15 Ways To Lose Weight Working Full-Time. The Blueprint To Build Your Best Body Ever, Even If You Work Insane Hours.
Trying to consistently work-out, eat the right foods, and keep on top of your health can be tough. Especially when you work long hours and barely have time to breathe. But it is possible to lose weight working full-time. And in this article you'll discover exactly how.
Right now, your schedule is packed. One look at your Google Calendar and you're greeted with a wall of meeting invites and social commitments. It feels like you have to schedule time to wipe your ass, so how are you supposed to find 90 minutes to train, or prep food for the week ahead?
And to make matters worse, the only advice you get is from a 20 year-old Personal Trainer who doesn't have any appreciation of what life is really like. Of course, it would be great to train like they do, and having your Mum cook all your food. But that's not the real world.
So here's what I've got for you.
15 practical tips you can implement today to kickstart living a leaner, healthier life. 15 ways to lose weight while working full-time.
Ready? Let's do this. But don't skip around. Read the whole article top to bottom, because each point is important.
I'm In A Unique Position To Help You Lose Weight Working Full-Time
"I’m not a 20 year-old trainer, with no life experience, and hasn’t got a clue what REAL life is like."
I’ve been there. And I’ve lived it!
For the best part of 15 years I climbed the corporate ladder. Long hours in the office, tight deadlines, and unrealistic expectations from those on-high were the norm. Making time for health and fitness in my crazy schedule was always a headache.
Believe me, I know what it’s like to work hard, put everyone else first, and barely have time to breathe, let alone find time for healthy eating and mammoth 2 hour workouts.
So I needed to find a way of removing the confusion, overwhelm, and stress. I searched for the “perfect” training programme and the “perfect” diet. But it was always a case of square peg, round hole. Nothing ever really suited me. Overhauling my lifestyle to cut out dairy, carbs, sugar, and fun, AS WELL as working out twice a day was never going to happen.
A familiar feeling, right?
In the end, I decided to do things my own way. And these were the results.
The Birth Of The Lean Life Method
In the process of getting in the best shape of my life, I created a blueprint for high performing, career-driven people, like you, to live leaner, healthier lives, for good.
And I call it The Lean Life Method…
“What’s The Lean Life Method?” I hear you cry…
Good question… It’s my unique three step approach that shows those in high-pressure careers, struggling to find time for themselves how to shed body fat, build muscle and tone up, so they can look great naked, without having to compromise their career or sacrifice their social life in the process.
And the 15 points in this article are just a small sample of the tools and techniques I use within that coaching programme.
So read on and discover my top tips to help you remove some of the confusion, overwhelm, and headaches associated with trying to lose weight working full-time.
Office-Based Tips To Lose Weight Working Full-Time
"You Spend A LOT Of Time In The Office, So Make Sure You're In Control Of Your Environment"
The office environment is often the place where your diet goes off the rails. Temptations and boredom fill your day in equal measures, making it difficult to stick to your plan. But positive change doesn't need to be difficult. And you don't feel like your world has to be turned upside down.
1. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, no it isn't, but it might help you avoid feelings of hunger and mindless snacking. You see, a breakfast high in protein might help you stay fuller for longer.
So if you're someone who struggles to make it through the mid-morning lull, then fill up with a decent breakfast. Quickly, you'll find the urge for a Caramel Latte and chocolate croissant on your 10:30am coffee break, is no longer a demon you have to fight.
2. Skip Breakfast
Ok, so this is a little counter-intuitive to the last point, but bear with me. Breakfast isn't essential. You might prefer to grab a coffee on the fly and eat later in the day. And that's fine. That 'Starvation Mode' thing you've heard so much about is nonsense.
Plus, skipping breakfast saves calories for later. And that means bigger meals, potentially helping ward off the vending machine demon at 3pm.
Ultimately, experiment when it comes to breakfast and meal timing overall. You have the freedom and flexibility to what works for you. And it won't affect your ability to lose weight.
3. Bring Your Own Food
All too often you get caught out at meal times. You've brought nothing with you, so you're at the mercy of whatever deep fried, calorific delights are on offer at the canteen. Burgers, chips, and pizza, aren't necessarily "bad", but they don't make it easy to stick to your calorie target and stay full.
So take control of what you eat. Preparing your own food allows you to control the quality, quantity, and calories of your meals.
And, if you don't want the headache of making your own meals, consider a meal prep company to take the thinking out of the process. It might cost a little more. But the time saved and the consistent progress towards your goal is worth something, right?
4. Don't Eat At Your Desk
How many times do you sit at your desk and inhale your lunch like a Dyson set to max suction? Most days, I'm guessing.
Often, a lunch break is a rarity. With your inbox and boss's expectations rising in equal measures, a break feels like a luxury you can't afford. But here's the thing. You NEED to make time for yourself.
And it might feel difficult to fit into your schedule, but hey, if you carry on as you are, don't expect a different result.
