hundreds of dollars annually that I would have spent eating out, cooking my own food, or whatever else I could be doing. It makes perfect sense for me and I am guessing it may work for some of you. (Nod your head)
“So where do I go?” Well unfortunately that will be something we will have to work on together. There are national professional food services, but some of the best are usually local. If I was you I would being by doing a Google search for “food services”, “professional food services”, “gourmet food services”, and make sure to include your city. Also ask around to people that you know eat healthy because they may have some suggestions. I focus on a Paleo diet and I found out about my place from a roommate and several other people that eat Paleo and do CrossFit. He met this guy at a CrossFit competition. So open your mouth and do some Google searches. I would love to hear what you come back with in the comments below.
It is important you look for locations that allow you to pay weekly, bi-weekly, or daily. I pay weekly and receive my food bi-weekly. You want to have flexibility to test out the food service. Be really strict with what you ask for. This is your body and money. You deserve to know what is going in it. Ask for ingredients if necessary.
Make sure they are concerned with your goals and what you want to accomplish. It is important you are all on the same page. Ultimate Food Essentials emphasized this to me and are willing to follow whatever I request. Ask for references if possible. See what other people say about the food service. Usually though you can find out for yourself after a week or two of eating their food. Just don’t get locked into a long term agreement (months or years). If they are confident in their food, they will let you try before you fully buy.
This is one of the best decisions I have made. Don’t hesitate. Find a food service. Take control of your life and make it healthier and more enjoyable.
Glen is an Ex-personal trainer with a passion for health and Fitness. He has trained a variety of clients with goals ranging from weight loss and improved overall fitness to improved speed, strength, and sport performance.
In his spare time, Glen enjoys traveling, reading, golf, softball, poker, and rooting for the Atlanta Braves and Jacksonville Jaguars.