Losing weight is no easy feat, especially when it’s just one of the items on your ever-growing to do list. With work, school, caring for family, friendships, housework, errands, and so much more, gym time and meal preparation can seem impossible to fit in. Don’t give up hope! The good news is that you don’t need to dedicate 60 minutes to the gym daily and grow and make your own food. Making small changes throughout your daily life can help you lose weight amidst all of your other tasks!
Snack throughout the day.
Plan on having 2-3 100-150 calorie snacks throughout your day between meals. If you know that the options at work or school aren’t the healthiest or that you’ll be out and about all day, pack some healthy options so that you’re always prepared. Think nuts, whole fruits, trail mix, etc.
Eating every 3 hours will keep you’re your blood sugar from dropping and you feeling so hungry that you binge come your next meal. Take a moment to think about the day ahead of you and the snacks and meals you have planned. Determine what time your first snack will be after your breakfast and be consistent with that time throughout the day.
Downsize your plates.
In our culture, bigger seems to always be better. When it comes to your plates and therefore your serving sizes, that is certainly not the case! Trade your plates and bowls in for smaller options to keep your portions and waistline under control.
When you sit down to eat, do just that. Turn off the TV, power off your computer, and avoid the work emails and updates. Focus on the task at hand: your meal. Focusing on enjoying your meal and slowing down the process of eating it can actually help keep you fuller, longer and make you more aware of when you reach your full feeling. If we’re multitasking and not focused on how our body is feeling, we can overeat without even noticing.
Hydrate all day.
Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to stay hydrated and full. Drink 8 ounces before each meal to avoid overeating, as well. Not a fan of plain old water? Try adding lemon, lime, or cucumber for a refreshing twist.
Stop and think.
You’re craving a muffin. That’s okay! Before indulging right away, go cross something off of your to do list. Redirecting your thoughts to something other than the muffin will help you realize if you are hungry or just craving something. If you still want the snack after you’ve completed your task, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with indulging here and there, just as long as it isn’t a regular thing.
Getting adequate sleep is especially important when trying to lose weight. Aim to log 7 or more hours of quality sleep each night. Your energized mind and slim waist will thank you for your dedicated bedtime!
There’s an app for that.
Really! Whether you’re on the go running errands all day or stuck at work, chances are you have your phone on hand. Download one of the many free apps that keep track of your calories. Many people are surprised by how much they actually put in after they’ve logged their food for a few days. While you don’t need to log every day for the rest of your life, it is a good way to reiterate healthy habits. Track your food for a week every now and then to be sure you’re on track with your goals. Apps like Lose It and My Fitness Pal allow you to set weight goals and easily log your food and calories.
Bulk up your weights – it won’t bulk up your body.
To get more bang for your buck from your workout, start grabbing heavier weights. By building more lean muscle mass your body will be more efficient at burning calories throughout the day. Focus on large muscle groups and moves that work more than one muscle at a time, like lunges and push-ups.
Workout smarter, not longer!
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a workout involving a short period of all-out effort, followed by a rest and recovery period. For example, sprint for 1 minute, and then walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes and burn fat for hours after!