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Organize Your Time
Whether you keep a strict schedule or not, you are probably more organized about time than you realize. You know when you must be at work, and what time you can leave. You are aware of what time the kids have to be picked up from school, what days they have sport practice, and when they need to be at the orthodontist. If you’re a sports fan, you know what day and time the next game is on and where you'll be watching it. Now let’s take those same skills of scheduling and fine tune them for weight loss.
1. Schedule your workouts, and treat exercise time like any other appointment. Pick a specific time each week to review your calendar for the days ahead and schedule your workouts accordingly. Don’t forget to factor in transportation time if you travel to and from a gym. Take into consideration as well if you’ll need time to shower and change before the next activity. I ask my clients to anticipate any unexpected obstacles that might arise, and come up with strategies around them, just in case. In other words, always have a plan B.
2. Plan meals, grocery shopping, and time for cooking once a week. Reviewing your schedule for the upcoming week will help you to figure out where and when you’ll be eating meals, what foods you’ll need to have on hand, and when you’ll have time to cook. Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t find yourself without a bagged lunch on the days you have meetings that usually run late, leaving you no time to go pick something up. If you tend to hit the vending machine in the afternoon, stock your office with healthy snacks for when hunger hits. Plan when you can go to the grocery store to buy what you’ll need and schedule shopping into your calendar. Do not plan elaborate meals for the days you usually get stuck working late. Grilled chicken and frozen veggies will always trump takeout Chinese food or pizza when it comes to weight loss. Learn more about planning meals and creating an easy grocery list.
3. Organize your evening to establish a bedtime routine that keeps you well rested. There are so many reasons why sleep deprivation interferes with weight loss. Research shows that people who stay up late consume more calories than those who go to sleep at a reasonable and predictable hour each night. Sleep deprivation messes with the hormones that signal hunger and fullness levels. Plus, when you're tired, you're more emotional and your will power wanes. An organized and consistent sleep schedule won't just make you feel better—it'll keep you focused and help you reach your weight-loss goal.