How to Fit Weight Loss into Your Busy Daily Schedule

These days, we’re just too busy for wellness or weight loss. You could be working a 40-hour week, looking after your family, taking an evening class, making time for friends and having a modicum of “me-time” all in an average week – when do you have time to go to the gym or cook up an über-healthy meal? Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the best tips for taking care of your wellbeing, and your waistline, when time is of the essence.

1. Incorporate workouts into your daily schedule: Tina Haupert, author of Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time, notes, ‘When I worked in an office, I used daily planner that kept me organised with all aspects of my life—from projects and school deadlines to grocery lists and social events. I wrote down everything, including my workouts. On Sunday afternoons I’d spend some time scheduling my workouts for the week, just like I would with other obligations.’ You can also schedule fitness classes like you would unmissable appointments. Seeing it all written down in front of you helps you to get your head around the fact that you can physically fit workouts into your life.

2. Exercise in the morning: If you leave exercise until the evening, something will inevitably get in the way. Whether it’s a late meeting, happy hour or event with friends, the best of intentions will go awry if something more urgent or appealing is on the table. This is why Haupert started exercising in the morning. ‘Working out first thing in the morning guaranteed that I fit it in before my day got carried away and excuses popped up,’ she says. ‘Even though I’m naturally a morning person, becoming a morning exerciser was no easy task! The first few mornings were really hard, but the more I forced myself to do it, the easier it was and eventually it became a regular part of my routine.’

3. Track your calories: According to Haupert, ‘In the past, I half-heartedly kept a paper-and-pen food journal, but it was time-consuming and inconvenient to calculate all of those calories, so hundreds of them often went unaccounted for each day.’ However, turning to a free online weight-loss journal that tracks calories, exercise, goals, and progress made food journaling a lot quicker and simpler for Haupert, and it can for you too! Filling out serving estimates online shows you just how much you underestimate portion sizes. Haupert adds, ‘I began using measuring cups at home to learn how to identify a healthy serving.’

4. Plan a packed lunch: Planning your lunch ahead of time helps you to stick with healthy options instead of falling prey to the temptation of the pizza place next door to your office. Haupert explains, ‘Every Sunday I sat down and planned a week’s worth of quick, travel-friendly lunches. Brown-bagging what I ate during the day meant I had more control over how many calories I consumed…Plus, once I bought the food and had it readily available in my kitchen, I had no excuse for not packing a nutritious lunch.’

5. Keep healthy breakfast foods at the office: Skipping breakfast is detrimental to weight loss, so if you’re too busy to wait around for porridge, do what Haupert did and keep non-perishable, healthy breakfast options in your work desk. ‘Many mornings, I’d bring a piece of fresh fruit from home (often a banana) and used hot water to make instant oatmeal,’ she recalls. ‘I kept various ingredients to mix in like dried fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts, and a jar of peanut butter in my desk, so I never had to think twice about planning my breakfast.’

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