1. Pack your gym bag the night before: Whether you are an early morning exerciser, or you hit the gym right after work, packing your bag the night before will save time and a potential gym disaster (read: forgetting a sports bra, or bringing 2 left shoes). Pack the night before, and you’ll “grab & go” in the morning, knowing you’ve got all the right gear.
2. Wash/peel/chop your fruits and veggies ahead of time: You could have the best of intentions, and stock your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies when you go food shopping, but you may need to go the extra mile to be sure the food actually gets eaten!
When in a rush, and hungry, it can seem like a huge time suck to wash, peel, and chop up fruits and veggies to add to a meal. Sometime, you may opt for a much less healthy option because its quicker and in an easy-to-open package.
If all the prep work is done ahead of time, when you’re in a hurry just throw a handful of your favorites into a blender and make a smoothie! This keeps you on track to eating healthy, real foods!!
3. Take inventory and make a list before going grocery shopping: Okay, okay, I am guilty of this one, by and large! One of my favorite “free time activities” (as if I have so much free time!) is to go food shopping at Whole Foods. I could spend hours in there, browsing, tasting, and piling up more and more things into my shopping cart!
In order to avoid this potentially hazardous time and money overtaker, take inventory at home before you head out to the grocery store. Figure out what ingredients you need for your next few meals, along with what staple items you need to replenish. This way, you won’t be swayed by unnecessary purchases, unhealthy foods, or other distractions!
4. Cook in bulk & divide: The thought of making each meal in “real time” can be daunting for many people. Whether your alarm clock is set too early to think about getting up any earlier to cook breakfast, or you get home after a grueling 14-hour day, and can not bear the thought of slaving away over dinner.
Cooking in bulk, dividing, and storing meals can help save time and energy. For breakfast- make a dozen hard-boiled eggs and have them ready to go for the week. Need dinner? Cook up a big batch of chicken, rice, and frozen butternut squash in the crock pot and divide up for 3-4 nights dinner.
IF you’re someone who gets sick of eating the same thing over and over, throw 2-3 servings in the freezer and save for another time.
5. Plan your workout ahead of time: Don’t waste time in the gym by aimlessly wandering around, looking for a piece of equipment that looks interesting. Don’t leave it up to using whatever machines are not occupied at any given moment. Wasting time in the gym is just that- a waste. Minutes spent in the gym doing nothing do NOT count toward fitness, so make your workouts efficient and effective.
Plan your workout ahead of time, so you know exactly what’s coming when you arrive. Athletes, powerlifters, personal trainers, and even seasoned gym rats can be seen walking around the gym with pieces of paper that contain their programming for the day. It is pre-determined, purposeful, and specific.