We all have days when we are super busy and can’t fit in workouts or our eating habits take a hit. This is no problem if it happens occasionally but what if it happens most of the time? Actually, having no time, energy or resources (money, information, skills) are the most typical problems my clients face daily. If I don’t hear somebody telling me they have no time to work-out or that they lack energy to stick with their habits, I even start wondering if I am not dreaming.
99% of the time however, these problems are simply a matter of mindset, which is great because mindset is in your control while outer circumstances are not! I took an opportunity last weekend to walk my talk and to demonstrate, that even when traveling, being busy etc. you can still get your workouts done and stick to your diet as well.
Preparation is the key!
I knew that at 9:00 a.m. I was supposed to be at an event where I was presenting my job and consulting with people about how to improve their nutrition and implement it into their life. Knowing that I might not have an access to food (or the food I would enjoy and that supports my goals) I simply planned my meals and activities.
Although Intermittent fasting is the kind of eating schedule that many busy people adapt because they don’t want to think about the food, planning your meal is not a bad alternative either once you get a hang of it.
The evening before I cooked and prepared my lunch to take with me. On Sunday, I got up at 6:30 a.m. prepared my breakfast and I went for a run. When I came back, I already had a breakfast waiting for me.
Exercise during the day
After arriving to the event place and a short preparation, there was some time I could use to move. And every time I had an opportunity, I would move. It means, standing, walking, lunges, push-ups, tucked L-sits on a bench. I could even lift water bottles if I wanted to 🙂 During the day, from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. I completed:
- 85 pushups,
- 3 minutes of tucked L-sit,
- 100 deep step-ups,
- and a few pull ups when I got back home.
I also got my 10 000 steps during the day excluding the morning run. And this is more than I would do during a workout! I felt sore the next day! For comparison, during a typical workout, I do 3-5 sets of each exercise. Most sets are below 10 repetition. Put together, it means:
- 30-50 pull ups,
- 45-60 push ups,
- 45-60 leg raises.
So my typical workout is about half the volume of what I did during the busy day!
As I mentioned above, here is what my plan for eating was. Here is what I ate during the day.
I prepared my breakfast first thing in the morning before the run. It was a typical oatmeal with fruits, seeds and nuts and veggies. The thing I considered was to increase the volume slightly so I would not get hungry and prevent making bad decisions later in the day.
Beans, salad, buckwheat. My holy trinity.
On top of what to eat I had to also consider that I would have no access to a fridge, which you typically have at work. That meant I could not have foods that would spoil during the 30 degree Celsius weather.
Safe bet for these hot summer days is to dehydrate the food. You don’t need to use dehydrator but you don’t want to have them moist either.
I also packed it in a glass tupperwear, which held it cold for longer.
Dinner is often the breaking point for many people when they don’t plant.
When you have no time to eat during the day, you will survive somehow, especially while your mind is occupied. We were not designed to die when we don’t eat for an hour or even a day.
But if you currently cannot manage your food cravings and binge eat in the evening, it is because of poor eating habits throughout the day. Your blood sugar is probably all over the place and your metabolism is not used to the lack of food.
Simply said, you set yourself up for failure.
What I had for dinner was exactly the same thing I had for lunch. Can it be any more simple? No.
Some people would argue that it is boring, in which case I recommend bulk-prepare more foods that you rotate. But for people like me, the lack of variety is actually a good thing.
To conclude, you might have more or less time to work with. Nobody denies that you have four hungry kids at home and that it is harder for you to plan a perfect day. No!
But at the same time it is not impossible and the most common and biggest mistake people do is that they strive for perfection. In terms of exercise it means that if they for whatever reason cannot fit a full 40 minute workout into their schedule, they do ZERO. Instead, aim for the best possible outcoem with your current situation.
You can always find time to do 10 pushups and I bet you can find that time a several times a day. Right after waking up and right before going to bed and you woul’d have already done 20 that day. And 20 is more than zero. That’s a simple math!
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