By now, all of your new year’s resolutions should be set and hopefully not yet broken. With this in mind, we want to focus in on how you can still lose weight when work is building up and your schedule is out of whack.
In 2019, 48% of people who made a new year resolution wanted to lose weight. Other popular resolutions included eating healthier (54%) and exercising more regularly (59%). Sticking to these resolutions proves to be very challenging; as many as 80% fail in the first year, and 20% of these are broken in January alone!
It seems that events occurring in January can potentially make or break your weight loss goals, and many are derailed during this specific month. Most likely due to workload picking up again, busy schedules including lots of meetings, working long hours and deadlines. It’s not surprising that so many resolutions get broken! And to top it off, we have the rain and cold weather…
So what can you do this year to break this cycle and stick to your goals?
We find the most helpful tip for staying on track is to plan ahead. Bad food choices are often made when you are short on time and exhausted, looking for quick meals that are time effective, but perhaps not nutritionally beneficial to your goals. The same can be said for individuals who don’t eat for long working hours then feel ravenous at night, making poor food choices and eating huge quantities.
Try scheduling time for planning and cooking meals for the week ahead. Many can be frozen and taken out as and when you need them. Decide what you are going to cook ahead of time, pick everything you need for the week and get the groceries delivered to your home if you do not have time to go to the shops. Start with 2-3 recipes per week, variety is nice but too many can be time consuming. This way you are prepared for your meals even when your work is busy and you also won’t be tempted to order a quick takeaway.
Would you miss a meeting or an appointment if it was in your diary? Most likely you wouldn’t. So write out specific times in your diary where you can dedicate yourself to training. We all know how important work/ life balance is, and exercise is proven to aid in stress release. The American Council on Exercise states one exercise session – even one as short as 20 minutes — can generate up to two hours of relaxation response that improves your mood and leaves you feeling calm.
The ADAA also notes that exercise is “vital for maintaining mental fitness”. Additionally, it’s effective at easing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. So if stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate at work, exercise is there to pick you back up.
When your work schedule is busy sleep is often challenging and disruptive, most likely due to an overactive mind. However exercise will help you to sleep better. According to the Sleep Foundation (2021), moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing sleep onset (the time it takes to fall asleep) and decrease the amount of time they lie awake in bed during the night. Additionally, physical activity can help alleviate daytime sleepiness and, for some people, reduce the need for sleep medications.
According to health line (2021), Short sleep, usually defined as fewer than 6–7 hours, has been repeatedly linked to a higher body mass index (BMI) and weight gain. One analysis of 20 studies including 300,000 people found a 41% increased obesity risk among adults who slept fewer than 7 hours per night. So getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night may play an important role in weight loss.
It is argued that water is a natural appetite suppressant. According to medical news today (2018), water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger. A person may also think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.
Some research indicates that drinking water can help to burn calories, as it temporarily increases the body’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories burned while resting.
Increase your NEAT
NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and is basically the energy expended for everything we do that does not include sleeping, eating or exercise. For example, walking to work, typing, gardening and moving about! By increasing your NEAT, you are increasing your total energy expenditure, therefore burning more calories. Increasing your step count is a good way to measure your NEAT, aim for 8-10k a day and boost your energy expenditure to help promote weight loss.
PGPT have been providing high quality coaching to London’s busy executives and business owners since 2007. We understand that many people invest their time, effort and money into advancing their business success, but leave their own health at the wayside as a result. Our belief is that by putting an awareness of health, diet and fitness at the forefront, these individuals can begin to see the value in investing in their own life. Find out more about what we do and how you too can invest in your life with PGPT.