The Oldest Excuse in History: I Don’t Have Time
It is generally more important to change the things you aren’t doing before you worry about the things you are doing. Most people start to slash calories and exercise like crazy in an effort to “lose weight”. Well, there are two things worth considering. Do you actually need to “lose weight”? Many times we have clients who start out with a goal in mind (the weight they want to be), and eventually they end up weighing more than that goal weight but are still very happy. Muscle allows you to take up less space while weighing more. Do I have your attention? The second thing is: do you not actually care about the “weight,” but you want to be stronger and able to function better while looking better? Too many people focus on weight, which is a flawed way of thinking. Focus on getting stronger and building muscle, and you will lose “fat” and look better. Who cares about the weight?
An example of a typical “usual” day may look like this:
- Wake up at 6 a.m. to get the kids ready or yourself ready for the start of work at 8 a.m.
- Breakfast: consume a 16-ounce coffee with sugar and cream because of a lack of time to make or eat a real breakfast.
- Lunch is a piece of fruit and yogurt or a small meal left over from the night before. Sometimes, perhaps the office orders unhealthy takeout food options from a local food delivery service to conveniently eat while still working.
- Workday ends at 6 p.m. Arrival at home is at 630. Help kids with their homework (or prepare dinner if there are no kids).
- Dinner: Cook something quick because, again, lack of time.
- After Dinner: Sit down and watch some Netflix for three to four hours, endlessly scrolling social media or frantically catching up on emails and text messages of the day.
- Bedtime: In bed at midnight
Where does this “usual” day go wrong?
A. They hardly ate: Most people who struggle with losing weight or maintaining body shape do not eat nearly enough food, or more importantly, protein. This forces the body to store everything you give it because it is not getting the nutrition it needs to thrive.
B. When they did eat, it was not a priority. The odds of picking good options when in a hurry are unlikely.
C. No mention of exercise: If exercise isn’t a priority, you are never going to do it. You must schedule it just like anything else.
D. Limited water intake: The equation is 1/2 of your bodyweight, which is the approximate amount of ounces of water that you need per day for your body to be well hydrated. This can stop joint pain, headaches, brain fog, and fatigue in many cases. Try it! It works!
E. Adrenal Fatigue: Constant reliance on stimulants will cause your adrenal glands to work overtime because you are constantly disrupting your body’s natural adenosine output. Over time, chronic fatigue will cause your body to stop burning body fat and reduce the natural energy you get from your own hormones. (Don’t get us wrong; we like caffeine at Formal Fitness Training too; just try to keep it under 400mg per day.)
F. Lack of Sleep: Waking up at 6 a.m. and going to bed at midnight allows for a sleep opportunity of 6 hours, which means if they are lucky, they will actually sleep 5.5 hours per night, which is not enough. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep has been shown to increase appetite, fat storage, and stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol, which further reduce the body’s fat oxidation.
G. Spending a minimum of three hours on social media and watching TV: Remember, they don’t have time to exercise.
Somewhere around 97% of the population does not get the minimum recommended exercise each week, which is simply 150 minutes of walking (30 minutes per day, 5 days per week). This is the starting point for anyone wanting to get better results, which will put them immediately in the top 3%.
To improve, starting now, consider implementing these strategies:
Prioritize eating well and drinking water while increasing protein intake and consuming more vegetables. Take a walk during lunch (make time) for thirty minutes Monday–Friday to accomplish the minimum recommended exercise requirement while “on the clock”. Cut back to two 8-ounce coffees per day with just cream. Consider joining a local gym and hiring a trainer to work with before or after work two days per week to build muscle. Lastly, cut their after-dinner screen time to one hour and go to bed by 9 p.m., thus creating a 9-hour sleep opportunity.
Habits are what make the difference in building the body and health you deserve. Is it easy? Nope! But it is worth it.