Losing weight can feel like a constant uphill battle.
You work long hours, have kids to look after and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. It's frustrating right?
In this article, you'll learn 5 no nonsense weight loss strategies for when you're time poor.
Time is quite scary and precious when you think about it.
These days we're busier than we've ever been, trying to spin a million different plates. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and pulled in all different directions.
In my personal training business, I deliver a total of 30-35 face to face sessions every week, serve clients online all over the world and manage a trainer. I record podcasts, write articles, post daily in our awesome Facebook group (which you should join here) and all the business admin that goes with it.
Yeah, so as you can imagine, I'm quite time poor.
It's not just me though, you are too and trying to lose weight can feel like just another plate to spin.
You're told if you want to lose weight, you must spend hours prepping all your meals, you have to workout in the gym for a minimum of 1 hour per day and you need to perform endless hours of boring cardio.
What you really need are effective weight loss strategies for when you're time poor.
5 No Nonsense Weight Loss Strategies When You're Time Poor
Anyway, I know you're time poor because you wouldn't be reading this article otherwise. Lets jump straight in starting with number one...
1) Perform H.I.I.T
I explain what H.I.I.T is and the benefits of it here.
Essentially, H.I.I.T is a really cool way of boosting fat loss without the need to workout for hours on end. Which, funnily enough, benefits you because you're time poor and don't have time to hit the gym for an hour long workout plus shower time.
The great thing about H.I.I.T is it can be performed any time, any where, using any exercise with no equipment needed except yourself. In fact, H.I.I.T has not only been proven to boost fat loss, but this study shows it can significantly improve your body composition even if you suffer from PCOS or insulin resistance .
"The main outcome measure was change in homeostatic assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). HOMA-IR improved significantly only after high intensity interval training"
What does this mean for you?
It means you can get pretty phenomenal results from performing H.I.I.T.
C'mon Aidan if it was that easy, everybody would do it.
You're right. It's not easy. It's hard, real hard.
For H.I.I.T to be effective, you must be able to push yourself to your limit, for a short space of time which is great news for you because, you're time poor. A H.I.I.T workout usually involves periods of 10-30 seconds of flat out work with 2-4 minutes rest in-between, repeated 4-6 times.
Here's an example short, H.I.I.T workout that'll leave you sweating, feeling like you've done an hours workout, in just 15 minutes. Best of all, you could even do this in the comfort of your lounge room.
2) Pre-pack your gym bag
I did say no-nonsense didn't I?
If you're serious about your goals, spend 10 mins the night before preparing your bag for the gym the next day.
Write up a simple checklist, and tick it off as you add your essential items. This behaviour can actually help release dopamine (the feel good hormone) giving you a boost of motivation.
"When we complete a task and get in the habit of crossing that item off of a list, the pleasant feeling becomes associated with the crossing off (think Pavlov's dogs) and we become more productive"
So, the simple act of packing your gym bag the night before, ticking off a checklist can actually help boost your motivation. Read more in this article,
But I have kids..
I know, mornings for you are hectic, especially when you've got kids to take care of.
You cook for them, dress them, make sure they're on time for school, clean up and you haven't even eaten yet. All the more reason to prepare your gym bag the night before to maximise time in the morning and minimise the moment of "I forgot my gym bag so I can't exercise today. Screw it, I'll try again tomorrow".
You and I both know, tomorrow never happens.
3) Plan your day around exercise, don't plan exercise around your day (when possible)
"If you don't run the day, the day will run you".
<insert any time quote here>
Look, all excuses aside, we're all busy. We all have shit to deal with, kids or no kids and we all have those days where things don't quite go our way.
What's the difference between you and that guy who seems to have it all down packed?
They make exercise a priority.
It's a MUST for them and they plan their day (when possible) around exercise.
See it this way:
Exercise improves work productivity, leading to more effective decisions and an increased chance of promotion [3,4].
Kinda makes you want to have exercise more of a priority right?
Plus, your kids, friends and family hate it when your moody. So, when you train, what do you do?
4) Choose compound exercises
Compound exercises can be defined as:
"ANY EXERCISE THAT ENGAGES TWO OR MORE DIFFERENT JOINTS TO FULLY STIMULATE ENTIRE MUSCLE GROUPS AND, INDEED, MULTIPLE MUSCLES"
Compound exercises burn more calories, in less time, maximising your workouts. I highly recommend building your workouts around big compound exercises for maximum benefit.
What compound exercises should you choose?
Generally speaking, depending on the client and goal, I opt for full body workouts with my favourite isolation exercises at the end. I recommend hitting these four types of movements/compound exercises in your workout for maximum results:
Legs – working both the front and back of the legs (squat, deadlift, lunge)
Push – chest, shoulders, triceps (bench press, overhead press, dips)
Pull – back, biceps, forearms (pulldowns, pull ups, rows)
Core – abs and lower back (planks, mountain climbers, dead bug)
5) Boost your NEAT
I explain NEAT in more detail here (which I highly recommend you click by the way) but NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
Essentially, it's all the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise .
It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing house work and even fidgeting. View NEAT as a bonus way of burning calories. All the extra movement you do throughout the day add up. If you can't exercise because you're time poor, NEAT should be your best friend.
For example, lets say you burn an extra 200 calories per day through NEAT. Over the course of a week, (200 x 7) that's a bonus 1400 calories you're expending. So, before you think taking the stairs won't help, think again.
Boosting your NEAT isn't actually that hard.
Here are a few simple ways you can do it:
Knowledge is useless without action..
Okay, so now that you've got five no nonsense weight loss strategies when time poor, its time to take action.
Remember, we're all time poor so it's completely up to you what you do from here, but the choice is always yours. You can choose to take ownership of your current situation and make a commitment to change starting right now OR you can continue on the path you're on, seeing no changes in progress toward your goal.
If you're not ready to change, that's totally cool and I understand, but if you are, its time to take the next step. Let me leave you with this..
"If you keep doing what YOU'VE always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got"
Our clients recommend you check out:
Six Fat Loss Essentials You MUST Try
H.I.I.T vs Steady State Cardio - Why You're Doing It Wrong
[VIDEO] 6 Simple Ways To Avoid Mindless Eating At Home