Whether you’re a stay at home mum, studying, working or doing a combination from the three, it can be difficult to maintain your weight when you’re so busy you forget to eat or things become too hectic for you to have the time to cook or exercise.
Here are some tips that will help you manage your weight in minimal time:
Work your whole body during workouts
When you do manage to squeeze in a planned exercise session, maximise your time by training the larger muscles which will work more than one area at once and burn more calories rather than spot targeting smaller muscle groups.
For example, rather than tricep extensions that just work out your triceps, do push ups to challenge your chest, triceps and core all at once. Try to include squats, lunges and push ups and a plank in each of your work outs.
Plan your week ahead – Part 1: Exercise
Planning is key to ensuring that you will not only get on track, but also stay on track. Set aside 30 minutes at some point during the weekend to plan for the week ahead and schedule your exercise sessions the same way you would schedule a meeting.
Take your exercise appointments seriously and make sure you attend them – once they’re in your diary, you can plan your other activities around them better which means you won’t run out of time. Remember, these are for your health, fitness and wellbeing which are three important things that should be a high priority!
Plan your week ahead – Part 2: Nutrition
During that 30 mins of planning, also plan your meals for the week ahead to take the guesswork out of your eating (and your food shopping!). Here are some tips that will help you stay on track:
- Breakfast is a non-negotiable, so if you’re going out early in the morning, plan to have it. Microwave porridge takes 90 seconds to cook, cereal only needs to be poured out of a box; no time is no excuse otherwise you need to get up 10 minutes earlier. If you’re on the run, take a banana, a small pottle of yoghurt and a high fibre breakfast bar.
- Prepare your lunches the evening before and fridge them to keep them fresh overnight. If you’re making sandwiches and don’t want them to get soggy, put the sog-inducing ingredients in a separate small container (i.e. tomatoes) so you can insert them at lunchtime.
- When you cook, make extra portions and pop them in plastic containers when you dish out your own servings (it prevents you going back for seconds as well!). You can then freeze them for emergency lunches or dinners so if you run out of time to cook or prepare meals you won’t need to get takeaway as you’ll already have pre-made food that are easy to heat and eat.
- No time to cook during the week? Set aside some time in your weekend to make a couple of meals just for freezing.
- Snack on fruit, raw veges or nuts, and always have them on hand at work so you can resist temptation to go out to the shops during the day.
- Forgetting to eat on time? Make appointments in your phone calendar or email calendar that will alert you when it’s time to have a snack or meal.
Get professional help
If you really don’t have the time or are having trouble sorting your fitness and nutrition on your own, hire someone else to help you do it.
Nutritionists can help you design a weight management or weight loss weekly meal plan that will fit with your lifestyle and give you the adequate vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Personal trainers can help whip your butt into shape and provide guidance and motivation so you don’t waste your time doing something that won’t help you achieve your goals (or at the very least provide you with a programme that will last 4-6 weeks to help take the guesswork out of your exercise regime).
Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Michal Marcol