There is always time to lose weight
Most of the time we have the best intentions but when it comes to weight loss, your lives get in the way. Most of us have jobs that keep us sedentary, so losing weight requires a real time commitment.
Don’t give up. You don’t need more than 24 hours in your day to eat less and move more. Here is how to use your time to your advantage, no matter how busy you are.
Forget about the “All or Nothing” mentality
Every little step forward counts…. People often think they have to spend an hour at the gym or eat a diet full of organic superfoods, and when they can’t achieve that level they just give up and don’t even try. Don’t look at your whole day as a success or failure, consider each decision you make as a new chance to do something healthy. You didn’t go to the gym? Make a smart choice for dinner. Not all is lost.
Eat smaller portions
You don’t need to cook your own food or even eat different food to lose weight. You just need to eat less, and eating less doesn’t take more time or cost more money. Also consider skipping seconds and dessert to cut calories in a sustainable way.
Don’t skip meals
Going 4 or 5 hours without refuelling can slow your metabolism, affect hormones and insulin levels, and contribute to unhealthy food choices when you do finally sit down to eat. A lot of overweight people aren’t necessarily overeating, but their eating patterns have become so erratic—they have a cup of coffee in the morning and then no real food until late afternoon. The key is to avoid that and keep a consistent schedule, whether that’s three meals a day and a couple of snacks, or five mini meals.
Squeeze in more movement
Setting aside 30-60 minutes is ideal, but you can burn a lot of calories in not-so-ideal workout situations, too. You can break up your weekly recommended workout into short bursts. If you can fit in 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes at night, and you can do that five days a week, you are getting it right.
Practice simple food swaps
Whether it’s leaving the cheese off a hamburger or switching from mayo to mustard, there are so many little things you can do and so many little swaps you can make over the course of a day that can add up and save you calories without costing you any extra time. Think about what you are drinking too. Use less sugar in your coffee and trade your soda for water.
Make sure you’re sleeping enough
You might think it makes sense to stay up late or get up early in order to fit in all you have to do in a day but this can backfire on you if you aren’t getting enough sleep. If you are trying to change your behaviour and lose weight by eating less and moving more, you will be more likely to achieve that if you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep. If you are your sleep cutting it short, you will lack energy and you will also begin to crave sugary and fatty foods.
Use your weekends wisely
Even though we are pressed for time, most of us have pretty predictable schedules. So it can help to spend some time on Saturday and Sunday shopping for healthy food, preparing some lunch and dinner items for the week and deciding which days you are going to eat what. You can also use the weekend for longer workouts to make up for some of the time you are losing during the week.
Be active with friends and family
You don’t need to go to the gym for it to count as exercise. You can play with your kids for a few hours and still get your heart rate up and see beneficial results. If you don’t have kids, join a pilates, yoga class or a running group with your friends
Switch to high intensity workouts
A good workout does not require hours of time at the gym. 20 minutes of high intensity interval training may burn more calories than 45 minutes on an elliptical. Go all out for 30 seconds, then a moderate pace for 45 seconds. Repeat 5 times. You can do this with your exercise of choice.
Set up a mini home gym
If you don’t have time to get to the gym or are stuck home with the kids, there is no reason you can’t workout at home. You don’t necessarily need to invest in expensive equipment or machines —you can still get a great workout using nothing but your own body weight, or with a few simple tools; like hand weights and resistance bands; that hardly take up any space in your home. Just roll out your yoga mat, set up a mirror, and you’re ready to go.
Eat more fibre
Eat at least 30 grams of fibre a day. Increase your fibre intake—Think whole grains, beans, fruit and veggies.
Get a handle on stress
The three areas affecting weight; that you have the greatest control over is what you eat, how you move, and how you handle stress. Stress has a big influence on appetite, food intake, and how the body processes calories, and people underestimate that…
Reflect on your priorities
Take a look at what is occupying your time. When you tell yourself you don’t have time to lose weight, you need to really think about what you do have time for. Most people still find time to go to the doctor when they’re sick or get their hair done when they need a cut, but they’re not able to find a few minutes to exercise or eat well, because it just doesn’t seem as urgent. The point is; if you can’t find time to take care of yourself, it is time to look at changing your lifestyle.
No more excuses. What adjustments can you make today?
By Manuella Myburgh