5 Ways To Lose Weight When You Have No Time To Cook or Exercise
There are many ways to shed kilos, but most of them eat into your free time. Here are our picks of the most time-efficient methods of losing weight.

March 20, 2018

illustration of man trying to pry open the hands on a clock so he has more time

Are you one of those guys whose day starts at the crack of dawn and ends, if you’re lucky, before midnight? Your meals invariably involve dropping crumbs into your keyboard or the beep of the microwave. The last thing you need to add to your daily to-do list is specialised shopping, weighing food, kilojoule counting or cooking three healthy meals, let alone making time for diets and gyms. Try these proven, time-saving tips to lose your excess weight, without wasting precious time.

Related: Cooking At Home Can Help You Lose Weight and Drop Body Fat

Problem: You have neither the time nor the patience to eat “special” foods and to make complex combinations.

Solution: Weight loss doesn’t have to be a hobby. At mealtime, take your plate and fill half of it with vegetables, a quarter with meat and the other quarter with bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. It’s as easy as that. When you have snacks in-between meals, combine a little protein with carbohydrates such as milk and fruit, nuts and bananas, bread with cheese or tuna.

Why It Works: It’s all about kilojoules. By controlling your portions, you’re automatically reducing your kilojoule intake. And you win by giving half your plate to veggies, because they have fewer kilojoules, whereas meat and starches, in general, have more kilojoules and should be consumed in smaller quantities. You must, of course, ensure the correct balance of these food groups. Dividing up your plate is the simplest solution.

Related: This Guy’s Unorthodox Approach To Fitness Can Help You To Overcome Any Obstacle Or Plateau

Problem: You eat on the go.

Solution: This isn’t really a problem – as long as you cut out pies, pizzas and other pastries packed with saturated fats. Keep foods like nuts, dried fruit and wholewheat crackers in your bag, at the office and in your car. They’re ideal for filling you up and, when kept in a container, they won’t spoil.

Why It Works: It’s important to eat something during the day, not only for the energy and strength it gives you, but also so that you don’t graze non-stop in the evening because you’re starving. Avoid ready-made snacks or street foods like pastries, sweets and chocolates – they don’t give you sustained energy. Instead, they add excessive fat and kilojoules.

Related: Six Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar

Problem: You don’t have time for breakfast.

Solution: If you have a minute to spare, between gelling your hair and brushing your teeth, then you have time. Try these one minute breakfasts:

  • 1 fruit + glass of low-fat milk
  • 1 handful of biltong + 1 fruit
  • 1 low-fat yoghurt + 1 handful of dried fruit and nuts

Why It Works: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for a busy guy, as it has to give you the energy you need to cope with daily demands. Start with a breakfast rich in protein and plant fibre. This will help you maintain constant blood sugar levels and will energise your metabolism, helping you feel full for the rest of the day.

Related: 4 Simple Heart-Healthy, Fibre-Rich Breakfast Bowls

Problem: You don’t have time to cook.

Solution: Cook over the weekend. Choose a day on which you cook all the meals you’ll need for the rest of the week. Divide those meals into portions and freeze them. This way, when you get home in the evenings you can choose which meal you want and 15 minutes later you’ll have food on the table.

Why It Works: After a long and busy day, the last thing you want to do when you get home is start cooking a meal. So you end up chowing whatever you can find – and that usually means unbalanced meals and takeaways. All that’ll do is leave you with excessive kilojoules, stains on your shirt and a rapidly expanding waistline. It is proven, however, that people who know how to cook even just two or three dishes consume less kilojoules and fat.

Related: Master Meal Prep: One Batch Of This Chili Equals Week’s Worth Of Eating

Problem: You don’t have time for gym.

Solution: A good foundation is to devote at least 30 to 45 minutes, twice a week, for exercises. If you don’t have that time, then try to move for five minutes, four or five times a day. Here are some ideas of what you could do:

  • Do sit-ups while you watch TV
  • Go up and down the stairs at least once daily
  • Don’t sit down and talk on the phone. Stand and walk around.

Why It Works: It’s an established fact: exercise will help your diet. Not only does it help you burn kilojoules, but it also helps you build muscle mass which, in turn, increases your metabolism. And that means you’ll lose kilos even faster.