I love the phrase “work hard, play hard” but the old adage doesn’t always fit when you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle. “Working hard” can mean stressful days which often leads to little sleep and poor nutrition while “playing hard” can mean frequently eating out with friends and one too many cocktails! As a busy professional who tries to balance my work like with my social life, I can relate to both sides of the equation but I’ve found a few helpful FITtips that allow me to work hard and play hard without completely derailing my FITlife!
- Plan ahead! I start the week by planning out my healthy snacks/meals and scheduling in my workouts. As a busy professional, I am always on the go and need to keep healthy snacks in my purse, car, and workbag. I always keep an extra set of workout clothes and sneaks in the car, so I never have an excuse to not fit in a workout. If I know I am meeting friends for dinner, I take a look at the menu ahead of time and decide what I’ll order. This may sound over the top but it’s much easier to go in with a plan rather than be easily tempted by that fried calamari.
- Use the 80/20 rule. I set out to be on my game with fitness and nutrition at least 80% of the week. The other 20% is built-in wiggle room to have fun and not feel like I can’t enjoy dinner parties, nights’ out, or brunch with friends. Take every opportunity to burn extra calories here and there and make the healthy choice as often as possible. Those tiny wins will definitely add up over time!
- Focus on being healthy, not skinny. As soon as I stop looking at the scale and just focus on being healthy (exercising and eating clean), I have extra energy, feel great and I may even lose a few pounds. Trust your judgement about what to order when you are out and know that taking care of your body from the inside out is the top priority.
- Have fun, experience life, but know you have to make up for it somehow! I love trying new restaurants, traveling, going to sporting events or concerts and enjoying a great glass of wine with friends but I know I have to make up for my experiences by making good choices and fitting in extra workouts. I just got back from an amazing 10 day trip around Europe and of course I had to experience the local cuisine and drinks to embrace their culture. 🙂 If I knew I would be eating a traditional (typically high calorie) dinner in the evening, I made sure to have a lighter lunch and got in a workout when I could. I walked everywhere and loved trying different fruits and veggies native to the countries I visited. Believe it or not, I can say I experienced it all and actually came back a few pounds lighter!
- Be a trendsetter. Have you ever noticed that you order something healthy and your friends or coworkers follow suit? You never want to shame someone from ordering what they want but you can certainly lead the way on the health train.