We’re all busy. It may be your job that requires long hours, or your new puppy that is a lot more time consuming than you initially thought, or perhaps it’s your kids that are taking up all your time. It happens, we’re busy. Often, we let this impact our health.
Picture this: you wake up late on a Monday and don’t have time to eat breakfast so you grab the only thing in your fridge – a cereal bar. You’re then on your lunch break, starving from the lack of breakfast, so compensate by eating a quick calorie-laden sandwich, chocolate bar, chips and sugary drink to restore your energy. But at least it’s quick. By 4 pm your hungry and tired, and by dinner you want something quick to fill your stomach. By the weekend you realize you can’t fit into your old pair of jeans. “But I skipped breakfast every day this week and barely snacked?!”
This sounding all too familiar?
It’s understandable that food may not be the top of your priority when you have other things to focus on. But being at the top of your game requires some effort towards your health. Feeling tired and hungry at 4 pm is not something you need to experience, food is fuel and it can provide you with all the energy you need to crush your to-do list. And here’s the best part: it doesn’t have to take up all your time.
Trying to lose weight when you’re tight on time may feel like an uphill struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to commit a lot of time or energy to losing weight, in fact this is one of the most common misconceptions that prevent people from trying to improve their health. It is all too easy to grab some junk food and ignore the impact it is having on your internal system but these behaviors will catch up on you and can potentially cause some serious health complications like obesity.
By adopting a few of these helpful habits, it will actually become easier than ever to lose weight and it won’t eat up all your time or money.
Tip 1 – Create a meal plan or speak to a nutritionist
Preparing what you are going to eat for the week is a great way to minimise the time you will have to spend later on deciding and shopping for each individual meal. If you decide to eat chicken and sweet potato, great! Make it in bulk. Decide to have it for lunch every day this week. This will also prevent you from resorting to high calorie, low nutrient dense food in the coffee shop next to your work that you grab after forgetting to eat breakfast.
Nutritionists are professionally trained to understand what people should be eating because this amount is unique to each individual dependent on your activity level, current physique, body fat percentage, age, gender etc. So don’t always assume an amount of calories you’re supposed to be eating in a day because it’s the recommended amount – always dig a little deeper to ensure you’re not under or overeating.
Tip 2 – Meal prep
Make Sunday your meal prep day. But actually let me rephrase that, because it won’t even take all day… make Sunday from 4-6pm your meal prep session. Take an hour or two out of your free time to prepare your meals for the week. Buy some cheap food containers from Amazon and store your food in these in the fridge, take them out the morning of and you’re good to go!
By preparing your food in advance, you won’t have to complain about not having time to make healthy food choices because it will already be there waiting for you! One fat loss recommendation is to eat before you are starving hungry – this will stabilize your blood sugar level before it is screaming to you to eat something high calorie as soon as possible. It also makes it more likely for you to pause on eating when you are satiated because you’re more likely to eat slower.
Tip 3 – Reminders:
Siri is your friend Set reminders on your phone to let you know when you need to eat or drink water. It sounds strange, particularly if you have a big appetite – you may constantly be thinking of food as it is. But when you’re trying to lose weight, you need to ensure your body is nourished with enough of the right type of food.
If you’re full on carbohydrates and sugar, you may still feel hungry because you are lacking protein, fats and essential micronutrients. Set a reminder to write a meal plan for the week, set a reminder to prepare the food and then set reminders throughout the day to eat the meals at chosen times. This may sound rigid, but it will keep your hunger at bay because your body will be correctly nourished so you are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan.
Example meal plan
Breakfast – Overnight oats – 1 cup oats
- 1 cup oats
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup blueberries
Mix together in a container and leave in the fridge overnight. Option to add 1 scoop of protein powder for extra protein.
Lunch – Chicken stir-fry
- 1 serving size of grilled chicken
- 2 cups veggies fried in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 serving of rice noodles
- 1 serving of low sodium soy sauce and optional hot sauce
Stir-fry the ingredients and put them in containers for the week. Option to add hot sauce on the day to keep it fresh.
Dinner – Tuna salad
- – 1 serving tuna
- – 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
- – Salad leaves
- – ¼ cup sweetcorn
- – ¼ tomatoes/cucumber
Mix together. Option to add carbohydrates.
is a nutritionist and personal trainer living in San Clemente, California. Emilina is originally from London, where she completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Science and a Masters degree in Nutrition. As a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer, she works with clients online globally to help them achieve their health and fitness goals from a science based perspective. Her coaching approach is heavily reliant on science, consistency and commitment. She also creates content for sites like Muscle & Fitness as a health and fitness writer and has done campaigns as a fitness model.