You love your job, but the pressure is killing you. Between the kids, excel spread sheets, and nonstop teleconferences, you don’t have a minute to devote to yourself. Too much fast food and coffee. Too little exercise and sleep. It’s a recipe for weight gain. So how does an individual on overload squeeze exercise and weight loss into his or her hectic schedule?
It’s not easy but it can be done when you make the commitment, plan your course of action, and keep a meticulous record of your day-to-day progress.
Step #1) Establish your weight-loss goal and time frame.
First, decide how many pounds you want to lose. Second, set a reasonable goal of losing 2 – 2.5 pounds a week. Then determine how many weeks it will take to reach your goal.
Step #2) Create a daily log.
Buy a notebook because you’re going to log your daily calories and your daily exercise to determine if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming each day. If you’re not, you’ll either have to cut your calories or increase your exercise, because that’s the only way to lose weight and keep it off.
#3) Prepare to rise and shine early.
Here’s where commitment comes into play. If you’re serious about your mission, you’ll have to make time for exercise. That means getting up early enough to squeeze it in before work so that you don’t have the excuse of being too tired when you get home at night.
#4) Adjust to your environment.
But what about when you have to travel, which is at least two times a month? The answer is to bring your workout clothes and use the gym in your hotel. So when your associates are winding down over drinks and dinner at the end of the day, have the dinner and forego the drinks. Alcohol is filled with empty calories and it slows down your metabolism. What’s more, you’ll still have time for the treadmill if you excuse yourself early.
#5) Say no to fatty and sugary empty calories.
While you’re watching your caloric intake, be mindful that a donut and 3 ounces of lean meat may have the same 165 calories. However, the lean meat is protein that metabolizes more slowly to keep you full longer. But the donut is 100% carbohydrates that will burn fast and leave you hungry in about an hour. Hence, make smart, filling choices like lean meats, fat-free dairy, and lots of fruits and veggies.
#6) Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain, pure and simple. When exhausted, people tend to reach for sugary snacks in order to restore their energy level. But the real culprits are the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin triggers the desire to eat, and when we’re sleep-deprived, our body produces more of it. Leptin tells us when we’re full, and when we’re sleep deprived, our body produces less of it. So the combination of more ghrelin and less leptin equals weight gain, a result that is acerbated by the fact that our metabolism slows down when we are sleep deprived.
#7) Check your daily log and calendar.
If your weight loss is not on track, make the necessary adjustments following the guidelines above. If it is on track, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve successfully discovered a way to beat the battle of the bulge.