How To Lose Weight With A Busy Schedule

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Trying to lose weight?

Do you feel like you’re too busy to exercise or eat right?

Watch this video and I’ll give you some great tips for losing weight, even when you’re really busy.

I specialize in coaching busy men and women to lose weight, build muscle, and get healthy.

Now, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, so I kind of know what I’m talking about, especially from the busy standpoint because I have a busy lifestyle for myself and all of my clients have very busy lives.

Most of the time people will tell you like oh, I’m too busy to work out. I’m too busy to eat right. So what does that mean? That only people who are not busy are able to get lean, lose weight, or feel good? Absolutely not. Everybody that I know and everyone that I work with is busy, and I’m sure that you are too. That’s why you’re here, right? There are ways of solving that problem, and the secret is efficiency. You want to make the most of the time that you have and here’s how you do it.

So you’ve probably heard that your diet, or nutrition plan as I like to call it, is 80% to 90% of your success with weight loss and that’s absolutely true. It is a big part for most people, unless you’re an athlete and you’re spending four or five hours working out, the diet and whatever you’re taking in in terms of food is going to make the biggest difference in your weight loss.

If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s really your nutrition side that you have to focus on. You’re not going to be able to squeeze in all the time in the gym that you need to burn off those calories or necessarily to build the muscle that you want. So if you’re very, very busy, you need to focus on the nutrition side. So I’m going to explain how and why this works.

We start off with total daily energy expenditure. So that’s the total amount of calories that you’re burning throughout the day. And this is composed of four major parts.

The first one, the largest amount is the basal metabolic rate, BMR, and this represents about 70% of your calorie expenditure throughout the day. This is pretty much just what your body needs to keep the lights on to basic metabolic processes, digestion, elimination and that type of thing. So that’s the largest amount.


The next part is NEAT, non exercise activity thermogenesis.

So this represents about 15% and this is just the stuff that you do during the day that’s not exercise per se, but like you’re twiddling your thumbs or you’re fidgeting in your chair, those kind of activities. And that represents about 15% of calorie expenditure for the day.

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

The third part is TEF, and that’s the thermic effect of food.

That represents about 10% of your daily calorie expenditure. So that’s how many calories it takes for your body to digest your food. So if your consuming whole foods, those tend to burn a little bit more. Fiber tends to burn a little bit more in terms of calories. But keep in mind that overall the thermic effect of food is only 10% of your day. However, if you are having more whole foods, more fiber, that side is going to be a little bit higher.

Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT)

So that’s what you actively do if you’re weight training, if you’re doing an actual workout, that’s where the last one comes from. Unfortunately, this bit for most people is only about 5% so that’s about the most that you can earn in that area. And maybe for someone who’s highly active, works out two to three hours like an athlete, that may be slightly higher compared to other things. But for most people it’s about 5%. So that’s not a lot of influence on your day.

So if you are very busy and you want to focus on how you’re going to affect that calorie expenditure, the best focus on the nutrition side because you’re not going to get a lot in terms of your calorie burn just from exercise.

Now the simplest thing to do if you want to keep your nutrition on track, you need to spend some time doing food prep. So this could be traditionally for fitness competitors and bodybuilders and that sort of thing. It’s Sunday evening meal prep. So that’s when you prep a lot of foods, but it’s actually a great way to do things. So you’re cooking in batches, so you might do a whole bunch of chicken breasts, whole bunch of fish, ground meats, and then you roast a whole bunch of vegetables all together. And then you’re pre packing and portioning those four meals later on in the week. You may even choose to free some of those things.

So you want to do a lot, like when you can find a chunk of time, maybe an hour and a half, something like that, on a time preferably where you’re not super busy in the middle of the week because that’s usually what people do. They have a bit more time on the weekend and during the week it’s just go, go, go and you really can’t keep up with it. So you want to have your food prepared as much as possible during those times that you can find when you do have a little bit more time and plan those meals so that you get your protein and you get your carbs and all your vegetables into your meals. And again, I said you can refrigerate, you can freeze those things in advance so you have them ready to go.

The other thing that you probably want to do is just have a lot of things prepacked and ready in terms of a little snack. So maybe nuts in portion sizes, add fruit, make sure that you’ve got things kind of ready for yourself. You always have it out on the fruit bowl for instance. I’ve got one of these, a couple of these, behind me so you keep the fruit accessible and make it really, really easy to prepare. If you need to, then maybe you need to buy pre chopped vegetables and precut fruit or if you’re on the go, then that’s what you’re going to be buying so you get food that’s ready to go. That will make it a little bit easier to get the right types of foods into your nutrition plan.

When you’re really busy, the secret is planning. So you want to have a sustainable plan that you can do from week to week, your food preparation. When you’re eating out, you need to have a plan for that as well.

Normally if you aren’t able to exercise and you’re not able to get some calorie expenditure there, then you really need to tighten up on the nutrition side. So maybe you have one less potato or you don’t have two tablespoons of oil on top of something, you have just one. Any way to kind of make small cuts here and there and that will help you adjust your calorie intake and continue to lose weight, even if you don’t have the time to be in the gym all day long, because none of us have time for that.

And one last thing I want you to keep in mind. I know everybody thinks they’re busy, but let’s just see how busy you are. I understand if you’re doing 14 hour days, like some of my clients do, five days a week, six days a week or something like that. And then you have a family to take care of perhaps. For sure, almost everybody’s busy. But there are areas where you can kind of cut down a little bit to find yourself a bit of extra time for either food prep or if it’s going to be just so you can get a little bit more sleep. So have a look at how much TV time you’re kind of having, how much internet time, because that’s actually a huge suck. I don’t have a big problem with the TV. I rarely use that. But the internet can be a minefield. So half an hour becomes an hour and you’re losing a lot of time that you can be using more valuably.

Even if you’re busy, make the most of the time that you have.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 8-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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