How to Find Time for Diet and Exercise


Here is an excerpt of a conversation I heard recently while working at Starbucks (working, as in drinking an Americano and writing on my Chromebook, not making people lattes…I make terrible lattes).

“Did you see how much weight Chris Pratt lost?”

“Yes, well he’s a celebrity, he has all the time and resources to eat right and exercise. It is easy for him to find the time.”

Now I’ve been fortunate enough to work with an actor as he got ready for a role which required him to wield a sword and kick butt all across Middle Earth and I can tell you, it isn’t easy for them to get in shape. I wouldn’t trade his job for mine. Actors and Actresses have jobs just like we do. Their jobs and lives, like ours, require them to overcome large barriers in order for them to get in shape. Two of the biggest barriers for finding the time that I noticed with actors and professional athletes is that a good deal of their schedule is out of their own control, and they need to travel a fair amount. These two things make finding the time to eat right and exercise difficult.

Whether you are a celebrity, gym owner, barista, or a real estate broker – getting in shape requires the same first step – you need to find the time.

Chris Pratt

                    Chris Pratt consistently found time in his schedule to train and eat right.

A Simple Way to ‘Find the Time’

A great exercise that my friends Drs. Chris and Kara Mohr have their clients use in order to find the time to exercise is the following. Print out a blank calendar for the week (Sunday-Saturday, 6:00am-8:00pm). Next, fill in all your commitments – work, church, taking the kids to school, classes, etc).

Now, look at all the remaining time. It will be more than you think. Plug in when you will exercise. When using this method, it is rare that you cannot find at least 4-5 hours per week to exercise.

[file_download style=”4″][download title=”” icon=”style2-thumb-dl-pdf.png” file=”” package=”” level=”” new_window=”Y”]Weekly%20Schedule%20(pdf)[/download][/file_download]

I am always stressing to you the importance of creating emotionally driven goals; goals that you really care about and want to achieve. If you do this, then you should have no problem finding the time to exercise in order to achieve these goals.

In a similar fashion, at PEAK Performance, owner Joe Dowdell recommends clients schedule their training session like they would a meeting. Lock down the time in advance and honor it.

Now That You Found It, Maximize it

Once you find the time, the next step is maximizing it. Here are 2 other time savers that have served me and my clients well over the years.

Chunk Food Prep – Do all of your food prep in batches. This works best on a Sunday afternoon, on in the evening during the week. Examples of this would be making a pot of chili on the weekend so that you can have it for lunch each day that week. You could also cook a large package of pre-portioned chicken breasts or salmon fillets so that you have protein on hand at meal time. Even if you just make enough food at dinner so that you can have the same meal again at lunch the next day. Any of these methods of chunking food prep will save you time and make you more prepared for your upcoming meals.  For my money, meal preparation is one of the biggest determining factors of diet success.

Create a Morning Ritual – Create a step by step plan for incorporating a healthy breakfast and exercise into your morning. Develop a wellness routine that you can do every morning. Having a written out plan helps make it automatic and saves time. An example of a morning ritual that I have used for a very long time is the following.

  • Wake up
  • Drink a large glass of water
  • Put on my gym clothes (laid out the night before)
  • Sit and focus on my breath for 5 minutes (e.g. mindfulness meditation)
  • Have my preworkout drink (prepared the night before)
  • Grab my bag (put together the night before) and head to the gym

This routine gets me up, focused, ready for the gym, and out the door with no real thought or effort. I’m extremely efficient in the mornings, as my routine is on autopilot. Find the routine that works for you, map it out, and execute.

If you are having trouble finding the time to reach your fitness goals, take an extra 15 minutes this week and follow the steps outlined in this article so that you can ‘find the time’ and then maximize it to make your goals happen.

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