Ladies – I can finally completely sympathize with you. I have gone from a life of leisure for the past few months to eating hummus wraps in my car in between appointments. I have been going going going from early, early morning to late at night and traveling quite a bit. I’m pooped! The first thing that goes when you are tired and busy is your exercise routine, right? I can barely walk the dogs, let alone get in an hour long run! So what should you do when your schedule is ruling your life? How can you avoid packing on the pounds when you can’t fit in exercise or healthy meals?
I generally burn about 500 to 800 calories in an average day between walking dogs, exercising, and training. I am still training, but the walks are short and I am not exercising on my own. I need to cut about 500 calories from my diet during this time. Ultimately, weight gain/loss is basic math. While cutting 500 calories sounds daunting, it is much simpler than you may think. Also, since you are not burning as many calories, you shouldn’t be as hungry, so making the cuts won’t leave you starving.
Here are a few tips:
- I generally have coffee with 2 tsp half and half and 1 tsp agave. I swapped coffee for green tea without sugar. 80 calories cut right there.
- One of my favorite breakfast options is toast (whole wheat or quinoa bread fresh baked bread) with avocado. Yum! During a normal time, I would have two slices of bread with about 1/4-1/2 of an avocado. So I cut back to 1 slice. Another 175 calories saved! I haven’t even started my day, and I have already cut about 250 calories!
- Snacks – sometimes I have kefir with fresh fruit and flax seeds. I cut out the kefir and kept the fresh fruit. 90 calories saved!
- Salads – cut the fat! No avocado, no nuts or seeds, no cheese. I stocked up on protein to keep me full (tuna, beans, chicken breast) and lots of fresh veggies. At least 200 calories saved!
- I mentioned stuffing my face with a hummus wrap – but I let that one hummus wrap get me through the day. ½ around noon, ½ around 3. No chips or sides. I don’t need them. That one wrap is now lunch and snack. At least another 150 calories saved again!
- The obvious: no desserts, limit alcohol, and if you can only find chicken fingers (sub any unhealthy option), eat less of it. Portion control people!!
I can continue, but I think you get the idea of how to cut the calories.
Another helpful hint: don’t let yourself get too hungry. Look at your schedule…if you see an appointment (without a break) between noon and four, eat beforehand. Even if you aren’t super hungry, it is better to eat than be starving by 4. That is when bad decisions happen: the give me anything, I will start to gnaw on my hand if you don’t give me that entire pizza pie right now sort of decision making.
Know thy self and know thy schedule. Life happens but that doesn’t have to lead to weight gain. Keep your goals in mind (weight loss, maintenance, or general health) and don’t let anything get in the way of staying on track.
P.S. Even though I recommend packing your food (control portions, content, and better on the wallet), sometimes that is not a reality (especially if you can’t find time to get to the grocery store). Here were a few places I found in DC with healthy options on the go:
- Whole Foods (especially the prepared salads and wraps/sandwiches. The salad bar can get expensive fast). http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/whole-foods-market
- Sweet Green: http://sweetgreen.com/
- Jetties: http://www.jettiesdc.com/www/