Losing weight and trying to find time to keep fit isn’t easy. It’s even harder when you have to balance it around a busy work life and family.
Fortunately what you lose in time you can make up for by working smart.
Here’s our top tips for busy people and professionals.
1) You don’t have to train every day.
Plenty of research shows that training 2 – 3 x per week either with resistance or HIIT training is enough to get 80% of the benefits from exercise. After that it becomes ‘marginal gains’.
Marginal gains is when you double the work but don’t get double the result. In fact after hitting the optimal point there’s a steep drop in results from training. You might be training twice as much to only progress 20% faster.
2) Boost your metabolism with workouts.
Resistance training and HIIT training produce an effect in your body called EPOC. This where after you stop training your body is still recovering from the workout, boosting your metabolism and burning more calories.
It’s healthy and the effect can last for up to 48 hours.
EPOC is produced through weight training and high-intensity interval training so follow a weight program and some of the finishes we post on our social media to take advantage of this effect.
3) Make your training fit around you. – Shift workers especially.
Shifts-patterns and working nights can play havoc with training.
Rather than viewing your training from a day to day perspective, look at it over the week. From that perspective things balance out much better.
If you workout all 3 days in a row it often means your body has more rest while you’re back at work.
Some of our clients finish a night shift, come straight to the gym and then go home to sleep. It’s not as good as working a 9 to 5 but it doesn’t stop you from getting a good result.
Even then training 1x a week is so much better than not at all.
4) Accept what fits around you is better than perfect.
Possibly one of the biggest things i’ve learned and observed in training is that aiming for perfection rarely leads to it.
Facebook’s motto is “done is better than perfect’ and that fits to training too. Aiming for perfection often leads to burnout and procrastinating on the things you didn’t get right rather than what you did.
Changing your body shape and getting fit is a long game. Things will crop up and get in the way. The routine what fits around your lifestyle will be the easiest to stick to for the long term and get the best results too. Also you won’t resent it.
Most of this article is based around that principle.
5) Train for more than fat loss!
There are plenty of reasons to train; long term health, reduce stress, living longer, reducing injury risk, positive mental health all of which can be tracked by your strength and fitness performance.
Aligning your goals with something positive gives you more reasons to train and there are direct correlations between that and how long you will live.
Joining a community is even better. Small gyms, group training, the people you meet are great and will motivate you!.
6) Eat on the go.
There has never been a better time to live in to lose weight. Companies and the pubic are a lot more health conscious now, there’s pressure from the government to fight a growing obesity crisis and even McDonalds has low calories options, take advantage of them!
Don’t listen to your nan who hasn’t touched a meal deal in her lifetime and grew up in an era where fats was directly responsible for all health related deaths. The industry has evolved and when your on the rush stopping in at tescos, subways or boots is a real help!
Remember tip 4, it doesn’t have to be perfect, even most petrol stations sell protein bars now.
7) Watch out for hidden calories! Check the label and choose an Americano
Unfortunately on the other side of the argument companies have got better at tricking you too.
Volvic do a flavoured water that has the same calories in it as a can of coca cola… WTF!
Always check the label and compare the calories. Unconscious eating is an easy trap to fall into where you don’t realise you’ve taken in a big hit of calories.
Coffees are the prime culprit for this. An Americano with milk in will average out about 40kcal.. The same size really nice ‘latte’ can be north of 300 – 400kcal. Check the label first and be aware of hidden calories.
8) Take advantage of tech and try flexible dieting.
Wrapping two tips up into one here, technology has evolved a long way too!
Calorie counting is one of the most effective ways to lose weight! This is because if you’re accurate it can’t fail. It’s hard physics, if you burn more energy than you take in it has to come from somewhere else (FAT :] )
Before it used to be a laborious task. Now with apps like MyFitnessPal it’s easier than ever.
Download the app, input your body weight and activity and start tracking.
The app has a huge user database of food and calories and all you have to do is scan the bar-code. It’s like the wikipedia of calories.
Most problems we see arise from calorie counting come from when you set your calorie intake too low! Do that and you’ll be licking stevia tablets for flavour. Set it up right and it can be one of the best ways to diet.
Calorie counting is proof that you can enjoy treats and still lose weight. It allows you to balance good food choices with a bit of treats which is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off for good. Cutting things out entirely rarely ok.
My top tip would be to set it up to lose a pound a week and then if that becomes easy you can reduce your calories a little further or increase your activity.
9) Avoid sugar.
Sugar is addictive, drives cravings and makes it hard to regulate your appetite. If you’re on the go all the time it’s easy to get stuck into a loop of sugar hits through the day. Instead try a snack with complex carbs, healthy fats or proteins such as healthy pop corns, protein bars, beef jerky.
10) Take a Lunch Break!
So many of us have tight deadlines and targets to meet that we develop this false ideology that working through our breaks will make us more productive.
Taking a 30 minute break will give you some much needed mental down time. It will reduce your stress and mean when you return to work you are more focussed. You won’t have as much time but you will do more in your time.
Often when we crave food or ‘feel tired’ it’s a sign of the day taking its toll. You work hard all day and then it hits you in the evening and your body is trying to recover.
Taking a break will do more for your body, shape, business and mental health!
11) Don’t compare against your younger self.
I see this with Dad’s a lot and it applies to all of us in one sense or another. They was used to going to the gym 4 days a week or playing sport or some other form of activity when they was younger and when it comes to training now if they’re not doing the same it’s not quite good enough. It’s not true.
For most of us our younger selves was idiots. We winged it and training was rarely optimal. What you lack in time you can make up for in thinking smart. Following a proper plan 2 – 3 x a week will get great results for most of us. All of our clients are fitter with us within 6 months than they ever was when they was younger.
12) Train in a group!
Anyone can achieve anything with the right direction, support and environment provided they are willing to change.
Group training is a great way to get the most out of your training without paying 1-2-1 prices.
It doesn’t have to be with us, working with a group will mean you push yourself more, give you more reasons to come as you make friends and having a new friendship group is brilliant if you carry a lot of stress with work.
Think we can help you get in shape? Drop us a message to get in touch.