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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,664)
Fitness Minutes: (41,336)
Posts: 26,770
7/6/13 11:03 P

At one stage I worked 70+ hours per week (5 days including + 2 night shifts IN that 5 days), and later worked 40-50hrs per week, 7 days a week, as well as having children and a husband to feed and clean for. On one day off a week, I spent a fair portion of it doing voluntary First Responder work. I am not saying this to make you feel bad, but rather to show you that there IS a way you can have it all!

Below are some ways to help you achieve what you need to achieve:

* Bulk cook meals on a day off. Making casseroles and soups in this way is a great time saver and money saver. I freeze mine in individual serves so that all I need do is take one out and zap it, and cook a few veges (in their skins where possible) OR have the casserole on toast, or toast with the soup. The soups are always proteined, either with meat and/or lentils. you can grab a single serve of something for your lunch if you want.

* Make some sandwiches which are freezable. Things like Roast Beef and Horseradish on a quality whole grain, Roast Lamb with mint sauce concentrate and a little grated cheese. They thaw out for when you are ready to eat them at lunch time, and are really yummy zapped a little, too. It intensifies the flavours. They are also really great with soup or salad.

* Make a VERY LARGE healthy pizza. Mine doesn't much look like a pizza - the 'sauce' is loaded with pureed veges such as celery, carrot, onions, capsicums, Tomato Paste, OAT BRAN, Lentils etc., and is often 3/4 ' thick, and then there is the topping and base as well. It tastes just like bought pizza and is very filling, much lower on fat and calories. I often make 2 at a time - 16 serves each one!

* Have some made up salads in containers or snap-lock bags ready to grab and go. Have a little tin of salmon or chicken ready to open when you eat.

* Have some little bags of nuts and/or dried fruit made up for easy snacks to nibble on. Remember that they are higher calorie tho', but they are a great source of healthy fats and fibre. have some cut up fruit pieces in snap-lock bags, too. For emergencies, keep a couple healthy snack bars in your bag - you don't have to eat them, but they are there if you get caught out.

* Make a large smoothie with lots of fruit and some yoghurt in it, and maybe some Oat Bran, Flax Seed, or Wheat Bran in it. You can have it for breakfast, or you can take some for at work, OR have some when you get home.

You don't need a gym. There are loads of ways that you can get in extra exercise:

* Use your lunch time for going for a quick walk. Maybe a break for doing the same, too. You can do a few chair exercises during your lunch. If you have stairs around you, try running up and down them 2-3 times. That is a GREAT work-out. Park your car further away from where you normally park it, or get off the bus a stop earlier.

* Put your groceries and laundry away one at a time. This is actually what I do for the bulk of my exercise. Sometimes I can get a 1/2 hr brisk walk in doing this. It is just as well I love doing the laundry :-)

* When you vacuum, pump up the music with a good beat, and do an 'aggressive' session with the vacuum cleaner. That can be a GREAT workout :-)

By spending one day off, planning how you are going to meet your different needs, and writing it down, you will find that you have loads of time for sleep and other things. The examples above re the meals and snacks is a great way to free up tons of time. I often have just on a month's worth of a variety of meals in my freezer, along with healthy snacks. I challenge you to put your thinking cap on and come up with some other ways (write them down :-)


SUNNYSTYLEGRL SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (214)
Posts: 76
7/6/13 7:01 P

What helped me when I was working a 40 hour week was eating small meals throughout the day. That way I wouldn't be super hungry when it came around to dinner time and I would blow through a whole day's worth of calories on one meal.
Also having quick on-the-go breakfast meals so I wouldn't be tempted to stop at a fast food restaurant in the mornings.

On your days off from work, I would go ahead and cook/freeze meals for the whole week so when you come home and you're tired you won't have to plan for the next day.

