“I don’t have time to work out or eat healthy.”
Sound familiar? Lots of us are rushed for time, but we still want to lose weight. However, it can be overwhelming to think about shedding pounds AND taking care of work, family and your social life.
Your health ends up at the bottom of a long list of an ever-growing list of “to dos,” until it eventually gets left off the list altogether.
There’s good news, however. You don’t need to sacrifice your weight loss just because you’re pressed for time. Here’s everything you need to know about weight loss options for your busy lifestyle.
1. Meal Prep
“Meal prep” or preparing your meals for the week ahead has several benefits, in addition to saving time.
Meal prepping forces you to practice portion control, reducing the temptation to go back for second helpings. It also eliminates the common excuse, “I don’t have time to cook”. Lastly, it ensures a balanced meal since you have to plan out each ingredient.
Sunday is a good day to plan ahead and cook. A couple hours on this day will pay off for the rest of the week.
2. Keep Healthy Food and Snacks in Sight
If you’re crunched for time, make healthy eating easy. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” applies to food as well. This is why you should keep your healthy snacks at eye level.
When you’re in the office keep fresh fruit like an apple on your desk. At home, make sure a healthy snack or dish is at eye-level in the fridge.
Combine with meal prepping by preparing the raw ingredients. Chop individual serving sizes of fruit and vegetables for quick, easy snacks.
3. Sit Down to Eat
Ever sit down to watch Netflix and end up eating a whole pizza? You’re not alone. It’s been proven that you eat more when you’re distracted.
Make it a habit to sit at a table for your meals. No phone and no distractions. Savor the flavor of your food and chew more slowly.
Your body will soon get better at signaling to your brain that you’re full, causing you to eat less.
4. Pack Your Lunch
Plan your lunches ahead of time by doing a weekly grocery shop or making meals where the leftovers can be reused.
You’ll be able to control calories and stick to healthy options instead of relying on convenient but fattening fast food. Get some meal inspiration from online weight loss programs like the Rise Above video courses.
5. Increase Your Water Intake
You probably already know you should be doing this. One of the easiest weight loss options for a busy schedule: drink more water!
Drinking before a meal can make you feel fuller faster, reducing your food intake. Carry a water bottle with you and refill regularly. If this is too much for you, swap out your regular coffee or evening glass of wine for a refreshing glass of H2O.
Want to know how much you should be drinking? Aim for half your weight in ounces. So if you are 140 pounds, shoot for 70 ounces of water per day.
6. Forget Cardio, Do Strength Training
Exercise is an important part of your weight loss options. However, you should be doing the right kind. A high-intensity workout is more effective than cardio for burning fat.
You will get both aerobic and strength benefits in half the time you would have devoted to a cardio session. And great news for busy people everywhere: this workout will raise your metabolism for the next two days. Double win.
If you’re too busy to make it to the gym, try some home workouts.
7. Keep Moving Throughout the Day
In addition to healthy eating and exercise, you should also move more throughout the day. This is an easy way to increase your metabolism.
If you’re at work, take a break every hour and exercise for a few minutes. This can entail walking to a colleague’s office, taking the stairs, or doing squats at your desk.
When you’re at home, consciously spend more time moving. Take the dog for a walk, or stretch while watching TV.
8. Fit Workouts into Your Weekend
Face it, sometimes we can’t get all the workouts we’d like done from Monday to Friday. If you miss one during the week, make up for it by exercising as early on the weekend as possible.
For example, doing it on Saturday morning means you’ve got it out of the way and can continue on with your regular weekend schedule. It’s a great alternative to sleeping in late!
9. Schedule Workouts
To avoid having your weekday workouts fall through, start scheduling them. Treat a workout like a meeting or an appointment. Enter into your monthly calendar at the start of every week, making them a top priority.
Work your schedule around exercise, instead of the opposite.
Hopefully, this will stop other obligations derailing your routine. Even if you are super busy, this method should work to bring your fitness goals front and center.
10. Partner Up
Did you know that research has proven having an exercise buddy increases the amount of exercise you do? It’s time to get friendly!
It’s very likely that someone in your circle of friends, coworkers, and family have some weight issues they are struggling with. Reach out and rope them in as a fitness partner.
Ask your coworker if they can fit a lunch break power walk. Or join a gym with a family member. Having someone you know on the same journey will be an awesome motivator.
Weight Loss Options for Busy Lifestyles
Weight loss can seem like a huge challenge, but you don’t have to make changes all at once. As shown with the weight loss options above, all it takes is a series of small choices throughout your day. Hopefully, now you have the tools to start you off on the right path.
For some more inspiration, have a look at our healthy living tips such as taking supplements to stay healthy.