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I totally understand when people tell me that they have no time to workout because of their full-time job. I get it. I also have a full-time job that usually turns into more than 40 hours a week. I realize just how easy it is it fall off track. Especially when my days can be booked full with appointments with hardly any breaks in between!
However all of my crazy hours have just helped me get better at planning. Meal prep is now more important than ever. Before I used to get away with making 2-3 meals at a time. But now I’m cooking 7-9 meals at a time!
Everybody thinks that just because I work at a gym that I get paid to workout all day. I wish! But this couldn’t be more wrong. If I’m at work at 5:30am, by the time I’m done work I just want to go home and relax. And if I work until 10pm, I don’t feel like coming in even earlier before my shift to workout. It’s a constant struggle! But I make it work! Why? Because I make myself and my health a priority.
At my job as a wellness coach, I meet with nurses all the time who have crazy 13 hour work shifts. They struggle with their diets because when 2am rolls around and they get a “dinner” break, the only thing available is fried fast food. I also meet with mom’s who always make sure their kids have healthy balanced lunches packed, but then just eat whatever is around for their own lunches. I’ve shared some of my tips for staying on track with my clients, so now it’s time that I share with you all!
If you don’t plan ahead, then 9 times out of 10 you will reach for the bag of chips in the vending machine, or the fries at the cafeteria. I highly recommend planning out your work meals for the week over the weekend. This literally means sitting down and making a list of all of your meals and snacks that you’ll eat while at work. Then create a shopping list and hit the grocery store.
Try this – Try using a meal planner notebook (like this one) to keep yourself organized
Either pack your meals and snacks the night before, or pick one day during the week to prepare ALL of your food. This will ensure that your mornings run smoother and you’ll have no excuse to hit McDonalds during your lunch break.
RELATED POST: How to Meal Prep
You can also look into services like Hello Fresh that will ship ingredients for different meals right to your doorstep (aka no shopping required!)
3) DON’T FORGET SNACKS
Always pack snacks. This is a crucial detail that most people overlook. Sure you’ve packed a healthy salad for lunch, but then 3:00pm rolls around and the vending machine is calling your name, or someone brings in cupcakes. If you have all of your healthy snacks already packed, you’ll be much more likely to eat them instead. I mean you wouldn’t want them to go to waste would you? And trust me, someone else will eat those cupcakes.
Make exercise part of your daily routine. If stopping at the gym on your way home from work is part of your set routine, then you won’t even think twice about it.
I highly recommend you workout either right before work or right after work. If you go home first after work you are much less likely to go back to the gym. Once you sit down and get comfortable watching TV, you’ll just make excuses not to workout. If possible, literally stop at the gym on your way home from work. Keep a bag in your car with your gym clothes in it. If you workout at home, once you get home change straight out of your work clothes and into your gym clothes. Working out after dinner works for some people, but most people I see won’t be motivated enough to go back out after dinner.
Try this – Keep a duffel bag of your gym gear in your car at all times. You now have no excuse not to stop at the gym!
5) START SMALL
You don’t need to do everything on this list at once! Start small and work on little things each week. If you are new to exercise, don’t jump right in to working out 7 days a week. This will most likely leave you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Start with a manageable goal of 2-3x a week. Once that starts becoming easy, add in a 4th day. You honestly don’t need to workout every day of the week. I always recommend at least 1, if not 2 rest days a week. This will keep you from feeling like a slave to the gym. Working out shouldn’t take away from you enjoying your life and being with friends and family.
That’s it! Those are my 5 top tips that I give to people for staying on track while working. Trust me, I know that it’s not always easy. In fact it’s a lot easier to just eat fast food and relax on the couch after work. You need to be motivated and determined in order to stay on track. You need to make time for YOU. Start making your health a priority now.