Don't get discouraged when you don't see progress at first. It may take a few tries of changing things up and finding out what works best for you. :)

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,935)
Fitness Minutes: (293,998)
Posts: 27,056
7/6/13 4:23 P

No, you're not hopeless. You just need to stop beating yourself up because you're not perfect. Stop trying to be perfect. Start with those simple changes first. If the only healthy thing you did this week was eat a balanced breakfast, that's still a step in the right direction. As I said in my previous post, no one ever became a healthy eater overnight. That's why you start with those simple changes.

Also, if you are a junk food junkie, one thing you might do is buy this book. It's called Eat This, Not That. You can find it at the library, bookstore or online. it's a terrible book for people who eat out a lot. It will help you to make "better", more informed choices when eating out.

And remember, breakfast doesn't have to be a breakfast type of food. You could eat a sandwich for breakfast if you want. a sandwich or salad can be a very balanced meal. Check out the spark recipes section for ideas for simple, healthy breakfasts you can make in the morning.

This really is a learning process. you're going to have to experiment with different meals as well as times you eat to find out what works best for you. If you just do one healthy thing for yourself try to eat more veggies.

DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/6/13 4:13 P

Thank you for your insight. I am trying to implement lifestyle changes slowly. It's a little hard and I keep reverting back to my "old" ways. Including today; my lunch was around 845 calories and none of it was good for me. I guess becuase I work 10 hour shifts I feel like there isn't enough time to get a good breakfast, get ready for work, go to work, get in a work out, eat dinner and plan lunch and snacks for the next day while still getting a good nights sleep (I shoot for 7 hours but I haven't even been sleeping very well because all of this scheduling is stressing me out!). So, my alarm goes off @ 7:15am and I leave the house @ 8am and I don't get off work until 7pm. It's a LONG day so cooking and/or working out aren't things I WANT to do when I get home (I know I NEED to do them). All I want to do at that point is zone out in front of the TV or go STRAIGHT to bed! Am I hopeless?

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,935)
Fitness Minutes: (293,998)
Posts: 27,056
7/6/13 3:55 P


I know that some nutrition experts feel that a person shouldn't eat before going to bed, but that's something of a misconception. The old notion was that if you ate before going to bed, your body wouldn't be able to burn off those calories. And that's not true. Your body is constantly burning calories for energy.

While it's true that most Americans eat too much and need to eat less, the problem is that they are eating too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right food. Quality of the food you eat has a bigger impact on your waistline than how much.

Weight loss is nothing more than a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle. if you eat right, watch your portions and get some regular exercise, the weight will come off on its own.

And no one says you have to go to the gym every day either to be healthy or fit. Once again. the quality of the exercise also matters. Don't beat yourself up if you can't do an hour a day, you do what you can to get started. No one ever became a healthy eater overnight. it's impossible. remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time. thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body.

That's why SP encourages its members to start with simple changes first. Example, if you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. if you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. if you're not exercising and have been sedentary, don't try to do an hour a day, set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals. then you set new ones.

And that's how good health starts. It starts with a few simple changes you can stick with. We're all different. So, you need to find out what works best for YOUR schedule and YOUR lifestyle. This is a learning process with a lot to learn.

Start with some simple changes. You really don't have to do anything drastic to start. And yes, you can eat before going to bed and still lose weight. It's just a matter of learning your body's signals. But, that too takes time.

DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/6/13 2:58 P

I've posted this in my group discussion boards first and failed to get a response :-(
Hello all!
I’m having some trouble getting a hang of balancing my work, diet, and exercise. I work 4 days a week (10 hours per day) and I just can’t seem to figure out when I’m supposed to go to the gym on those days. I know that I shouldn’t eat within a few hours of going to bed and I shouldn’t eat within an hour of exercising… It is IMPOSSIBLE… repeat, IMPOSSIBLE for me to work out in the mornings. I am in NO WAY, shape or form what would be considered a “morning person” so I have to exercise in the evenings. I get off work at 7pm and can usually find my way to the gym by 8pm. When do I eat dinner? Do I change my work schedule? I need help!

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