So commit to eating lunch away from your desk. And leave your phone and other distractions behind too. Eating more slowly and mindfully can make a real difference to how hungry you feel.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Again, it might feel like an impossible task. After all, you're busy ALL the time. But, are you really?
Because, I've been there. Most of the time, people's idea of busy is cramming a day’s work into 30 minutes, having spent most of their time catching up with what happened at the weekend.
So, a 5-10 minute leg stretch every couple of hours won’t get you fired, or cause the corporate world to collapse to its knees. And you'll be able to increase your step count for the day, which is a notoriously difficult thing to do when you’re trying to lose weight while working in an office environment.
6. Walk And Talk
A phone with wires? What the fuck is that?
You live in the 21st Century and cables are for losers. No doubt, you have a mobile phone, and it's called a mobile phone for a reason. After all, it's not like they call it a 'sit on your ass phone', is it?
So when you have a call, go for a wander. If your call lasts 15-20 minutes, you can rack up quite a few steps. Again, it'll compound over time to have quite a big impact on energy expenditure.
When it comes to your efforts to lose weight while working full-time hours, you need to make every opportunity count. And this is one of those opportunities.
7. Know Your Triggers
Sandra is a bitch!
Don't get me wrong, she's lovely really. The office sweetheart. But she's both friend and nemesis in equal measures.
She's a baking goddess. Filling the office with tempting calorific treats on an almost daily basis. And your efforts to resist are futile.
And if it's not Sandra, it's someone's birthday, anniversary, wedding, christening, or other relatively meaningless event that's used as an excuse to litter the office with cake.
So your working day becomes an 8 hour battle of wills, which so far you haven't managed to win.
Managing your food environment and triggers becomes all the more important in these scenarios. Bringing in your own food will help, as will choosing more filling options at meal times. But there's a few more things you can do.
For example, before you tuck into one of Sandra's cream cakes, ask yourself,
"Do I really want this?"
"Will it make me happy and help me achieve my goals?"
Often that pause and moment of reflection will help you realise, you don't really want the cake. You're just eating it because it's there.
You can also create 'If/Then' statements to help in similar situations. Get to 3pm and you might feel the urge for chocolate. It's been a few hours since lunch, and dinner feels like an age away, so the snack demon perches on your shoulder and begins to whisper words of temptation.
Here's where your If/Then strategy comes in.
Write out a statement along these lines, "If I feel like snacking at 3pm, then I'll go for a 5 minute walk and if I still feel hungry, I'll have a piece of fruit." Something simple and straightforward you can fall back on when willpower starts to wane.
General Tips To Lose Weight Working Full-Time
"Do You Have A Plan To Conquer The Obstacles That Have Beaten You Before?"
How you spend your time in the office is important. But there's a number of things you need to think about outside of your 9-5.
8. Know Your Why And Set Clear Goals
'Know your why' is a bit of a cliche these days, but it's still valid. Knowing the deep-seated reason why you want to achieve your goal, gives you the drive and motivation to get up on a cold morning and head to the gym, or prep a nutritious meal when all you feel like doing is crashing out on the sofa.
And it needs to be more than "I want to lose 10kg". Why do you want to lose 10kg? Is it because you feel uncomfortable looking at yourself in the mirror. Is it because you're tired of not fitting in your favourite clothes? Or maybe you simply want to play with your kids without feeling out of breath? Or bump uglies with your partner, with all the lights on?
Whatever that reason, make sure you understand and connect with it.
9. Make A Plan And Schedule Time To Review It
Your schedule is tighter than the seal on my wallet, so you're going to need a plan. And your plan starts with a set of clear goals.
Having clear goals is crucial to your success. But they need to be well-constructed, achievable goals.
"Losing 10kg." is an ok goal, but you need more. You need input goals to give you focus each and every day.
So think of more goals along these lines...
"Stay within my calorie target."
"Eat a portion of protein with all main meals."
"Have 200g of low calorie veg with lunch and dinner."
"Increase step count by 1,000 per day for the next 4 weeks."
These process-driven goals are important as they give you the opportunity to create 'quick wins' and boosts of motivation on a daily basis. Because if your only goal is to lose a fuck ton of weight, then you'll quickly get demotivated when that always feels so far away.
And with your goals set it's time to turn your attention to the plan. How and where are you going to fit your goals into your day? Writing down a goal to increase step count is one thing, but how will you make it happen? THAT's the more important question.
So find the slots in your schedule where you can go to the gym, prep your food, and go for the 15-20 minute walk. This methodical approach is the difference between having goals and achieving them.
But don't forget your plan is constantly evolving and changing. So make time to review it. Learn from things that go well as much as those that don't.
10. Make Both Small And Big Changes
When it comes to making a concerted effort to lose weight while working full-time, it's important to strike a balance between small changes that fit seamlessly into your life, and big changes that cause positive disruption.
The idea of making big changes and causing some disruption might sound scary. but it doesn't need to be the case. Make big changes that won't cause negative impact to your enjoyment of life. For example, don't create a workout routine that means you never see your partner. Although, you might think that's a good thing.
