How to Fit Healthy Weight Loss Into a Busy Schedule
Do you struggle to find time for healthy eating and exercise? If so, you are not alone. Research from IJERPH found that there’s actually a relationship between women’s workloads and weight gain. Women are more likely than men to work both at the workplace and at home because women tend to take on more responsibility for housework, pregnancy, child-rearing, and so on — leading to overall longer working hours.
The lack of time to pursue healthy weight maintenance strategies, coupled with the additional stress from a busy schedule, can easily lead to poor eating habits and weight gain. Thankfully, there are strategies that busy women can pursue to fit a healthy weight loss journey into their day. Let’s take a closer look at these below.
Prepare healthy smoothies
A recent survey from Study Finds reported that 1 in 4 people choose to skip breakfast. However, breakfast is crucial for replenishing your energy and blood glucose levels. Researchers have also found that people who eat breakfast are generally slimmer than those who don’t because consuming protein and fibre in the morning helps keep your appetite in check.
Smoothies are a great way to fill yourself up with nutrients, and they can be taken on the go as well. The contents of your smoothies matter, however. A lot of people tend to edge towards recipes with nutrition-lacking fillers such as fruit juice. Instead, focus on nutrition-dense and heavy ingredients like leafy vegetables and beetroot, which are low in calories but rich in fibre and nutrients. This will jumpstart your metabolism and leave you feeling fuller for the rest of the day.
Meal plan ahead of time
Weight loss is possible on a busy schedule — as long as you do some prepping beforehand. Meal planning is a great solution for natural weight loss because it helps you eat more whole foods and home-cooked meals, which will lead to lower calorie, fat, and sugar consumption. It also eliminates daily, time-intensive tasks like thinking about what to cook, securing the ingredients, and making a meal from scratch.
How do you get started? Over the weekend, you can start prepping your ingredients by cutting, cleaning, or parboiling them. You can even cook entire recipes to freeze and store in batches. Use zip-top bags for your freezer meal recipes and don’t forget to tightly zip them shut to prevent freezer burn. Then, during the week, all you’ll have to do is thaw out your meals and slowly heat them up. By the time you’ve settled down or gotten out of the shower, you’ve got a warm and nutritious meal waiting for you.
Prioritise meal times
Global health company Tork found in a 2022 study that “women are over twice as likely (67%) not to take a break than men (33%).” Additionally, women who work remotely are more likely to spend the breaks they do take doing household chores than their male counterparts. The same survey also notes that, ironically, employees who took proper lunch breaks were actually more productive overall than people who didn’t.
If that wasn’t reason enough to take your break, Anne Myers-Wright, RD., APD., also tells us that distractions during meals, such as work, can lead to people consuming more food and gaining weight. Put work aside during your break so you can practice mindful eating and take your time chewing your food before swallowing. This helps prevent indigestion, bloating, and over-eating.
Don’t forget to combine your diet strategies with exercise. Any amount of fitness is better than none — so don’t hesitate to take the stairs to work or go on that midday walk to aid your digestion after lunch. With patience and a little effort, you’ll be able to hit your weight and career goals.