If you work full-time and have to deal with a household full of kids, pets, and more, you probably feel too tired to cook most of the time. However, the dangers of being too tired to cook are more damaging than you might expect as you can miss out on essential nutrients that can give you the energy boost you need to do it all again tomorrow.
What is more, relying on greasy takeout food will eventually catch up with you, especially as I have gotten older and your metabolism is not as efficient as it used to be. You know how tricky it is to stay healthy when you are too tired to cook, but it is not always impossible, so here are six ways to eat healthy when you are too exhausted to cook.
Get ahead of your exhaustion
Being prepared is one of the best ways to avoid the temptation to order food when you get home too exhausted to cook. If you know you are in for a long day and are almost certain you will stop by a fast-food place on the way back, it helps to meal prep beforehand so you have an excuse to go all the way home and eat there.
You should already know that meal prepping saves time, especially when getting home late at night. The food is ready to go in the microwave or be eaten cold, and there are many healthy meals you can prepare on the weekends or whenever you find some spare time.
Make the most of your kitchen appliances
When people think of eating a meal, they assume it involves the stove and the oven, but this is not always the case. Depending on the tools you have in your kitchen, you should always try to make the most of all your appliances.
This involves healthy meals you can make with a microwave, whether you need to reheat leftovers from the day before or put together something quick and healthy that you can warm up in a matter of minutes. It’s more efficient than the oven, but it still provides similar benefits.
Focus on fuel
You do not always need to bring every food group into every meal, especially if you are exhausted or in a hurry. If you are only home for a short time before heading back out and are too exhausted to cook something substantial, you should focus on fueling your body instead.
Focusing on carbs and sugar can make this possible. You can prepare a quick baked potato and combine it with cheese or sour cream to add some flavor. This should be enough to get you through the rest of the day without crashing.
Pick something simple
Similarly, simplicity is an underrated approach to making meals. You do not need to marinate chicken for 24 hours or slow cook a rack of ribs to make something impressive and delicious.
Sometimes, the simplest meals are the best. If you have some pre-cooked meats (ideally chicken or turkey) combine this with leafy greens, especially spinach. If you have a little more time, scramble some eggs or lay a fried egg on top to add texture.
Find healthy snacks
You can minimize your end-of-the-day hunger by snacking throughout the day. However, most people associate snacking with saturated fats you find in bags of chips or over-the-top sugary snacks. While these can keep going, the empty calories mean you are never fulfilled.
To overcome this, look for healthy snack alternatives. Nuts are a common choice, while fresh and dried fruit can provide the energetic (and natural) sugar kick and make you feel fulfilled. Although snacks are no replacement for a full meal, they can tide you over until you get the chance to eat a proper meal.
Meal replacements, such as smoothies, are popular amongst people who want to cut their weight down, but they also provide a healthy alternative to grabbing fast food for lunch or breakfast. Like healthy snacks, you cannot rely solely on a liquid diet, but they can be beneficial by helping you pack plenty of nutrients into a single meal, so you do not need to worry about it later. You can opt for entirely fruit smoothies or combine fruit with spinach, kale, chia seeds, or other superfoods.
Too tired to cook
Most people have come home from a long day at work feeling too tired to cook anything. The obvious solution is to order Chinese food or a pizza and spend the evening on the sofa regretting your decision. By remembering these tips, you can prevent health issues and sudden weight gain while still getting all the fulfillment you need from a good meal.