Getting trimmed and toned takes time and effort but at times, it can be easy to use your hectic schedule as an excuse. However, making time to care for your body should always be a priority. To get the ball rolling, here are 5 tips to help you get lean if you’re pressed for time.
1. Cook your meals in batches
By cooking and preparing all of your meals in one-shot, you’ll be able to save time in the kitchen. If you don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen on a daily basis, you could always cook your meals on alternate days and store the food you’ve prepped in the fridge. Making use of your Sunday to cook a big batch of food is also advisable, because you’re likely to have a little extra time during the weekend. Once you’ve packed your meals, you can just grab them and go on busy weekdays!
2. Follow a menu
Instead of having to waste time thinking about what you should eat, following a pre-designed menu allows you to go into “autopilot” mode when it comes to your meals. To make things less monotonous, you can always try altering your menu slightly every week by using a variety of ingredients, such as replacing chicken with turkey, or rice with sweet potato.
3. Have a shake
Preparing meal replacement shakes is generally quite convenient and doesn’t require a lot of your time. Having a shake also helps make meeting your protein target a lot easier, compared to consuming an entire chicken breast in one sitting. You could also follow this meal recommendation template if you’re busy:
- Breakfast: Whole Food
- Mid-Morning: Shake
- Lunch: Whole Food
- Mid-Afternoon: Shake
- Dinner: Whole Food
4. Focus on NEAT
Aside from training, focusing on increasing your amount of non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can yield benefits as well. NEAT refers to the energy you expend for all activities that are not related to sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It’s particularly important as it composes 15% to 50% of your total energy expenditure daily, depending on how active you are. This means that you should try to incorporate extra movement into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or standing while you’re doing your work instead of sitting at your desk in the office.
5. Follow a good sleep regimen
When life gets busy, the first thing that you’re likely to sacrifice is sleep. But, as most of us would know, getting sufficient sleep is quintessential to leading a healthy life. This is why learning how to maximise the quality of your sleep and following a good sleep regimen is so important. To do this, you should endeavour to do the following:
- Avoid consuming caffeine 10 hours before bed
- Avoid using any electronic devices 30 minutes before going to sleep
- Wake up at the same time every morning
- Avoid hitting the snooze button
- Engage in a physical activity such as a morning walk after you’ve woken up
If you’re determined to get lean and healthy, fitting these practices into your schedule can make your journey a lot easier! After all, even though time is limited, it’s not always about having time. It’s about making time for what really matters to us.