So it's almost summer and we here in Buffalo can climb out of our caves where we hibernate for what feels like an eternity.
Are you ready to rip off your shirt at the beach? If you said no, you’re not alone.
Here’s your problem. You don't have much time. Beyond working long hours, there’s meetings, travel, family obligations, softball leagues, golf, trying to keep up a social life.
Where is the time for you and your fitness goals? You sure won’t “find” the time.
It’s not hiding somewhere under a rock.
But you can “make” the time to improve your life and it won’t take hours in a big commercial gym.
Here’s how you make the time to get a body that you’re proud of so you can rip off your shirt at the beach with no hesitation.
13 Fitness and Nutrition Tips for the Busy Professional
1- Lift weights 3 days a week for 30 minutes each session.
Find a program you believe in. Just pick one and stick to it.
I suggest Starting Strength or 531 or Easy Strength.
If you need a personalized program, see if you qualify HERE
2- Walk for 20-40 minutes 3-5 days week.
Do it first thing in the morning, on lunch, walk the dog. Just get it done. Take a hike in the woods. There are plenty of cool trails in the Buffalo and surrounding areas.
3- One day a week do a quick (15-20 minute) high intensity interval session.
This can be running up a hill, sprints on a bike or dragging a sled, or even bodyweight circuits in your basement.
So in total you will be working out an hour and 45 minutes per week, plus walking, which everyone should be doing anyway. It doesn't take hours in the gym 5 or 6 days a week to get a great physique. It takes commitment and consistent effort but it's yours if you want it.
That takes care of the workouts.
Now let's talk food.
You need to get to the grocery store once a week and stock up on the right foods. We are fortunate here in Buffalo, NY to have plenty of great grocery stores and markets.
4- Make a list if that will help you stick to it, or write it in your phone.
Stick to the plan and don't go shopping when you are hungry. I repeat- DO NOT GO GROCERY SHOPPING WHEN HUNGRY!
5- Protein First
Meats, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, fish, canned tuna.
You're buying for the whole week so don't just buy one little package of chicken breasts and one can of tuna.
One way to keep things simple and save time is to just pick 3 sources of protein for the week. So it could be 24 eggs, 5 lbs.of chicken thighs, and 7 cans of tuna.
6. Carb Control
Pick one carb source for breakfast. Again, keep it simple. Oatmeal is the popular choice, you could go with cream of wheat or mini-wheats but stay away from cereals with added sugar and other junk ingredients.
Look at the box. There shouldn’t be more than one or two ingredients. Next pick another carb source for your other meals.
The best options are any kind of rice, any kind of potato, quinoa and beans. I usually pick one kind of rice and one kind of potato for the week and then switch it up the following week.
7- Don't Forget About Fats
If you are eating eggs and chicken thighs you are getting a good amount of fats right there. You still need some other fats.
Choose two sources. You can go with extra virgin olive oil to put on salads and veggies; peanut butter to put in shakes or eat with a spoon (just stick with natural peanut butter with no added ingredients); or you can go with coconut oil to cook with and eat with a spoon.
That takes care of the macronutrients for a week of strong eating.
8- Don't forget about fruit and vegetables.
Try to get about 5 servings of both fruit and veggies per day. Put spinach or kale in your protein shake. Make eggs with peppers and onions. Make soups and stews with various vegetables and spices. In the summer toss some veggies on the grill.
9- One tip to get extra veggies into your diet is to drink v8.
Or make your own veggie juice. Or drink a greens supplement.
If you go with vegetable juice in the store, check the ingredients and make sure it's just tomatoes,spinach, celery, carrots. Have a glass with your eggs or your dinner.
10- Now for everyone's favorite- Snacks
Pick one for the week. Just one. You are trying to get the body you will be proud of when you take off your shirt at the beach.
You want to get in fantastic shape quickly, but you also want to live and enjoy some foods you really like.
Get some mixed nuts or popcorn or ice cream.
Try to stick to your main foods 80% of the time and you will get results.
The other 20% can be on Sunday when you go out to dinner and get a burger and milkshake or pizza or it can come in the form of a few snacks throughout the week.
11- Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
Enjoy it and get back on track soon after. If you go off track one day, forget about it and start right back on the plan.
Of course you need to put all that food together for a weekly plan. Each person will have a different macro breakdown but I'll give a general guide here.
4 meals a day is a good place to start. There's nothing magical about the number 4, it just works out well for most people. If 3 or 5 or 6 work for you, then by all means do what you know you will stick to.
A few other notes on the nutrition side of things.
12- No Liquid Calories.
Don't drink soda or any sugary drinks. No energy drinks.
Drink water. Lots of it. How much exactly? If you drink half your bodyweight in ounces that's a good start. Add lemon too.
Coffee and tea are fine. Moderation is key when it comes to caffeine.
You don't want to rely on it for energy. Stay away from energy drinks and expensive pre-workout stimulants. You don't need them and if you start relying on them you will find it hard to stop.
13- Supplements Are Just Extra
For vitamins and supplements I favor a minimalist approach. I like vitamin c daily, zinc and magnesium for men, vitamin d, especially those of us who don't get any sunshine, and fish oil.
You don't need any of that pre-workout junk or anything else that those supplement stores want you waste your money on.
So you're going to lift weights 3 times a week for 30 minutes each session. Hit up one quick conditioning workout in the backyard or the track (enjoy the western new york summer!)and walk the dog more days than not.
You have the foods you need to get in the best shape of your life. All you need is a plan.
If you want a personalized program go here to see if you are a good fit – Personal Training Buffalo
Bonus tips to ensure you get the best results possible.
Make sure to rest. Try to get at least 6 hours a night, if not more. Everyone is different yes, and we all know that guy who says he can do just fine on 4 hours of sleep a night but even that guy would benefit from more rest.
Also do some form of meditation and/or deep breathing. It doesn’t take long, as little as 10 minutes a day can have a positive impact when repeated daily. Stretching and using the foam roller/tennis ball/lacrosse ball will also help reduce soreness, address knots in muscles and keep you in the game.
Have access to a hot tub or sauna? Use them.
Get a massage once in awhile. Reduce stress whenever possible to lower cortisol and maintain testosterone levels.
If you’re a busy professional and can't find time to improve your body and your health try to implement some of these ideas into your fitness program today.
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