As a former personal trainer, Sarah is passionate about all things health, beauty, and self care.
Weight loss is not an easy task, yet one that many of us try to accomplish. With a busy schedule and limited time for yourself, trying to maintain or even start a new diet or exercise regimen can seem impossible. However, there is always a way to compromise and most of the time it comes down to prioritizing your time and your body. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wake up two hours early to hit the gym or live off of lettuce and lemon water. Instead, it means that you need to take your schedule as is and incorporate what you can to make the most effortless changes in your already busy daily routine.
Below are some of the best ways to start losing weight that require minimal effort and will get you optimal results.
Adjust your grocery and diet lists
One thing you will always find the time to do is grocery shopping. Whether you go to the store itself or order your groceries online, one of the most obvious sources of weight gain (and weight loss) is our diet. One of the easiest ways to start losing weight without taking it to any extremes is to make a few simple changes to your shopping list.
- Microwavable ready cooked meals
- Highly processed foods
- Foods high in fat
- Vegetables (not the frozen kind)
While some of the changes on this list may seem impossible, there is good reason to make these changes.
Microwavable ready cooked meals and highly processed foods are fine to eat (in moderation), however, many of these meals and sugary snacks are not very nutrient dense, meaning that while they may work as a quick fix, you will likely end up snacking on something else an hour after consumption. Instead, stick to whole foods such as vegetables and fruits. Even simple meals including rice, vegetables, and meat or plant-based proteins are often far more nutrient dense than what may look like a healthy and exciting meal out of a bag. In addition, a lot of prepackaged meals are high in sodium, which can lead to an increase in water weight (which by the way, looks just like fat on your body).
The reason why avoiding foods high in fat is important for someone who doesn’t spend much time at the gym, is because creating a caloric deficit is much harder when you aren’t very active. Instead, you need to pay close attention to what you eat. For reference, 1g of carbohydrates has 4 calories, 1g of protein has 4 calories, and 1g of fat has 9 calories. This means that the more fat you eat, the more calories you consume, making it a lot harder to lose weight.
Ditch the snacks. Have 3 meals a day and avoid snacking, especially while you’re busy. We often lose track of how much we consume when we eat while multitasking.
Allow yourself to eat your meals mindfully so you know when you’re full, rather than mindlessly packing in the snacks.
This one is for those of you who put sugar in their coffee, get whipped cream on their lattes, and cheese and sour cream on our burrito bowls. No one is going to stop you from consuming these things, and that’s fine - they do taste great! However, unfortunately they aren’t the best when it comes to weight loss, which means you’re going to have to compromise (not cut it out, just negotiate). From now on, you’re going to use half of the usual amount of add ons. If you drink a lot of coffee, those two spoons of sugar will add up. It may not taste as good when you start making this minor adjustment, but you will get used to it. The same goes for any of your other add ons - go with half.
Don’t have the energy to hit the gym? That’s fine. You’ll get there eventually and now doesn’t have to be that time. However, you can start with something light even on the go: walking. If you live in an area in which you can walk to the grocery store or work, get some running shoes and start walking to run your errands. If you live in a more rural area, make it a habit to take a morning and/or evening stroll. Walking will barely feel like exercise, will be good for your mental health (we all need fresh air), and help you burn a few calories.
It is important to be healthy, not just for weight loss, but for your overall health.
While the above mentioned steps are fairly doable, if you really want to start seeing some results, you may have to give yourself a little extra push and work on all three. Weight loss is never easy. There is no magic pill or formula that will make you lose weight while maintaining your current lifestyle completely. According to experts, weight loss can’t always be accomplished through exercise alone. For those of us that are particularly busy, there are a few minor adjustments that can be made to help the process.