But skipping breakfast, or mixing up your eating schedule in some way, might feel like a big thing, but it won't cause massive problems in other aspects of life. But it might give you a sense of commitment, focus, and attachment to a new way of doing things.
So don't always play it safe. Set yourself challenging changes to your life that lead to positive outcomes. And who knows, they may end up being a lifelong habit you grow to love.
11. Get Good At Failing
You WILL fail.
You WILL falter.
And you WILL feel like you fucked it up.
Truth is, your journey will never be smooth sailing. Weight won't drop off the scale consistently each day. And you won't hit all your targets day-in-day-out. It's a fact of life. So don't set yourself up for total failure, with an unrealistic expectation of perfection.
Be ok with a few slip ups along the way. Just make sure you learn from them. Reflect on why you went off track. What could you do differently next time?
Maintain a commitment to keep pushing forward. Remember, consistency over perfection is always the goal.
12. Manage Your Food Environment
Food environment? What the hell is that?
You might not have heard the term before, but managing your food environment is an important weapon in achieving your weight loss goals. So what does it mean?
Your food environment is how surround yourself with food. Not in the sense that you have piles of donuts and pizza surrounding you and holding you prisoner. More in terms of the types of foods you buy and have easy access to during the day. Are you kitchen cupboards filled with high calorie treats, you can't resist? If they are, you might want to remove them from your food environment.
It even goes as far as the TV programmes you watch. Like Pavlov's Dog, you might be conditioned to crave cake when you watch the Great British Bake Off.
And there's a reason supermarkets waft the smell of baked goods through the aisles. It's because it triggers something in your brain that makes you want it. All these cues for food are around you. And if you can't control your cravings, you need to take a look how best to manage the situation.
Maybe it's to watch Peaky Blinders, instead of Masterchef. Or maybe it's to do your shopping online, instead of in-store. Or maybe it's to remove the temptation from the house altogether.
Once you master your food environment, you will find your natural cues and desires for these foods reduce, making it easier for you to adhere to your calorie target and lose weight.
But you don't have to get rid of them from your diet completely. Find the balance that works for you and helps keep you on track.
13. Maximise Your Sleep
Sleep is a big aspect of health that many fail to crack. Life is spent on the go, with the lines between work and personal life becoming blurred so much, they meld into one. But sleep affects your ability to lose weight and get in shape.
If you're constantly sleep deprived, you live in a state of perpetual tiredness. Hunger increases, workouts deteriorate, and the thought of saying "fuck it all" frequently comes to mind.
So make a concerted effort to get as much quality sleep as possible.
- Switch off electronic devices at least 60 mins before sleeping.
- Do something to relax and unwind before bed, ie reading.
- Keep the room cool and dark.
14. Find Ways To Destress
Easier said than done, right?
But don't just assume it's impossible.
Take time for yourself each day. If that's 5 minutes, so be it. But the more time, the better.
Read a book, meditate, or go for a walk. Hell, if shutting yourself in the bathroom and playing games on your phone, while you have a poo does it for you, then do THAT. Find the thing you enjoy and allows you to shut off from the world.
15. If You Want Lose Weight Working Full-Time, Be 100% Confident In What You're Doing
Self-doubt is crippling. When something is new, it can be difficult to know if you're doing the right thing.
You're trying to lose weight and hold down a steady job at the same time. But you're not a nutritionist or personal trainer, so you're always a little unsure.
Are you eating the right amount of calories, or the right foods? Are you training correctly in the gym? All these questions run through you mind. But do you have the answers? To some, yes. Others, no.
But, if you're not confident in what you're doing, you can never be truly committed to it. So, seek out the advice and guidance you need. It might be in the form of reading articles like this, listening to podcasts, a knowledgeable friend, or even an awesome coach (like me).
The Bottom Line On How To Lose Weight Working Full-Time
Losing weight while working full-time can be a challenge. But with the right approach, you can make it far easier than it initially seems. Make sure you have a plan in place to deal with the common pitfalls and obstacles. Be confident it what you're doing. And push forward with tenacity, drive, and commitment.
There's no silver bullet here.
But there are things you can do to help. And while they may not all easy to implement overnight, with a dash of hard work, I'm confident you can make it happen. Ultimately, you need to treat your health and fitness as an investment in your future. Don't leave it to chance. Don't keep putting it off because it feels too difficult. Because, soon enough, it'll come around and bite you in the ass.
How To Get Your Hands On A Free 4 Week Beginner Training Programme
Here’s what to do next to get on the fast track to a leaner, healthier, stronger body. Simply click the link below and I’ll send you my Lean Life Kickstarter Pack. In it you’ll find a free 4 week beginner’s training programme (complete with exercise videos and a workout tracker), a guide on calculating your calories, plus so much more.
So if you want it, grab it here.
But for now, all I’ll say is… Keep living the Lean Life and I’ll see you soon.