Losing Weight on a Busy Schedule

( [email protected] ) Aug 29, 2004 12:24 PM EDT

When discussing weight loss techniques in seminars or in private practice, the first concern/excuse I always hear from people is that they do not have the time to lose weight on their tight, busy schedule. The last time this happened during the Q&A portion of my talk, an overweight gentleman told me that with his night shift job, it was impossible to eat healthy or “fit in” an exercise program. Before I could offer my response, a fit-looking woman stood up to say that she had just lost 150 pounds over the past year-and-a-half, was a single mom to a disabled foster child and worked two jobs. Really, there was no better response I could have offered.

Over the years of teaching and dealing with weight loss clients, I have gathered very helpful nutritional “tricks” to help even the busiest of people lose weight permanently. In addition to the tips outlined below, the Truestar nutrition site was created taking your lifestyle and schedule into account. When you create a personal profile for yourself, in addition to your dietary likes and dislikes, you will also be asked if you would like meal plan options that are homemade, on the go (under ten minutes), or a combination of both. I recommend selecting a combination of meals to receive the greatest variation of both. Click here to design a personal profile for yourself today!

Weight Loss Tricks for Busy Folk

Learn to shop

It takes just as long to go to the grocery store for a bag of chips as it does for an apple. You have to grocery shop anyway, so why not learn the basics of nutrition to fill up your cart—and home—with healthy, tasty food options? Of course, it’s impossible for me to provide you with all the nutritional knowledge you need in one article, but allow me to outline the basics of a good shop.

What should go in your grocery cart:

• Fresh fruits – berries, apples, oranges, watermelon

• Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes

• Omega-3 foods such as omega-3 eggs, walnuts, cold water fish

• Good fats – olive oils, avocados

• Lean meats (chicken, turkey, ham slices)

• Nuts, seeds – go bulk!

• Healthy spreads – hummus, light cream cheese, healthy nut butters

• Whole grain breads and pastas such as kamut, spelt, rye, oats, flaxseed and multi-grain

• Soy – tofu, imitation meats, soymilk

• A small amount of dark chocolate for a treat

• Protein powder

• Protein bars

• Light cottage cheese, yogurt and lowfat cheese

• Water

What should not go in your grocery cart:

• Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated foods (a.k.a. trans fatty acids) – certain salad dressings, crackers, chips, margarine. Check your labels!

• Refined, white flour products – white bread, pasta, muffins, cookies, crackers

• Pop or sugary juices

• Candy

• Overly processed and packaged goods

Packing it yourself

To ensure you are eating a balanced meal with the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat, try packing a lunch and bringing it to your office.

To save time, grocery shop on the weekend and plan your lunch options for the entire week. This technique will be easier on the waist line as well as the budget! Not sure what a balanced meal looks like? Visit the Truestar metabolic booster plan or the continuum weight loss plan to learn about how to properly balance your proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Know your fast food healthy options

In addition to packing food from home, the reality is, busy people often eat out and have to “grab” food fast! Luckily, healthy fast food options such as Wendy’s salads, McDonalds’ wraps or veggie burgers and Subway’s low fat, high protein subs are now available. To distinguish what’s in and what’s out as far as weight loss and fast food is concerned, visit the Truestar Approved Fast Food Options.

Keep weight loss staples on hand

The problem with weight loss is typically due to an over consumption of carbohydrates and too little protein in the diet. There are a few protein staples that you can keep on hand to boost your protein content. They are;

• Nonfat or light cottage cheese

• Protein powder (keep a container at the office and at home)

• Lean slices of meat (chicken, turkey)

• Egg whites – can be added to any shake, recipe or made as an omelet

• Balanced protein bars that have the proper amount of protein (minimal 30%) – zone bars, meso-tech, greens+.

Make dinner your smallest meal

This is often the most difficult habit to break. Rushing out at the beginning of the day, people often skip breakfast or grab a coffee and muffin (all carbohydrate!). By the end of the day, when exhausted and famished, dinner portions are often too large and too carbohydrate laden as well (i.e. pasta, breads etc.). By simply switching the sizing of your meals, you will lose weight. Instead of eating a large portion in the evening that leaves you feeling stuffed right before bedtime, get into the habit of eating a larger breakfast and lunch and smaller dinner. Although this habit may be hard to follow at first, you will notice a difference in your waistline and energy soon after implementing. Suffering from cravings at nighttime? Try drinking watered down juice, herbal tea or chewable vitamin C. If you need to munch, make it veggies.

Find an activity that you enjoy and … do it!

Let’s face it—hitting a gym nightly is not realistic for most busy people. Luckily, there are many home options now available to fit into your lifestyle. Creating a home gym is no longer an expensive venture. Elastic bands, home weights, videos and a yoga mat can fit into any and all budgets. Truestar offers quick and effective 20-minute workouts that fit into all hectic lifestyles. Whether it is morning or evening workouts you enjoy—as the Nike ad states—just do it! From stay-at-home moms to the CEO of a large company, the energy you reap from working out will make you much more effective at whatever your job may be!