Have you noticed the gym is already a little less crowded then it was a month ago? And Crumbs Bake Shop opened in the Loop, challenging diets left and right. Temptation and life get in the way of training and eating healthy. Trust me, I get it. Do I always indulge? No, but I have my days. On those days I’ll allow myself either a cookie or other dessert option and a cheeseburger or something else that’s not super healthy.
The trick to surviving a busy schedule and a sweet tooth is a plan. My health plan is simple:
• Cut up fruits and vegetables on Sunday
• Do something active everyday:
• Clean house
• Lift weights
• Walk the steps a few times
• Bring healthy snacks to work
• Brown bag lunch
• Cook at least three times a week
These are very simple ways to stay healthy. I’m going to get more specific on the diet end and I will end with fitness tips. When I coach a client with their eating, the first step is to log their food. From there, I look for trends and usually I notice:
• Too much eating out
• Not enough fruit or vegetables
• Low protein
• A lot of pizza
• Several drinks a week
Using this data I recommend grocery shopping and cooking. For vegetarians this is a different list. I try to get people to think about meals. Plan your meals to have a protein, carb and vegetables. Lately I’ve been into cooking a few chicken breasts on Sunday night with just salt and pepper. I then use this chicken on top of a wheat pizza, seasoned with soy sauce and rice, or mixed in a tortilla with salsa, veggies and cheese.
When you eat out, you also need a plan. If you know dessert is going to happen, skip the appetizers, take it easy with the bread, and ask for steamed vegetables. When you are with a group of people it becomes a little harder. We all know fried is bad, grilled is better—use that knowledge and suggest a few healthier options. Your friends might make fun of you, but they’ll probably make fun of you anyway. Another big tip: salads are great but in restaurants they are loaded with empty calories like croutons, and dressings can contain 20-30 grams of fat. Ask for the dressing on the side and only eat the lettuce, veggies and protein.
Healthy eating is part one, and exercising is part two. The key here: keep moving! Take whatever time you have and walk, run, jump rope or hit the weights. You don’t need a membership to East Bank or treadmill at home to work out. Here are a handful of exercises you can do with no equipment at home:
• Side Plank
• Jumping Jacks
• Mountain Climbers
• Dive Bombers
Like your weekly meeting with your boss, you need to plan your workouts. Use the calendar function on your phone or an actual calendar (yes, some people still use them) and pencil in workouts. If you can’t wake up early, workout at lunch or hit the gym on the way home from work. Or plan to work out while you watch TV. I actually have clients ask for exercises they can do while watching TV—well, everything listed above is totally double while watching “Modern Family.”
Another great option: buddy up! Find a friend or a set of friends that want to get in shape and then call me or another trainer. Mini-group training is a great way to see your friends and get in shape at the same time. It’s also a cheaper option than hiring a personal trainer one on one.
If you have no idea what these exercises are or proper form, stay tuned for some video! If you know any great body weight exercises, send them my way!