After talking about eating habits and taking responsibility lately I thought I would give you a couple of tips to make it a little bit easier. I know so many people really do have good intentions to eat well and exercise regularly but life just kinda takes over doesn’t it.
I know planning ahead can sound like just making extra work and really boring but I promise just 5-10 mins of extra planning will actually save you time in the long run-it’s actually way less stressful as you don’t have to make tired, hungry decisions about what to eat for dinner etc.
I will start with food and diet.
- Batch cooking healthy meals really is a time saver. It can take less than an hour to make a huge pot of soup, chilli, casserole or homemade curries and you can store individual portions in the freezer for evenings when you are short on time.
- On the same note, pre chopped frozen fruit and veg can be used either for evening meals or your morning smoothie and is usually cheaper than fresh. Just whizz and go!
- We prepare our lunches for the week ahead in batches. It takes around the same time to prepare 4 chickens, four lots of vegetables etc. as it does to prepare one lot. I also do parts of my breakfast like pre boiling eggs and leaving them in the shell to just take with me, or preparing a big batch of yoghurt, fruit and granola in a jar to keep in the fridge and just decant a portion as required.
- Plan your evening meals ahead. I know it sounds really boring but I promise once you get into the swing of it it’s really easy. We sit down on a Thursday night plan our meals from Saturday to the following Friday, write a shopping list and then do our shop in line. If we are on form (read not tired, hungry, grumpy and therefore likely to bicker about the colour of peppers to order) it only takes around 20mins. The plan then goes on the fridge and then whoever is home first (usually Mr A) can just look at the plan and start preparing.
- Using pre prepared ingredients although sometimes slightly more expensive is a great help to keep you from dialling a pizza. Frozen veg, tinned beans and pulses, microwave rice, cous cous and Porridge Pots you just add water to are regulars in our house- I await my death from such slackness…………………..
- A workout doesn’t have to be an hour long. Just 15 minutes a day will help to keep you fit. There are millions of workouts on YouTube from HIIT training to Yoga so there is no excuse not to find something you can fit in.
- If you are going to the gym, always having your bag ready to take with you the night before will stop you “forgetting your kit” the next day.
- Similarly taking your gym bag to work every day even if you think you won’t have time could be a game changer. Then when that appointment cancels last minute you can go to the gym, maybe you can squeeze a short workout in after work, on your lunch break etc.
- Have a plan of what you want to do, but be flexible and have shorter options. Just because you can’t fit in your full 1 hr ½ session doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother. Just popping in to do half an hour will still make you feel better and keep you on track long term than going straight home.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be in the gym, you can sneak it into your life. This is actually pretty key to losing weight and keeping it off, it’s called NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) which is basically your day to day regular activity levels like pottering around the house etc. A Fit Bit or other step tracking device is great to see how much (or how little) you move throughout a regular day and those steps all add up to burnt calories and improved fitness.