The gig economy has been growing dramatically in the past few years. Gig workers make up 35% of the US population (roughly 57 million people). This number is on the rise and projected to increase 47% in the coming year. The preference to be part of the gig economy is due to the flexibility in one’s schedule and the nature of the jobs chosen.
However, even that kind of flexibility comes with its challenges. The hard truth is that sometimes gig workers must increase their number of hours per week to pay bills or additional expenses. With an increase in working hours, they lose the ability to slow down, take care of themselves, and make the right food choices. In turn, health and immunity are affected.
If you are part of the gig economy, you would know that at certain times, on the go, demanding jobs end up weighing you down, which in turn affects your lifestyle, health, and energy levels. At those times, the best approach is to be aware of the situation and ensure that your job is not negatively impacting your health. The following tips will help during those stressful times to ensure that the right nutrients and meals are consumed throughout the day.
1. Plan ahead. On your day off, prepare your meals for the whole week in order to guarantee healthy food choices. Keep it simple, keep it nutritious. Pack your meals with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins, as they are filled with nutrients that will give you the energy you need and keep your immunity in check.
2. Pack your meals. Pack your meals in boxes in the fridge and mark them with stickers to indicate the date and meal of the day. Now all you have to do is open the fridge, pack your meals and make an exit.
3. Don’t skip breakfast. Depending on your schedule, it is always best to have your breakfast before leaving the house. Start your day fresh with a boost of energy. Some of the best options for quick breakfasts are overnight oats, boiled eggs with a side of veggies, a peanut butter sandwich, or a cheese sandwich. The best part is that they can be prepared the night before.
4. Eat moderately throughout the day. Overeating stresses the body and reduces energy levels. If your day is long pack 3-4 meals/snacks in order to give you the boost you need throughout the day.
5. Have healthy snacks at hand. Make healthy snack choices such as cut-up carrots, cucumbers, apples, bananas, and homemade energy bars. Snacks help fuel your movements and help you avoid sugar cravings.
6. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water with you and aim to drink up to 2 liters per day. Put a phone reminder if you have a tendency to forget. Water prevents dehydration and keeps your brain functioning and in full focus. After all, did you know that your brain is 75-85% water?
7. Avoid processed foods. Processed foods during a busy day cause drops in energy levels when you need them the most. Avoid fried foods and sugary beverages and desserts.
At the end of the day, we all love the flexibility in working hours. However, we need to ensure that it doesn’t affect us negatively in order to keep on moving in the best possible, healthy way.