I cannot tell you how many times my clients and members of my community tell me that they just don’t have time to lose weight.
I mean, we are BUSY, am I right?
From the moment we wake up to the moment our head hits the pillow we find our brains positively swimming with the million and one things that we have to do.
It’s all well and good for me to say that you need to make yourself a priority (umm…well…you do!), but I am sure that half of the time you are thinking something along the lines of “Sure Stacy, must be nice. But, I can’t just put everyone and everything else on the back burner and focus on myself all of the time!”
I know. You can’t. I can’t. I absolutely GET it!
As women in the 21st century I think that we still feel a lot of pressure to do it all. I know that I often feel like EVERYONE always wants SOMETHING from me.
Sometimes I even feel guilty when I look at my adorable dog because I feel like I don’t have time to give her the attention and training she needs.
Do you ever feel this way? Like you want to lose weight, truly you do, but you just don’t have time? Read on for my tips on how to lose weight when you really just don’t have time to lose weight.
#1: Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
I know, truly I do. A day when I don’t talk about planning is a rare day, but hear me out!
One thing that I find to be SO helpful when I am trying to lose weight is to set myself up for success by having a plan.
I keep my plan VERY simple and easy to implement/follow.
In fact, I keep it so simple and repeat it so often that even if I don’t have time to actually sit down and write out my plan, I still have a rough outline in my head to follow.
I plan my meals daily, and I plan my rides/movement weekly. I also plan my family dinners weekly as well.
Do NOT over-complicate this. That is when it starts to feel overwhelming and unmanageable, and you feel like you can’t possibly find the time to plan.
One way that I make this super simple is that I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day.
In the summers when I am off work and have a bit more time, I will switch up between a couple of things for breakfast and lunch, but when I am strapped for time I keep it all super simple and just keep it the same.
Each week I also decide in advance what days I am going to ride my bike. Wednesdays is usually a group ride and my longest ride of the week, so I always count on that and work around that.
I take Tuesdays off so that I have rested legs for Wednesday. I almost always ride on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and one day on the weekend.
Deciding all of this in advance takes so much stress off. I don’t need to be worried about how and when I am going to fit everything in or what I am going to make. I already decided. All that is left is to implement.
#2: Do SOMETHING. Every Little Bit of Movement Counts
Let me let you in on a little secret.
You don’t need to ride your bike, or move your body, to lose weight.
At all. There. I said it.
People lose weight every day without exercising at all.
This is because weight loss has a whole lot more to do with what you are putting in your mouth than it does with burning calories through exercise.
Moving your body DOES help with weight loss, though! Riding your bike helps you lose weight because it makes you feel GOOD.
We like to feel strong, and when we focus on this and what our body can do it can be a huge motivator in terms of eating to fuel our bodies.
Movement doesn’t have to be a long bike ride. It can be a short one. It can be as simple as parking a little further away at the grocery store so that you have to walk a bit more. Or even just taking multiple trips with the grocery bags to put them away.
It may feel like none of these sorts of things count, but they absolutely do.
Are you going to burn the same amount of calories if you get in a short, 15 minute walk with the dog in the morning before work than you would if you rode your bike 30 miles? No.
But, the thing is you don’t NEED to do long hard workouts to lose weight. That’s not what riding your bike is all about.
Use movement as a motivator to be strong. This is how it helps with weight loss. It truly doesn’t matter how much you move or how often if you want to lose weight.
What matters is that you DO move so that you are healthy and strong and WANT to lose weight to support your awesome body.
One of the biggest tricks that I have up my sleeve in regards to movement is my Peloton. I ride my Peloton more than I ride outside, and I find literally NO shame in this.
It is so much easier for me to just run downstairs and hop on for a quick 20 minute ride than to get into my biking clothes and get out on the road.
Sometimes I don’t even bother changing into my workout clothes!
This keeps me consistent with moving my body and reminding myself how good it feels to move my body. It feels awesome, I feel awesome, and it only took a few minutes of my day to keep that amazing feeling.
#3: Drink WATER
Water is a really easy thing to fit in when we feel like we don’t have time. Now some of us have demanding jobs that can make it hard to drink a lot of water because we feel like we have to pee so much, but COME ON.
Are these really the excuses that you want to be making? That you don’t have TIME to PEE for crying out loud?
I am a teacher, so I get it. When I have to pee I just poke my head into the classroom of the teacher next door and ask them to keep an eye on my class. Then I run to the bathroom and pee.
You can make time to go to the bathroom my friend, and you can make time to drink some water. It’s literally the least you can do, and the simplest thing you can do, and one of the most impactful.
Proper hydration is KEY to weight loss. Have a huge cup, fill it up in the morning, and bring it with you throughout the day.
My water cup is 40 oz so I just shoot for getting through at least 1.5 of those a day. Between that and the other liquids I drink I know I am at least getting that magical 64 oz a day, and am setting myself up for success in weight loss in the easiest way possible.
When I am home for the summer? I actually use a smaller cup, because it’s easier for me to fill. Once I finish my glass of water I am motivated to get up and move and get some more. I get in more movement, and more water…win win!
In addition to water, one of the easiest and most impactful ways to lose weight is to get enough sleep.
Our bodies need sleep to recover, and there is a plethora of research out there that talks about how getting enough sleep can help with weight loss.
Things you wouldn’t even think of…truly! For example, there have been studies that have shown that people who get more sleep are less hungry and eat less throughout the day.
When we get more sleep we have more energy and we make better choices. We are a lot more likely to want to ride our bike, and good sleep helps us recover from those rides better!
Interested in learning more? Want some strategies on how to get more sleep?
Check out this awesome article on the importance of water and sleep in weight loss.
#5: Keep Quick, Easy, and Healthy Snacks/Meals at the Ready
If all else fails, stock up on the healthy stuff. Seriously.
If you have a week coming up that you know is going to be a hot mess, and you aren’t going to be able to plan any kind of meals or rides, have easy, healthy snacks/meals at the ready.
I always have meat sticks in the pantry so I can have a great protein snack. I will often pair it with some Triscuits or some other healthier carb and find that to be really satisfying.
You can buy pre-cut fruit and veggies at the grocery store too which is super helpful.
And, we all know that the handy rotisserie chicken is the best. Grab one of those, a couple avocados and tomatoes, and you have a quick and healthy sandwich option.
I will have veggie burgers in the freezer all ready to go with some frozen fries, and throw a quick salad of greens and tomatoes together and be done with dinner.
Are frozen fries super healthy? No. But they are super delicious and honestly aren’t THAT bad given everything else that I am eating with the meal. It’s important to work in the things you like and love.
The idea is that there will be times that you just truly don’t have either the time or the motivation to plan your meals, so make sure you have easy, healthy options at the ready in this scenario.
A Final Note
Whenever I get overwhelmed and feel like I don’t have time to lose weight or to maintain my healthy weight and lifestyle, I remind myself of the basic tips that I just shared with you.
I keep it simple by keeping healthy things on hand. For example, I make sure that I am drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. I find quick and easy ways to move my body.
If you are always telling yourself that you don’t have time to lose weight, I can promise you that you will never have time to lose weight.
Instead, say something to yourself like, “I am not making weight loss a priority right now. What is one small thing I can do today to change this?”
Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T do, and what you DON’T have time for, ask yourself “What can I do? What do I have time for?”
That simple switch in thinking will go a long way to getting you on track towards losing weight, and keep you from putting it off.
You can make these shifts. I absolutely know it. If I can do this? Trust me. You can too.